Steve's Prime Training Journal

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Steve Marshall's Comment
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Greyhound Bus

Well. I just now got on the Dirty Dog in Va Beach Va. Ready to embark on a 34 hour bus ride to Prime Inc in Springfield Mo. Lots of unsavory characters on the bus with me. A few families with young loud kids. Fortunately i have a set of noise canceling headphones. Helps drown out the noise a little. Have a few snacks. My laptop. Wifi and phone.

Goodbye Virginia Beach!!

Well made it to my first bus transfer in Richmond Va. So far so good. 2 hour layover. My brother lives 10 minutes away, so he's coming to pick me up and take me to breakfast 6 hours down. 28 to go. Bus is 3/4 full. So far I still have an empty seat next to me. 2 hours till the next stop. Might lose it. I think ill watch a movie now. Oh. On a side note. Just passed a Prime Truck

So. Its been 10 hours. Currently stopped in some po dunk town. Bus terminal is the size of a shed. No place to go and they made everybody get off the bus. Were all huddled in a crowd trying to stay warm. At least the smokers have their own huddle.

Its now 4:00 AM , 20 hours into this ride. 14 to go. Stuck in Nashville Tenn for an hour. The bus driver has the personality of a Rock. I just wanted to stay on the bus and sleep. but Oh No,,everybody must get off the bus and mill around the terminal like a herd of cattle waiting for slaughter. There's about 200 people in the terminal with about 50 seats. So I get me a soda and candy bar to pass the time.

8:00 am, CT,,changed time zones. In Memphis Tenn. And unfortunately there was no Elvis sighting. Her for another hour, and guess what, They made us get off the bus again. We got a new bus driver at the last stop. This time we got someone with some personality. She actually likes her job. Best way to describe her is a fire hydrant and a fire ball personalty. She serenaded us with her singing the past two hours, well, at least those of us sitting near the front and couldn't sleep. I tried to sleep but only managed a minute or two here and there. 25 hours into the trip and I am still fortunate enough to get a whole seat to myself. 9 hours to go..

Were close to little rock AK. Will change buses there. About 4 1/2 hours to go.

Well, What can go wrong, will go wrong, Yep, Murphy came and bit me right in the ass. I was to catch a connecting bus in Little rock AK, my bus was running a little behind schedule and arrived 5 minutes AFTER my connecting bus left.. So that left me standing there holding the bag, Literally. The next bus out of this stinking dump was not until 8:45 pm 9 hours later, with an arrival time of 6:00 am,,Dam, that adds 15 hours to my already 34 hour ride,,,o-well what can I do. I get the transfer tickets and grab something to eat. Still a ton of time on my hands , so I might as well turn a disaster into an opportunity. I have never been to Little Rock, Hey, maybe I will see Slick Willie. I get up with the dude handling luggage and ask him whats there to do or see in this hick town, while I'm doing that the ticket lady hollars at me across the terminal and asked where I was going again. I tell her and she says to see the driver of the bus outside. He tells me I can ride with him to Muskogee ( where ever that is) catch another transfer there and make it to Springfield by 11:00 pm Tonight. well heck, I can do that. I'd rather be moving then sitting still. I grab my crap and hop aboard. This adventure is far from over. lets see whats around the next corner. In the mean time. I have been living off vending machines since yesterday morning.

4:30 pm, should have been there an hours ago, but I digress....driver told me we were going to stop and there was going to be a Mcdonalds next door. Finally, I was thinking , something other than vending machine food. well, he got off the interstate and there it was , The Golden Arches, normally this wouldn't excite me, but being on a vending diet for 2 days will even make PETA crave a greasy burger. So, the Arches are getting closer and closer, then all of a sudden they .were in the rear view mirror. Talk about the agony of defeat. we were duped into believing a burger was within reach. So he continues to drive another 2 miles to the middle of no where and stops at a small rink e dink greyhound terminal. Once again another dismal excuse for a terminal. I asked about the mcdonalds,,he says, we had an emergency and need to survive the toilet...I cant believe we got gipped out of mickey D's for a broken pooper that nobody uses anyway..we shall press on. Finally back on the road again, 5:45pm, pooper repaired, Im thinking , ok, 2 miles down the road, McDonalds, but when he pulled out of the parking lot he turns in the opposite direction. WTF,he drives on for another 20 minutes,,Finally McDonalds.

645:pm, on the road, nearing my next(last) Transfer. If i can only get on this bus with no more technically difficulties the rest is Prime sweet Prime. 11:00 pm tentative..

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve Marshall's Comment
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Orientation

Well. Finally made it to motel at 12:30 am. Bed by 1:30. Thought I was gonna sleep in. Nope. Got a call at 7:00 am. Need to be in office to get early start. So. Quick shower. Now i have already completed mountains of paperwork and waiting on my turn for interview.

Well,,,,had my Interview and was almost sent home . it seems that if you have not quit or resigned from your current employer they will not allow you to attend training. Although I have completed my retirement papers and submitted them I am still technically employed until my offical retirement date of January 31st, 2013. I m currently on 4 months vacation until then. I went over this several times with my recruiter and she assured me it would be ok. I explained all this to the lady doing the interview but she was determined to send me home. I asked if there was someone else who could make an exception. She went to talk to her supervisor. When she returned she said I have good news, You can stay. Oh what a relief. everything completed for the day, so it seems, got my free lunch, belly now full, Simulator training at 4:00 today, I think I'll take a nap..

Well, today started at 7:00 am, looks like 64 in my class. I am so glad I arrived a day early, they handed out a mountain of paperwork and fortunately I completed it all yesterday. Had to pee in a cup, see the nurse and my Physical is at 1:00pm, Last night I completed the Simulator training. It was a lot of fun. Just be sure not to tell the instructor. Its just like my XBOX at home. He didn't care for that too much. ( Thanks Sly for getting me in trouble the first day), I'm having a good time so far. While sitting in the room to pee in the cup, overheard another character talking about how he is a true redneck and all to some other hillbilly. He said he had to cut his hair before attending. I so much wanted to ask him if it was a mullet. well, time to go see the Doc.

Made it thru day 1 unscathed. Physical complete, All Sim training complete, All Computer Based Training complete. Class started at 7:00 am, ended at 7:00 pm, walked to Wally World and picked up a few things I will need once im with the trainer , Sleeping bag and pillow were priority. Day 2 with no Pepsi. Pretrip training in the morning. I pity the nes that showed up without a permit

I finished all my simm and computer training , I found myself helping out others in the class already. Will probably be several new members to TT, I have been spreading the Truth about Trucking Truth.

Today was all about the pretrip test. The instructor flew thru the material. No time to take notes and pay attention to what she was saying. Fortunately, I already covered the material here so its still pretty fresh in the brain. What I have learned here is this. They give you a schedule to follow and other that a few things that are time specific, your on your own here to get the classes out of the way. I'm having a good time so far, not to much stress. I saw a few in our class with bags packed waiting for the shuttle to take them home. Kind of sad, but they should have been more prepared. This ain't no cake-walk.

Well, day four, or maybe its 3, im really not sure. All the days seem to be running together. This morning was mostly insurance stuff. About as dry as the desert. could hardly keep my eyes open, especially since I don't need it, so I just sat there quietly. then there was the security brief,. after lunch we do more pretrip stuff in the parking lot and computer training after dinner. Did I mention earlier that I am so glad I arrived a day early. I am so far ahead of everybody else. Class size really hasn't gotten much smaller as I thought it would. started with 64, I counted 49 in class today. there are still several that haven't gotten their permit yet. Sorry for their luck. Hope to meet up with my trainer either tonight or tomorrow. then off and running...

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.

Steve Marshall's Comment
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Training

I'm an offical student driver now. Made it thru orientation week. we lost several today that didn't complete their Permit requirements. I met my CDL trainer today. He's a super nice guy, has an excellent sense of humor but also has a very serious side when it comes to safety. I think were going to get along fine. He took me out in his truck right after we met and within 20 minutes I was driving. It was an awesome feeling.

We drove around an industrial area Bobtailing just so I could get the feel of power I was in control of. After what seemed like only 30 minutes we went back to the terminal and picked up a trailer.What a big difference it was pulling a trailer but still tons of fun. I think I'm already addicted. So I got my official student ID card and I have already been told by a very good friend that I still look like a Cop in my picture. What do you think. Tomorrow we will work on the backing range for a few hours then get a load and head out of town. Im so excited....last night in the Motel-He11.

Prime inc truck driver ID card

Well, today we covered the pretrip in the morning while waiting on a spot on the backing pad. I did fairly well for the first try. Then he showed me what to do on the Backing pad, we did straight line backing, Offset alley backing and 90* alley dock. I did each 3 times, hit NO Cones, and only one pull up. I hate to pat my self on the back, ( cause that would be just wrong) But I feel like I have been doing this all my life.

After my trainer saw what I was doing backing, he said (you got this) lets go for a drive. We went back to the industrial park and after a few laps around, he directed me to take it up on the interstate , WHAT A FEELING !!, we got a message on the qualcom that we had a load, so we headed back to the terminal, got our assignment. FT Worth Texas, were heading out first thing in the morning. I'm ready to get rolling, This is a blast so far. Oh, by the way, Did I mention I have an awesome Trainer (Frank)

Prime truck driver standing in front of his Freightliner truck

Got my first real world driving experience today. We have a load of Pumpkin Pies going to Dallas. I drove for 2-1/2 hours. Didn't kill anybody, Didn't hit anything, and kept it between the lines (most of the time) , My biggest problem seems to be downshifting from the higher gears 10 to 5th . Other than that I would like to think I got this, Still so much to learn and experience to be gained. One day at a time. Presently at TS for the night, I think were somewhere near the Texas boarder cause I saw a dead armadillo on the side of the road.

In Dallas Texas today. I didn't get to drive yet today. He wants me to get a little more practice before I get into to much heavy traffic, and believe me, there is plenty of that here, which is compounded by all the major road construction here too. the roads are terrible. were delivering a load of Pumpkin Pies, Just in time for the holidays. So we made it to our receiver 6 hours early. Called ahead and the guy says just let the gate guard know your here. So we get to the gate and meet up with this BIG toothless woman. She was the unfriendly sort. Looked as if she has been sampling all the product. She must have been on some power trip and told us to comeback in 6 hours and we were not delivering early. She was not the type you want to argue with.

She was in charge and that was that. So, we decide to go to the closest TS and take a shower. Get there and the lot is packed 11:00 am and no place to park, trucks circling the lot like vultures looking for prey. no chance anytime soon. head back out on the interstate, 25 miles down the road, find another place. My first TS shower, wasn't sure what to expect. got my ticket, waited about 30 mins for my turn. and much to my surprise, this place was super clean, better than most hotel restrooms I have been in. I'm not foolish enough to believe that all TS will be like that , but considering it was my first I was impressed. Imagine that , being impressed by a TS bathroom, who woulda thought. Had lunch and back at the receiver now hoping to unload pies and get out of town.

Yesterday was good. Had 2:00 am live load. Slept for 2 hours then I drove from Dallas to Memphis. Then got some. much needed sleep. I'm learning a lot. Rolling through rush hour traffic in Nashville now. Will be driving soon to hickory NC.

The people in this Forum on Trucking Truth are what kept me motivated while I waited ( Impatiently Smiley ) for 10 months while I finished up my other career. I give many thanks to all the people here and especially to Brett and Mike for this awesome site the fantastic CDL course here. Now its time to return the favor by documenting my journey for all the other noobs and wannabees, just like I was ( and still am )

Today I drove from Nashville to the closest TS near or drop at Hickory NC, total of 300 miles, not far but went thru the Tennessee River gourge. I made it without driving off the mountain. was pretty exciting. we arrived at the TS with exactly 10 hours before we need to leave at 2:30 am to the drop zone, drop off half a load, the beat feet to near Bristol Va, by noon for the 2nd half. Been long days so far, but still living the dream.

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

I am adjusting to the trucker lifestyle rather rapidly. In the past few days we have had a few middle of the night deliveries tight time lines. This morning for example we had a load that delivered only 4 pallets at 3:30 am in NC and the remainder of the load went to VA. that load had a 9:00 am time. well, 5-1/2 hours seem like plenty of time to drive the 195 miles to 2nd drop, problem it took 2 hours to get 4 pallets off the truck, had to put the hammer down to make it, we arrived at 9:00 on the dot , no late service failure, was close. I didn't get to drive since we had the hammer down, but once all off loading was done, we went to Petro TS, parking lot was very empty, so I practiced 45 degree backing . took several tries, but I'm getting the hang of it.

Haven't had any time for sight seeing. Today was first time we had a chance to breathe since Sunday. I love the lifestyle. Been practicing my pre trip every day, I enjoy Talking to my girlfriend on the phone every day which helps out tremendously and I haven't had any distractions to learning and staying focused on what I need to do. Got a new assignment going west again, 1200 miles, hope to get plenty of driving in. Still gotta get used to the accelerator. Its different that in a car and I have a tendency to wanna keep pushing it down, Not allowed to use the cruise till I can keep a steady pace. Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement once again.

Didn't get a whole lot of driving in today, maybe 2 hours, we picked up a load of tomato sauce. with fuel, we are at max gross weight. rolling up and down the hills I could certainly feel the difference from the last two loads which were much lighter. we stopped at a Loves TS and because of where we parked I had to do a straight line back, in the dark for a distance of about 300 feet. My first backing under real life situation. I did it the first time, perfectly with no pull up, about 1050 miles to San Antonio, he says I will do all the driving. Sweet.

Drove 500 miles today , My butt's sore, gotta get used to that, nothing unusual really except had a car cut right in front of me to make an exit at 55 mph. Had to slam on the brakes. Trainer gave me good marks for quick action and not jerking the wheel, which could have been very bad ( so he says ). Near Baton Rogue tonight. San Antonio tomorrow.

Good Morning All, yesterday was much like the day before, 500 miles again, butt sore again. Gotta get used to that. On a bright note, I'm now allowed to use the cruise control now. We arrived in San Antonio last night, but our drop off appt isn't until 8:00 pm tonight. we stopped at a rest stop on I-10 at the Texas /Louisiana border and took a walk out on the pier that walks out into the swamp. was a calming experience. a nice break from driving. Since we have time this morning were having the truck and APU serviced. Im glad were in Texas and not the North East today.

Well, another 567 miles today, I think its been over 2000 miles in my first week so far. I have been cranking out the miles so far. I should be ready to test out for my CDL next week, If you read this entire Thread you might remember my mishap on the gray hound bus in Little Rock. Well, it must be fate because here we sit, just outside little rock for the 2nd time in the past few days. I cant even remember what day it is. they all seem to be running together.

The big highlight for today was actually very late last night. while waiting at a HUGE grocery distribution warehouse I was watching the lumpers race around on their forklifts at high speed, loading and unloading. There must have been 20 or more all in the same area . It was amazing they didn't run into each other, It was like a choreographed dance. It was almost magical. well maybe not , but it was still pretty cool. I would like to take this time to give a special Thanks to my girlfriend for all of her support and phone calls. She is pretty special, I hope she realizes thank, Thanks Babe !

Been driving the miles. arrived late last night just outside of Kansas City, waiting to unload a bunch of turkeys so all of you can have one by Thanksgiving. I only need 14 more hours of drive time before I can test out for my CDL. a little nervous but also excited. Probably will head back to Prime terminal Sunday and spend a day or two on the backing pad to hone down my skills and hopefully test on Wednesday. Wish me luck.

I love the fast paced approach that Prime has. They cut out all the BS and put you with a trainer one on one. Its a no nonsense way to approach training. It works for me, but probably is not the best for everybody. I really had no unexpected out of pocket expenses, but I did elect to pay the difference between a private room and a shared room with a stranger. cost me an extra $ 75.00 for 4 nights. food was free the first 5 days at the cafeteria, it was good and plentiful. if you wanted something besides breakfast lunch and dinner, that was extra, but i managed to do with out. The cafeteria did allow you to get free coffee and tea through out the day though. i walked over to Walmart and bought a pillow and sleeping bag cause i didn't want to worry about lugging that on the greyhound Limo service.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Pay during orientation is a big fat zero and pay during your PSD (Prime student Driver) is also a big fat zero. I was with my PSD instructor for 2 weeks and 2 days, finished up today actually. I will test out for my CDL on Wednesday, after that I will actually get a conditional offer from Prime and be paid $600.00 per week or .12 cents a mile which ever is greater while I am with my TNT trainer,( kind of like on the job training) That lasts for a period of 30,000 miles ( about 6-8 weeks depending on how much your running.

Not sure where to begin. These past few days have been nothing but a blur, been pushing my 11 everyday with only a 10 in between. Been so busy, haven't had a shower since Tuesday, and today is Sunday. PHEW. we have hauled pumpkin pies, turkeys, Bacon, today was beef brisket and a few days ago a HIGH Value Load, not supposed to talk about it, but since its after the fact, its not that big a deal, was pretty cool knowing i was hauling several million dollars worth of crap. Was in Elk City Oklahoma yesterday and just missed seeing a truck roll by a few minutes.

Guy came down the off ramp too fast and fishtailed the rear end which pulled him down the embankment. Had to stop and take a photo to share. just goes to show you , you can never be to slow around them corners.. I completed my required hours today and we headed back to Springfield Terminal. for the next two days I will practice on the backing pad, and some city driving and them test out for my CDL on Wednesday. Here is what I saw on the road today, really frightening.

overturned tractor trailer and big rig tow truckCDL Test Time!

Well, tomorrow is the BIG day, I test for my CDL first thing in the morning. Just spent the past few hours in the dark working on the backing pad. Disappointing news for my trainer today, He went to take his annual DOT physical. By all standards he passed, however the doc said his BMI was too high and used that criteria only to say he has sleep apneia. Now he has to do the sleep study and more than likely have to wear one of those CPAP machines. Wish me luck tomorrow and also say a prayer for my trainer.

I passed all three test today. I got my CDL! Trifecta Baby!

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

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.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

TNT Training with Ernie

Well, its only been 4 days since I got the coveted CDL. I am with my TNT trainer now, everybody here knows him as Ernie. I am his first trainee and so far student and trainer are getting along great. He runs a tight ship, which is fine with me. This week were only running super solo till he gets enough confidence in my abilities not to kill him while he's sleeping. I must be doing something right because the very first day he went back and took an hour nap while I was driving and ever since he takes longer breaks in the back. In only 4 days we have logged 2500 miles. need 30,000 to upgrade to solo.

We currently have a load of french fries going from Wisconsin to Maryland, then I get to go home for a few days. After the home time we will go as a team until I complete the required miles. I've seen some pretty cool stuff so far and having a good time along the way. A few friends I made at orientation are still with their first trainer, so I feel very fortunate to have had my trainers lined up ahead of time and started running hard right out of the gate.

Quick update, On my way home for first time in a month. Started this Journey on October 13th and everyone knows how that started. well going home seems to be the same story. I'm only 25 miles from home but on the wrong side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. They have level 2 wind restrictions, which means we cant cross. So we have 2 choices, Sit and wait it out or drive another 3-4 hours to go around. O-well. Life on the road, right?

Ok, So we waited for 2 hours for the winds to die down, there was no word yet on how long it could take so we decided to make a run back north around Washington DC. As luck would have it, just as we were about to start the motor to leave, the Bridge Tunnel police came into the parking lot to let all the truckers know it was safe to pass now. We still had to fill the refer with fuel and drop the trailer at another location, so Add another 2-3 hours to a 20 minute trip anyway, but it has to be done. So we end up at Ernie's house , park the truck , load my crap in his car and now his car wont start. after a futile effort to jump start the car, I load my crap back in his truck and he bob tails me home.

I get a little rest, shower and get up early the next morning to go to DMV to transfer my Missouri CDL to a Virginia CDL. I arrive early enough because I know what its like going to the DMV. I'm sure my expectations wont be exceeded. I finally get my chance to talk to the lady at the desk, she begins barking out orders like I was a child, Birth certificate- Check, Passport- Check, Proof of residency- Check, O- what a minute, she wants 2 of those things. So I say, I have my Virginia vehicle registration out in the car, I'll go get it. She says that's not good enough "seriously" Your the ones who issuied it to me, how can it not be good enough. Nope, need utility bill, bank statement, something like that. Bank is a lot closer than going home, so off to the bank I go, get printed statement, go back to DMV. show papers to lady, get my number and wait my turn.

An hour later I finally get called, talk to a new lady, who also likes to bark orders,,,(must be part of their training) After inspecting all my documents (she must have had prior experience in KGB) she informs me that my Missouri CDL is only 7 days old ( no Duh, I knew that) and needs to be at least 60 days old before I can transfer it. However Virginia law requires that you must obtain a Virginia drivers license within 30 days of making residence in Va. Sounds like a catch -22. I left the DMV frustrated, what a big waste of time, So I was thinking well, maybe this lady didn't really know what she was talking about so I drive across town to another DMV and wouldn't you know it,,,SAME OL STORY there too. O-well, i will have to wait till early January to Transfer. On a bright note. I got a phone call today that my TWIC card was approved and ready for pick up. Leaving early tomorrow morning to head back out. was only 2 days at home, but I'm ready to go again. we will start team driving tomorrow, so I should start raking up the miles quickly and my training will be over that much sooner.

well, time for another update : After my 2 days at home I met up with my trainer at his house Friday morning at 7:00 am we went and had breakfast at IHOP, figured we had some time before getting our next load assignment. After eating no assignment yet, so we bobtail to walmart to stock up on food for the truck, still nothing so we go to Verizon store so I can get a case for my phone. Still nothing. A few messages to FM , and by noon we got an assignment. Were driving 5 hours west to pick up an empty trailer , only to drive back 4 1/2 hours to end up at same place we dropped off trailer when we went home on Tuesday.

So we make it to the empty trailer by 5:30 pm, and guess what. It wasn't so empty after all, it was full of product, parked at the street and unlocked. easy pickens for unsavory types. Guess what, receiving dept closed at 3:30 so there was nobody there to talk to except Barney Fife. He was clueless. Sent a few messages to FM about the not so empty trailer we were to pick up. after several hours of twiddling our thumbs we end up taking another empty trailer at the loading dock. (I wonder if they will even know its missing) Due to the wasted time our appointment to the next location was changed to 6:00am the next morning.

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Fm:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

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.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

I drive most of the way back and end up staying the night at a TS. so we arrive at 5:30am because early is on time, on time is late and late is not acceptable. So load is not ready and the underpaid guard tells us to park on the street and takes our phone number. says they will call us when we are ready to load. Keep in mind, I am only 30 mins from home at this location, So, we wait, and wait and wait some more. by the time we get loaded 14 hours later its nearly 8:00 pm,On the bright side, our load is taking us from the East coast to the West coast. 2800 miles. My first time at true team driving. Looking forward to it. see you on the west coast.

Well, made it to the west coast in near record time, Smokey and the Bandit aint got nothing on us.

was fairly uneventful ride but the scenery along the way was spectacular. Made it to Washington to Walmart DC, Unloading was very quick and before you know it, we had another assignment back to the east coast. were more than halfway there with plenty of time to spare so we are taking a 34 hr reset here in wild and wonderful Nebraska, Celebrated Turkey day here in style, did laundry and a fresh shower. ( getting them pretty regular now).

Only mishap along the way was somewhere I don't even remember, I was driving. Ernie was sleeping. about one or so in the morning. crossed a state border. the weigh sign indicated it was open, no green light on the prepass. sign says all trucks exit next right. So I get off, and go down the hill, stop light was there, so I figured I must have gotten off the exit just prior to the weigh station. At the stop light I go across the street and get right back on the interstate thinking ok, weigh station is just ahead, guess what, no station. Hmmm, WTF where did it go. I kept looking in my rear view for smokey to come chase me down, but nothing, was I dreaming the whole thing, didn't think so. So once Ernie woke up, I told him about it. He says it was a port of entry and I was supposed to turn right at the bottom of the hill,,,Hmmmm. O-well, hope I dont get busted down the road for that one.. Its been a blast so far. 8500 miles in less than 2 weeks and the first week was going as solo, now were driving team.

Its been a few day's since my last update. Normally update on my laptop but haven't had a good enough signal to connect thru my phone. Only weak 3G service. So I'm relegated to update on my phone. Since we left out of no wheres ville after Thanksgiving we delivered to Pennsylvania. After un loading we dead headed a few hundred miles to Fostoria Ohio. Load was supposed to be ready so we arrived super early in the morning.

Shipper says its not ready go park and wait. Well. That's what we truckers are good at doing. Waiting! So we wait and wait and wait some more. After many hours we go check and see what the heck is going on. Oh. Forgot to mention only facilities was a stinky outhouse. So. Underpaid person in charge says computer servers crashed. All data lost. Unknown how long till fixed. Its Sunday. Need computer geek to show up. Replace server recover lost data. Well we call FM. Tell him to take us off this load. Give us something else. We head back to TS 30 mins away and wait. Well. Next morning we get our new assignment. Back to Fostoria. Pick up same load. Computers got back on line by midnight. Tonight were waiting to be unloaded at Walmart DC in Kentucky then getting load taking me home for the weekend.

Had some hometime this past weekend. was nice to be home, took care of a little needed business there. Then headed back out on Monday morning. we got a late load assignment that could have been handled by a solo operator but were bringing home the BACON, so to speak. since our load is a bunch of Bacon. More of the same, hurry up and wait. have 12,000 of my 30,000 miles so far before my upgrade. everything seems to be going great. Miss my girl already. Hope she knows that.

Another update.over 15K miles now so training is halfway over. we have been getting some sweet runs lately delivering FedEx from PA to Dallas, Then Dallas to NJ and now another to parts unknown mid west. there very quick but long runs, very fast turn around, no hurry up and wait like it has been. Having a great time so far.

Well, Here's a new twist to the hurry up and wait game. After the sweet FedEx runs we had were back to hauling chicken parts. So we arrive at The Tyson Food plant at Noon like our appointment called for. after checking in with the underpaid security guard, ( who must be celebrating Christmas in her own style by having bright red hair) we go to the receiving office. the guy in charge tells us to just drop the trailer and come back at 6:00 pm and it will be ready. OK, so we go to the closest TS and have lunch and chill.

We arrive back early at 5:30 and the trailer is right where we left it, go figure!, so the yard dog tells us to hook up and back into door #3, (I should have been looking for Monty Hall, kinda feels like lets make a deal) I wish I had picked Door #4. So while were endlessly waiting two other trucks back into door #4 get loaded and leave, and they haven't even started loading us yet. WTF, so I go inside and the girl behind the glass is busy filing her nails, I asked what the hold up was, we were backed into the dock for 3 hours by now.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

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.
Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Another flunkie chimes in and says your load requires a USDA inspector.OK, where is he then. I'm informed it shouldn't be too much longer. I go back to my man cave and just like magic I feel the rumblings of fork lifts entering my rear. Rear of trailer that is. So we get loaded, USDA guy gives his seal of approval and he puts the seal on the back door. Great, we finish up paperwork and head to the TS to get weighed. were heading to California so we know the pin placement on tandems max is #6, so we set the pin, weigh out and were 60 lbs over on the rear. we head back to the chicken plant and guess what, USDA dude is gone, there not allowed to break the seal.

Their guy calls somebody who calls somebody and guess what USDA inspector wont be back till Thursday (today is Tuesday). we call our on duty Fleet manager who basically passes the buck and says to wait till the am and see what or regular FM says. well , on the bright side, I will get a good night sleep without the truck moving and bouncing around. So, morning comes, FM is contacted and he says, its our call, we can take it as is, or wait another day. we decide to roll the dice. we know that we can move the rear tandems to make it legal until we hit California. Then well just run the refer on half a tank of fuel so hopefully we'll be ok. You would think 60 lbs isn't that much over but why take the chance and keep your record clean right?

Nearly 2/3 done with training. Seems like I have been out here for months. Oh Yeah, it has been 2-1/2 months so far. Just completed our latest assignment under the cloak of darkness. Top Secret load from California to just north of Chicago. The kind of stuff they make movies about. Had my first experience with driving in snow. I didn't think it was too bad but everybody was driving 35 mph on the interstate for about 2 hours, then just as quick as the snow started , it was gone. I am going home for a few days at Christmas then back at it and hope to complete training by mid January.

well, after a brief visit at home for Christmas I'm back at it. Our first load took us from the east coast to the west coast. 3,300 miles. were currently backed into the receivers in Pico Reveria , California. Obviously Shippers don't always know what their doing. This is a two stop pick up and two stop delivery. were at the first delivery and discovered that it was loaded wrong and everything is all mixed up.

Everything has to be removed, sorted out and then reloaded. good thing we have plenty of time before our next delivery. we had a stop near Chicago prior to this one For the second half of the load, but we have been running non stop since we left. ran thru all kinds of weather to get here but we made it safely. I now have 24K miles towards my 30 K before they let me loose. I'm looking forward to that. Maybe another week or two, depending on the miles we get. 2 more runs like this one and I'm there.

Graduated!!

Great News. I completed my training. I am currently back at the terminal in sprawling downtown Springfield Mo. Staying at the 5 Star Campus Inn. Have a few upgrade classes then should be on my own truck Solo by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Well, today is Monday, Been back at the terminal since Thursday. Completed the SMITH system class (Basically powers of observation ) took my finial driving test on the simulator ( passed ) and took a class today on maintenance. Have 20 computer based training classes to take over the next few days. Just chilling at the Five Star Campus Slums . ( actually, not too bad) the food is digestible and free. There's about 25 of us that are here for upgrades. 16 of them are going lease and the rest company. good luck to those Lease guys. I'm sticking to company. As luck would have it, SLY48 rolled in here late Saturday night for his upgrade too. so we are in the same class. we have been hanging out a lot. There are rumors around that there might not be enough Trucks so may have to wait a little to get one, I hope not, but we will see.

So, after spending much of the day in the computer lab taking online classes, Mark (SLY48) and myself were hungry. we didn't want the pig slop served here at the motel so we decided to take a walk down the street to a place called Buckingham Smokehouse BBQ. Seemed like a good pace to eat. parking lot was rather empty considering it was 5:30 pm. We walk in an notice that it was smokey inside. ( truly a smoke house restaurant.

They told us they had a little problem but it was taken care of and we were welcome to stay if we didn't mind the smoke. Well, it wasn't really that bad, so we stayed, ordered our food and ate most of it , when all of a sudden we were told we had to leave cause the place was on fire. I was basically finished and Mark got a to go box for what was left of his dinner. They were kind enough to not charge us for the meal and as we were walking out the front door 4 fire engines showed up and the fire chief. I'll check in the morning if it burned to the ground.

Well, a bit of good news of sorts. instead of sitting around the terminal for a week waiting on a truck, I will be getting a rental car in the morning along with 4 other drivers and head to Salt Lake City Utah (1200 miles) to pick up some trucks. So looks like I will be getting a truck pretty soon. Its starting to feel real now. I'm excited.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

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.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Well, I made it to Salt lake city Utah.I arrived at 4:00 am and of course there was nobody that knew anything about anything. we were all very tired from the long drive so we went and got a hotel room. After getting a few hours of sleep Mark and I went back to the Terminal to get our trucks. Mark was handed the keys to a 2013 Freight liner with 38K miles on it. I on the other hand got the keys to a 2010 Freight liner that had over 300K miles.

It stunk and was a big bucket of bolts. It was literally a piece of crap. after my inspection I learned that I will only be driving it back to Primes Terminal in Springfield MO so it can be sold in auction. I breathed a sigh of relief. I heard from unreliable sources that as a consolation prize for shuttling this clunker back to the barn I will get a brand new truck when and if I make it back. I took the truck through outbound inspection because there was a check engine light on. it seems there is something wrong with the accelerator module. good to find that out before I leave out on my first solo adventure with this piece of junk. Gonna have to be repaired by Freight liner, so here I sit in the hotel another night. hope to have it fixed and a load assigned by tomorrow afternoon.

Okay, so my first day Solo. Here's how it went. I'm in Idaho but it may as well be Alaska. I wake up at DADs truck stop.its minus 5 degrees with wind chill somewhere near minus 30. I still have an hour before my 10 hours are up. I'm still driving the clunker back to the terminal but got to pick up a load of potato's; first . Well the windows and mirrors were so dirty you could hardly see thru them. I go inside and buy some windex and paper towels. As soon as i spray it on the window it ices up. Now what do I do. No ice scraper. Credit card seems to work just fine. So Forget cleaning windows and grab a biscuit and head out on my maiden voyage. I arrived at shippers on time and unscathed. They want me to scale empty before getting my spuds.

As I'm halfway on their scale the red coil air line bursts and now I'm stuck on their scale. I take a look at the air line and it was as brittle as an egg shell. Not even McGuyver could have fixed this. I called my FM and road assist and wait an hour. Meanwhile the shipper is getting ****ed that I'm blocking his scale. Of course he has no yard dog that could move my trailer if i unhooked. So i find out there is a trailer repair shop a few miles away and get a ride there. Purchase a new airline and fix it myself. . Never heard from road assist. Kinda ****ed me off but I got my potatoes and headed down the road. Hope tomorrow is a better day. Still 1100 miles to the terminal. Hope this clunker makes it. It would have been bad news if that air line burst while driving.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Fm:

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.
Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Got My Truck!

I got my Truck today. A 2014 Freightliner Cascadia light weight. It'll do!

Its in the shop getting prepped today and installing the APU so I still dont have it yet officially even though its assigned to me. I'll take some inside pictures once there done and before I load all my crap in it.

Green Prime Inc tractor at a Prime terminal

well, its been 24 hours since they assigned me my truck, and so far all have gotten to do is look at it. First they had to prep it and add the quallcom, and a few other things. This morning its in the APU shop having an APU installed, I talked to the mechanic this morning at 7:00 am. He said it would be ready by 5:00 pm, so I go over at 4:30 to check on it. Its nowhere near being ready. He says it might be tomorrow afternoon now.

Talk about dangling a carrot in front of your nose. And after the APU is installed it goes to the detail shop to get spiffed up and have a chain rack installed. again, another delay. Thank goodness I held on to the keys to the old junker I brought back. I could have stayed at the campus slums they have for students but then I would have to lug all my crap around and I'm here to tell you, 4 bags of chains and cables arent the lightest thing to be moving around. I already have a pretrip load that will be taking me home after I make the delivery. I have some unfinished business with the police dept to take care of this week. I finally will Retire.

I finally moved into my new truck today, but not without its headaches. After arriving back from Salt Lake City on Thursday I was hoping to jump right in with both feet. I was assigned my new truck on Friday, but it had to be prepped. Then it had to have an APU installed. The mechanic that was installing it must have had a chip on his shoulder and hated his job because he barely did anything to it during the 12 hours he worked on it.

so last night after he left I walked over to the shop and the night guy was there. He was about as nice as they come. he invited me to stay and watch and he would answer any questions had. well, I stayed until midnight but was getting tired so I went back to the junker and laid down for a bit, I woke up at 4:00 am and went back over to the shop. He was still working on it. I cant figure out why, but they installed a used APU on a brand new truck. Go figure. So anyway, he was due to get off at 5:00 am, but he stayed on his own time until 6:30 to get it finished. I was quite impressed. Only problem was the factory installed bunk heater was missing the fuel pump. How could that be.

Its a factory installed item. Mechanic says I need to take it to Freightliner dealer to have them install it. OK, I go to detail shop, Have chain rack installed first. Dam, those bags of chains are heavy. I check with road assist, they call dealer and they say bring it in. By now, it's 8:30 am on Sunday . dealer open on Sundays, Hmmm, So, I drive it to dealer only 10 minutes away. Of course, they say, ( our computers are down ) no way to check and see if we have the part. I'm thinking, Just carry your lazy ass down the parts isle and look. But I guess that's not how it's done anymore. So I leave the truck there, catch a ride on the shuttle back to the terminal. I immediately go to the parts counter to check on the fuel pump. Of course they had it, the parts guy laid his hands on it and showed it to me in less than 30 seconds. Like a magic trick. But since its a brand new truck its a dealer issue.. BULL,,,So, i go lay down and take a 30 minute nap. started thinking.

Why cant they fix it here and just charge the dealer. I walk over to road assist and the wheel started squeaking. apparently it squeaked enough that they put a little grease on it and I hurried back over to dealer, brought the truck back and had it fixed in our shop. Took all of 20 minutes. So now I had the task of moving out of the junker into my shinny new truck. I returned said junker to the Truck shop and commenced to organize everything. I now feel like this is my home away from home. The journey to get here has been long and arduous but also has been quite fulfilling. I would like to thank everyone on Trucking Truth and my loyal followers that have followed me along this journey. Although this will be my final entry on this thread it is just the beginning of a new journey.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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