Prime Inc

Topic 20789 | Page 2

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Michael S.'s Comment
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This right here!

Dari, we think you should go back to Prime and finish what you started. That will depend, of course, on the terms that you left them on.

Sure, it involves eating some crow, being humble; but reconsidering a rash act when cooler, and apologizing sincerely, can get you out of a jam. A jam is what Dari is in right now, and unless they plan to drive for the worst sort of company they won't be a driver, eh?

Montana Reiver's Comment
member avatar

I recently quit my first job with another, smaller trucking company, that also has a one-year contract based on the concept of an obligation incurred for training received. Perhaps I should have consulted you before making this move, as you suggested for the person who began this stream.

However, it is worth mentioning that the company I worked for requires all licensed CDL-A drivers to sign this contract, regardless of where they obtained the CDL-A, unless they are experienced drivers (can't remember if it was 1 year or 2 years esperience). I wasn't troubled about signing the contract, in part because I recognize that, fresh out of CDL school, almost all the learning was still ahead of me. I figured I would stick it out, no matter what, even if I had trouble with my trainer. Actually, I liked my trainer. Though 95% of my driving time, from day 1, was unsupervised (trainer in the sleeping berth), and I did about 75% of the driving, I learned a lot both from the experience and from my trainer. I was uncomfortable about a few things (e.g., being asked to sleep in the top bunk while the truck was moving, excessively abbreviating or omitting the pre-trip inspection , etc.) but the fault is to a considerable extent on me for not directly addressing these matters when they came up.

What caused me to quit was something that I didn't foresee: I was removed from duty without a credible reason, and was receiving neither training nor pay. After a month on the road with no mishaps of any kind, the company took me out of service. Initially, this decision was not explained to me in any way. I just woke up after my 10-hours in the sleeper and was told by my trainer that I had been placed out-of-service. I asked why, and my trainer told me that the company gave him no explanation, saying that it was a private matter between me and the company. The next two days I tried without success to reach the safety officer, who apparently was the one who took me out of service. During this period, the truck received a new load and headed in a direction opposite the company terminal. When I finally received a return call from the safety officer, he said I was taken off service because he was surfing the net and read on WebMD that one of the medications I was on can cause drowsiness or tiredness. This rationale is bizarre, since the med regime in question (long term thyroid hormone for thyroid replacement, with carefully monitored TSH and thyroid hormone levels) does not cause drowsiness. I am a licensed physician, and informed him of this, but he seemed not to care. Also, I disclosed this med on my application and disclosed it also at both of my DOT physicals.

Eventually I talked with dispatch and they agreed that I should catch a flight home (since the truck was headed neither home nor toward the truck terminal). When I got home I scheduled the first available appointment with my doctor (so she could "clear" me for driving again -- a process that required no examination or testing at all, since the concern was entirely bogus). After she sent the company a nice letter (refraining from mentioning that the company's concern was not credible), the company stonewalled me for another week, except for a phone call informing me that they would not reimburse me for my transportation back home (evidently I was expected to ride along on the truck indefinitely, without pay, until it happened to end up at the terminal or at my home). They informed me that I would need a new trainer, since they had assigned another new driver to my old trainer -- but that was a lie, according to my trainer, who said he hadn't been assigned another student and would be glad to have me back. After a month with no driving and no pay, I took employment elsewhere.

Unlike many who become truck drivers, I didn't do this because it was the most lucrative option. In fact I am making substantially more money since I opted for other employment. I became a truck driver because I wanted to drive a truck. I have regrets, and really do wish I'd written you before I made this decision. I did talk to the owner of the trucking school where I got my CDL, and he was helpful. Though my evaluations from my trainer were good (I read and co-signed them), especially with respect to my work ethic (I was pretty mediocre at backing, but at least had no mishaps), I fear that it is unlikely that I will be an attractive hire for other trucking companies since I quit this job in the early stages.

I was deeply influenced by several of the regular contributors to this site who are verteran drivers, and that is part of the reason that I was fairly sanguine about signing the one year contract -- I figured that the proliferation of negative stuff on the web came mostly from whiners and complainers, which have been plentiful in all my life's earlier occupations. However, I must say that in 49 years of being employed (I've worked since I was 10 years old), I have never been treated as badly by an employer as I was by this trucking company.

It would also be great if people would consult us before making major career decisions Instead of after the damage is done.

It seems he may have gone to a CDL school that did not meet the minimum requirements for Prime, so they made him go through their training program and sign a contract.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Montana Reiver your story is exactly the reason why we advise entry level drivers to avoid small carriers. This is the kind of adhoc, "make it up as you go" peocess we typically see from the have-nots of the industry.

Your former employer and Prime is a apples to oranges comparison.

Hope you can find your way back to driving for a reputable, professional organization. Good luck.


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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