New To Trucking And Started With Prime Inc.

Topic 21300 | Page 1

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Negan's Comment
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Hello all,

Just wanted to introduce myself. I am new to trucking. I have been doing 100% commission sales for the last 15 years and although the money was good it just stopped being exciting for me . I loved it for about 14 of those years. Put in 60 hour weeks or more and worked 7 days a week for a long time. But ever since I was a kid I always thought of trucking. I guess I "romanticized" it in a way. I always thought the nomad sort of life style was intriguing. I also realized over time that I sleep better when I am NOT in my own home. Odd, I know. So I figured I would go for it. Why not? I can get my old job back just by walking back in so there isn't a big risk.

As far as Prime goes, I really like it so far. I am doing my training out of the Salt Lake terminal and after visiting the MO terminal with my TNT trainer, I am glad. Yes, the MO facility is gorgeous but SO many people. My class size was about 8. It was about as laid back as could be. Most of us had our first trainer a couple of days before class was over. The trainers are cool, easy going and have great sense of humors.

I wanted to give a little bit of info on the process. I know it has been written before but when I did my research there were some things that weren't written about or different than what I went through. Like I said, I am in my TNT phase. I have about 15k miles left.

They do pay for Greyhound but you can fly and they will reimburse you for the cost of the GREYHOUND. Being from Southern California I decided to fly. (They reimburse you AFTER you pass your CDL) Flights are cheap by me. I ended up ahead of the game. Would never have guessed a 20+ hour bus ride would cost so much more than a 1.5 hour flight.

First day was medical and drug test. It went a lot faster than I thought. We were pretty much called in when we arrived at the medical center and it didn't take more than 45 min to an hour and that was for everyone to be done. It takes about a week to get the test back and it is a urine test.

BTW if you do go to the Salt Lake facility you need to get your learners permit from your state. I can only speak for those that live in CA but when you pass your CDL and come back to turn in the documents to the DMV , DON'T make the mistake I did and go to a normal DMV and wait in line for over an hour only to be told there is a special DMV just for CDL's and the Commercial DMV close 10 minutes ago. I never knew and since I got my permit there I figured that is where I turn it in. Also when you do go back to turn in your documents to get your CDL they will take your license and mail you the new one. This can leave you with no ID so maybe you "misplaced" your license before you go in and then happen to "find" it again when you leave. I was dumb and forgot to misplace mine. It only took a week or so to get the new one but you may be on the road for a couple of months and not get home to get it for that amount of time. Oh, when I asked them what am I suppose to use for an ID they said I can get an ID but it will take a couple of weeks to get them. Um, that makes sense. I HATE CA!

After you come back from the medical center you basically do classroom stuff. Pretty basic. They tell you about your benefits, the Qualcomm for logging and a few other things. The rest you do on a computer. It's easy. They don't go into huge detail in the classes. Really the most detailed part and the part you really need to get down is the daily inspection of truck and trailer but if you have a good trainer you should have this down before you test. Pretty much everything you are going to learn will be on the road so don't be concerned if after your short in class period you don't think you know enough to drive a truck. It comes fast on the road. You do some simulator training. Mostly training for shifting and backing. For me, backing on the simulator was easy. The real backing is taking a little more time. It's easy when you don't have trucks at a truck stop waiting to get by you and you are holding up the whole bunch.

When your drug test comes back, negative of course, you are officially an employee and they give you the employee badge. Then you are ready to go out for the first part of your in truck training.

Too be cont.

Sorry I know it's long. Just figured I would get it all out now while it's in my head and I have time.


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.


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.



Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

PackRat's Comment
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Great post! Welcome!

Indalecio's Comment
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Did you have to fill out a more detailed application and add references and emergency contacts when you arrived? More detailed him history etc

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