Prime, Inc. PSD School

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Jay_Ohen's Comment
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Hello, TruckingTruth! On the 9th of January, 2018 I received confirmation of acceptance to the Prime, inc. PSD Program. I left Alabama by Greyhound (good luck to anyone enduring the grueling ride!) on the 20th to arrive in Springfield, Missouri on the 21st. It’s a Greyhound: don’t expect much and try to get some rest on the long trip!

21st January - 0930: Arrival at the Springfield, MO Greyhound terminal. You’re responsible for calling the Prime Shuttle to pick you up and carry you to the Campus Inn. Don’t make the mistake I made! Ensure you’re out front (the opposite side of bus parking) or the shuttle won’t see you. Arrived at the Campus Inn for check in at approximately 1030. At the front desk you’ll pay the $100 seating fee and receive a room key, a roommate unless they’re already there, and an application packet. DO NOT LIE ON THE APPLICATION! This company does not tolerate dishonesty and you will be sent home on your own time and money! The rooms are nothing to write home about, but the staff is super friendly and housekeeping will clean your room daily. There are televisions in every room and fridges in most. Don’t get too distracted, however: It’s important to study for your permit testing before you arrive because the class schedule is absolutely busy. The first day you arrive will consist of filling out paperwork and talking to your roommate. Leave the paperwork blank if you’re unsure of anything. You’ll also be able to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the cafe located on campus. You have $4.76 for breakfast and $7 for lunch and dinner, which is more than enough Feel free to walk to the WalMart about a block up the road. If you have the money, stop by Culver’s at least once: you won’t regret it! Make sure you get to bed at a decent time because...

22 January, 0530: Courtesy wake up call! Your class begins at 0700. DO NOT BE LATE! Early is on time, but on time is late! If you’re late it will be documented. This company is surprisingly lenient and allows at least two chances. Strike two and you’re out as far as I understand. Day one of orientation consists of, you guessed it, paperwork! The instructors will do roll call and begin discussing what is expected of you in your first week at orientation. This includes: green file review (application) confirming that the information given to the security team matches what you told your recruiter. Folks, I cannot stress enough that lying is NOT ACCEPTABLE. If you can’t pass a drug test, DO NOT WASTE THEIR TIME. On day one you’ll go over how to fill out the application, attend a urinalysis drug test and DOT physical, attend an agility test and conduct file review with a member of staff. You’ll also be given about 35 computer based training videos to complete no later than Wednesday evening. Time management is imperative. The videos take around 5 hours to complete and you will be incredibly busy the first week! Finally, you’ll wrap up day one with simulator training. Keep in mind that one simulator costs approximately $150,000 so don’t bring in food or drinks! It’s not a joke. Treat it like a real truck: seatbelt, no texting, and pay attention. It’s great training and gets you ready for shifting on the practice pad and CDL exam. Utilize what you’re given! Prime wants you to succeed. Pay attention to the group you are assigned and the schedules you are given. Lateness is forgiven but once, and absence is not acceptable! My day wrapped up around 1530 at the end of sim lab. Get to bed as early as possible. It’s important to rest in order to retain the great amount of information being given to you.

CDL:

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.

Terminal:

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.

DOT:

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Nighthawk's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for this! I'll be heading that way within 6 weeks - exact time depends on whether or not I need CPAP.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Jay_Ohen's Comment
member avatar

23 January, 0530: Courtesy wakeup call. Just like yesterday, class begins at 0700. Don’t be late! As we entered the class I noticed several people had already been sent home. The head of security warned people of attempting to cheat the drug test (really!) yet it seems some didn’t take heed to that warning. Shortly after roll call all female PSD students were sent for retesting due to evidence of cheating being found in the bathroom. Needless to say others were sent home. DO NOT LIE, DO NOT CHEAT! You’re only wasting Prime’s time and your time if you do. Hours of service class began at 0815 with an instructor teaching us the basics of hours of service such as driving time, on duty time, off duty time, and sleeper berth time. We were given paper logs to keep track of our hours of service during classes. It’s actually very helpful and teaches you what you need to learn in case your electronic logging device ever goes down. Pay attention! You’ll be learning a lot over the next week. After class ended at 0900, those of us who passed our physicals received our health cards and the shuttle began busing students to the DMV for permit testing. You can still test even without your health card, you just won’t be able to pick up your permit at the DMV. The shuttle runs at 0900 or 0915ish, 1100, 1300 1500, and I believe 1700. Thanks to the High Road Training Program I was able to pass all four sections (general knowledge, combination, air brakes, and tanker) in one go! Utilize the tools given to you on this forum and you have nothing to fear. You’re allowed two chances at the test per day. Make sure you’re going to test even if you don’t feel prepared. They’re watching! If you didn’t finish your physical, agility test, or file review you will be given time to do that on this day. Health and awareness class began at 1545. We were all informed of the great fitness program that Siphiwe Baleka runs here at Prime. As many of you know the trucking industry consists of, well, sitting and driving! Prime offers a great health program at a cost, all of which is reimbursed at the end of the program. This is available after hire. It may or may not be for everyone but definitely consider some form of activity to combat boredom and weight gain. Simulator lab ran from 2130 to 2345 that night. It’s rough but it’s only one day you have to go this late. Again, treat the simulator with respect and learn as much as possible. The prior day was upshifting. Today was downshifting. If you show enough progress you’ll be able to advance to skip shifting and prepare for your sim lab final. It’s great training, I can’t express that enough! Make sure you eat before you go. The cafe closes at 1900 on weekdays and 1400 on weekends. After a long day it was time for bed until the next morning.

24 January, 0530: Wake up call. Don’t lay around in bed, just get up and go get breakfast! Breakfast begins at 0900 and you won’t regret it. 0700 begins pre trip inspection class. Focus on getting your permit and completing your CBTs before studying the pre trip inspection. The Highway Diamond meeting began at 0830 for the female students in class. The rest of us were left to work on completing on site permit testing beginning at 0830. Students required to complete a sleep study were sent to review the requirements at 0930. They do this based on BMI and neck measurements. If you haven’t completed file review it will also be done today. File review isn’t so bad. Prime verified three years of employment for non drivers and needed five years of total employment history, ten if you’ve ever driven a CMV before. The shuttles run to the DMV at the aforementioned times. Sim class began at 1830. Most of us in my group completed the final today and were given the night off: a perfect opportunity to study your pretrip!

25 January, 0530: Wake up time! Benefits and wellness class began at 0700. They covered health insurance options available after 90 days of employment. At the end of class it’s important to stay seated as they do roll call AFTER this class. You will also be informed if you’re on the pending list before you’re issued a security badge. You’ll spend the rest of the day working on these tasks. Remember, CBTs were due on Wednesday by the evening! Don’t procrastinate on them. Take any free time you’re given this day to practice the pre trip. There’s a truck in the parking lot that’s available for use any time of the day. Right now it’s around 1345 and I’m awaiting the preliminary clearance meeting at 1500. DO NOT MISS THIS CLASS! You will be sent home if you do. I’m sure I’m skipping a lot of information but please feel free to ask any questions! So far Prime has been great to us in terms of accommodations, education, and eating! There’s a lot of good people here from all over the country studying just like me. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: the staff are here to help! Sim lab class begins at 1700. Until then I’ll be studying the pre trip. Again, the important things to remember are this: don’t be late, don’t lie, DO NOT cheat the drug test, NO alcohol whatsoever, give yourself time for the CBT videos, and keep up with any and all paperwork you’re given. You’ll need $100 for a seating fee and $55 for your Missouri license and permit fees. Again, feel free to ask me anything! Good luck to anyone coming for the next class. You won’t regret coming here!

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Jay! Looking forward to this in March. All the the best to you going forward. Great attitude too! God bless & stay safe!

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Hey JO! Quick question on what clothing to pack. I’m a jeans & tee shirt kind of guy but since training is still part of the interview process, should I bring button down shirts & slacks too. Will definitely bring sweaters since I’ll be arriving in March. Thanks in advance!

Jay_Ohen's Comment
member avatar

Looking forward to seeing the two of you on the road, Misty and Reyn! As for your question, Reyn, you don’t have to dress nicely. Wear what is comfortable. The interview process mostly consists of showing up to class on time (early, remember that!) and showing eagerness to learn. There’s no need to dress nicely. Prime understands we’re living out of our duffel bags and suitcases but if you want to dress to the nines nobody will question it! I’ll update the journal as I can but right now I’m focused on studying pretrip and preparing for more training on the practice pad.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Looking forward to seeing the two of you on the road, Misty and Reyn! As for your question, Reyn, you don’t have to dress nicely. Wear what is comfortable. The interview process mostly consists of showing up to class on time (early, remember that!) and showing eagerness to learn. There’s no need to dress nicely. Prime understands we’re living out of our duffel bags and suitcases but if you want to dress to the nines nobody will question it! I’ll update the journal as I can but right now I’m focused on studying pretrip and preparing for more training on the practice pad.

Likewise Jay! Very inspiring to read your focus & determination. Am using this diary as a guide on how to progress & succeed throughout the orientation & training process. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to reading more of your experiences. God bless & stay safe.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bran009's Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much for this information! I'm seriously considering Prime and all this makes me feel even more excited, nervous but I can't wait.

Jay_Ohen's Comment
member avatar

Thanks to everyone for your feedback! Glad I was able to help others with any information. You won’t regret coming to Prime; I know I haven’t! Over the course of the weekend you’ll be getting calls from trainers. Always answer unknown numbers. Trainers often call from their personal cell phones. During PSD phase you may be assigned to a trainer in a different division. This is perfectly normal, and not a cause for concern since your first two to three weeks on the road are spent learning how to handle a large truck and trailer and not how to be a trucker, if that makes sense. I was assigned a trainer today in the reefer division although I signed up for flatbed. You’ll also be attending classes beginning at 0800 for the weekend and weekdays you spend waiting for a trainer. Don’t get discouraged! This is plenty of time to study your pretrip and possibly get some time on the practice pad. Again, don’t be late for these classes and make sure you show up. They do take roll call! Also worth noting is that your meal allowances end at breakfast time on the Monday after you complete the first week in PSD, or become void after your first dispatch. If you do not have funds for food then your badge is also a card that the company gives you a pay advance of $200 a week for living expenses. This money is not to be sent home for bills (although I don’t suppose they’d know, it would be hard to live on $50 for a week if you paid a $150 bill). I leave with my trainer tomorrow to go on the road for my first two to three weeks as a student driver. Again, if you’re thinking of coming to Prime do yourself a favor and call a recruiter. They’re all friendly and can answer any questions you may have regarding this possible career. Bran, Reyn, and Misty: I look forward to seeing you on the road soon! Best of luck in your journeys and if I can ever help in any way just ask!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
member avatar

Well written. Solid information. Prime should put a little extra on first check for your diary..

Sounds like you're well on your way. Get out there, have some fun and be safe!

Best of luck!

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