Dakota's Prime Inc. Diary

Topic 22225 | Page 5

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INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, turtle! We’re stopping in Amarillo for tonight. I drove almost three hours and wanted to keep going but he said I have all the time in the world to drive tomorrow and to just take it easy today, so that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m just so hyped up that I’m not tired yet. Currently trying to find something neat to do while I wait to go to sleep.

Congrats and welcome to Prime. I've neglected to follow the diaries lately, so this one got by me till now. You're probably on the way to Nevada by now, so just know that another Primate is following along with you. I'm in the flatbed division.

Definitely keep us updated and ask any questions when needed. Good Luck!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Just finished reading this. Like Turtle, I too have been neglecting this section. I’m in TNT with an awesome trainer & FM. Racked up close to 13-14K miles. Halfway to my 30K goal before upgrading to solo.

If I can suggest two things: 1) Try to get as much local driving as possible while in PSD. I understand it’s difficult with some loads but it’ll help raise your confidence for the actual road test. 2) Ask your trainer to let you back as much as possible too.

Try to make errors in the backing to understand what are the limitations & how to correct the problems should they arise in the future. Your trainer may have his own system or formula on how he teaches but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I can explain further if you need me to. I failed my backing & road tests twice each before passing on both my last tries. Congrats on your progress & keeping your focus, be patient with yourself & listen to your trainer. The importance of what he/she says may not be apparent right away but it will make sense with time. Also, don’t be in too muc of hurry to learn. Let the task at hand sink in. The muscle memory will grow at its own pace. My FM says that most of his drivers screw up when their moving to fast because they miss a simple sr basic step necessary to get the job done.

Stay safe & continued success !!

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.

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.

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.

INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

Wowza guys. I’m sorry I’ve neglected this. I’ve been driving and sleeping mostly. Here’s a quick update. From Nevada we went to California, then I believe Idaho to New Jersey. I got quite a bit of local driving in NJ and that was a trip. I have backed a total of 4 times I think.

Here’s where it gets messy. We picked up a load in NJ and my trainer wanted me to try backing into the dock by myself, keep in mind this is my fourth time. I want to try it, and I’m nervous as I should be. I tried my best to set it up and was backing with the wheel turned hard left. I was waiting to find my “home” before I whipped the wheel back around, but as I was focused intently on the back of the trailer and looking for my spot, I (very slowly) hit the trailer with the tractor. I stopped and wowza was he angry. Understandably so. Luckily it didn’t crack or break anything, but the fin (I think that’s what it’s called) is slightly bent. To my understanding Prime will cover the insurance to get it fixed. But on the other hand he wasn’t in the truck with me or even standing to the drivers side of the truck to correct me if I messed up. I’m really conflicted about it. I feel horrible but I also feel like he’s holding this major grudge towards me now. I drove a little over 7 hours today and he didn’t really speak a word to me. We got to Walmart and he said he’d meet me back in the truck whenever. So we went our separate ways.

I’ve felt this really bad tension for awhile now. I tried speaking with him about it a few days ago because when I attempt something new or maybe I don’t quite understand what he’s asking he visibly and audibly gets very irritated. I asked him the other day when he was in an especially irritable mood if something was up. I told him that I understand sometimes things are irritating or frustrating but that his bad mood was negatively affecting mine and my ability to concentrate on driving. He responded with “yeah I’m in a “fxxxxxx” ****ed off mood, drive.” Then silence for most of the drive.

Another example was my first back attempt, he had me pull up and try to straight back. I was having a little difficulty getting it wrapped around my head which way to turn the steering wheel in relation to my trailer. My head knew it, but I couldn’t get my muscles to cooperate in time because I was panicking every wrong move I made he would get more irritated with me because I was “making it harder than it needs to be.”

When we spoke about me getting anxious because of him getting angry with me he told me it’s because I “don’t listen” and that if I still fail to do so back in SpriMo for my license test he’ll drop me as a student and “that would be the second trainer you’ve gone through.” To me, that comes off as a threat but I’m not sure how it looks from the outside. And I get that sometimes I’d screw up and it’s very expensive equipment but he also told me to pull into this parking space at a shipper , and me thinking we were going to attempt a back for my second time started to pull up to the side and he cursed and hit his papers on the dash because I “cant follow simple directions”. I don’t know. Maybe it is me?

I give him credit because I know this isn’t easy to do and I’ve learned quite a bit about driving, but I constantly feel like I’m walking on eggshells. Im trying my hardest to stick it out I know this isnt supposed to be easy.

Thanks again guys. I’m really not trying to bad mouth him but I’m at my tipping point here. I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to be in a truck with him for my TNT phase. Is it an option to switch trainers at that point??

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.

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.

INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, splitter! Honestly man, if I make an error while backing my trainer gets borderline irate. He tells me what to do as it happens and I just try to keep up as best I can while trying to understand what’s happening.

Just finished reading this. Like Turtle, I too have been neglecting this section. I’m in TNT with an awesome trainer & FM. Racked up close to 13-14K miles. Halfway to my 30K goal before upgrading to solo.

If I can suggest two things: 1) Try to get as much local driving as possible while in PSD. I understand it’s difficult with some loads but it’ll help raise your confidence for the actual road test. 2) Ask your trainer to let you back as much as possible too.

Try to make errors in the backing to understand what are the limitations & how to correct the problems should they arise in the future. Your trainer may have his own system or formula on how he teaches but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I can explain further if you need me to. I failed my backing & road tests twice each before passing on both my last tries. Congrats on your progress & keeping your focus, be patient with yourself & listen to your trainer. The importance of what he/she says may not be apparent right away but it will make sense with time. Also, don’t be in too muc of hurry to learn. Let the task at hand sink in. The muscle memory will grow at its own pace. My FM says that most of his drivers screw up when their moving to fast because they miss a simple sr basic step necessary to get the job done.

Stay safe & continued success !!

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.

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.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

INIKiTS as a TnT at Prime, i can tell you a few things...

1) the prime insurance pays for any damages, if he is a lease op he pays a deductible. He accepted that responsibility as a trainer. he will get over it.

2) YES you can switch to a different TnT trainer and omce back in Sprimo you can even ask for extra help from Dave, Richard or Brett at the pad. They are awesome.

3) I guarantee he has complaints against him. my FM told me he has a trainer who is miserable however he gives tons of info and creates good drivers.

4) once in sprimo, tell him if he wants to drop you to go ahead. he wont get the bonus for you testing

5) screw him. tune him out and do what you have to do.

my email is in my profile. ill help.

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.

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.

INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

Rainy,

Thank you, sincerely. I keep feeling like maybe it’s just me being soft or something, but his attitude can just get to me. I could see him turning out good drivers just not 100% on board with his methods, maybe. When we had the conversation about him making me anxious he told me “My last four students have trifectad, I know what the fxxx I’m doing.”

I just really don’t understand. We ended up leaving this morning at 4 am because the reefer is malfunctioning, and now he’s being very nice. Trailer incident happened two days ago now, so he went a day and a half before reverting back to talking to me again. I feel like I’m in a bad relationship or something where he gets in these moods and I cannot stand to be around him and he’s short with me, then out of nowhere he’s back to talking to me. This is what makes it so frustrating and confusing. I like him but I really, really dislike trying to drive with him or to ask certain questions.

If I completed my license and switched trainers for TnT would he get the initial bonus for me passing? I’ve studied and practiced mostly on my own, but I do owe him the driving portion for sure. I don’t want to shortchange him but I also don’t know if I’m ready to spend another 6-7 weeks in a truck with him.

There have been a couple of points I was legitimately hoping he had gotten fed up and left me at a truck stop.

INIKiTS as a TnT at Prime, i can tell you a few things...

1) the prime insurance pays for any damages, if he is a lease op he pays a deductible. He accepted that responsibility as a trainer. he will get over it.

2) YES you can switch to a different TnT trainer and omce back in Sprimo you can even ask for extra help from Dave, Richard or Brett at the pad. They are awesome.

3) I guarantee he has complaints against him. my FM told me he has a trainer who is miserable however he gives tons of info and creates good drivers.

4) once in sprimo, tell him if he wants to drop you to go ahead. he wont get the bonus for you testing

5) screw him. tune him out and do what you have to do.

my email is in my profile. ill help.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

If his attitude is the biggest thing you can complain about, then I'd say stay the course and ride this out. Sure, you can request another trainer. But there's no guarantee the next one will be any better. Maybe he got a little too upset over the accident. But that's what he signed up for, and he's well compensated for it. That's just something he'll have to get over. Hopefully you learned a little something yourself from it.

Try to categorize this in your mind as just another trial to get through. I understand that it's difficult, but don't let him break your spirit. You don't work for him. He is simply a tool at your disposal to learn from.

Very soon after starting TNT , my trainer and I were securing a particularly difficult load on a very hot day. Part way through he says "Ok let's take a break", and he jumped up in the cab to cool off in the A/C. I was kind of in the middle of something, so I kept working. A minute or two later he opened the door and very forcefully said "I TOLD you to take a break!" Well that didn't sit well with me at all, not only as a grown man, but also as a man 15 years his senior. My reply to him was " I don't give a **** what you said, son! I don't need a break!"

He looked shocked, as if no student had ever spoke up to him before. But I'll tell you what, he treated me with respect from that day forward. Likewise, I continued to respect him as a trainer. It's a two-way street.

I told that story not to get you to yell at your trainer, but rather to show you that you can still learn from him without letting him control your emotions. If he wants to be a jerk and stomp his feet in a rage or whatever, so be it. Be a bigger person and don't let it affect you negatively. Learn from your mistake, forget his attitude, and move on. He's nothing more than a tool that you can put back in the shed once you're done with him.

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.

INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

Thanks again, Turtle! Really great advice coming from everyone.

We just arrived at the receiver and he just told me he’s probably going to just test me out because I don’t follow his schedule and because I’m not catching on fast enough. He then went on to say “plus you fxxxxxx up my truck and that’s pxxxing me off too.”

I could understand where he’s coming from, but he doesn’t usually stick to his plans when he sets them. He originally told me last night we were leaving at 1:15 am, so I was awake and ready to go. He turned his alarm off and went back to sleep, again at 1:30, then once more at 2 am when I finally decided to go to sleep instead of wait up. Other instances I haven’t even been given a time.

Oh well, if he’s going to drop me after my license test then I guess it worked out for both of us.

I’ll try to keep this updated again, hopefully with better news. I’ll be at SpriMo probably tomorrow morning.

If his attitude is the biggest thing you can complain about, then I'd say stay the course and ride this out. Sure, you can request another trainer. But there's no guarantee the next one will be any better. Maybe he got a little too upset over the accident. But that's what he signed up for, and he's well compensated for it. That's just something he'll have to get over. Hopefully you learned a little something yourself from it.

Try to categorize this in your mind as just another trial to get through. I understand that it's difficult, but don't let him break your spirit. You don't work for him. He is simply a tool at your disposal to learn from.

Very soon after starting TNT , my trainer and I were securing a particularly difficult load on a very hot day. Part way through he says "Ok let's take a break", and he jumped up in the cab to cool off in the A/C. I was kind of in the middle of something, so I kept working. A minute or two later he opened the door and very forcefully said "I TOLD you to take a break!" Well that didn't sit well with me at all, not only as a grown man, but also as a man 15 years his senior. My reply to him was " I don't give a **** what you said, son! I don't need a break!"

He looked shocked, as if no student had ever spoke up to him before. But I'll tell you what, he treated me with respect from that day forward. Likewise, I continued to respect him as a trainer. It's a two-way street.

I told that story not to get you to yell at your trainer, but rather to show you that you can still learn from him without letting him control your emotions. If he wants to be a jerk and stomp his feet in a rage or whatever, so be it. Be a bigger person and don't let it affect you negatively. Learn from your mistake, forget his attitude, and move on. He's nothing more than a tool that you can put back in the shed once you're done with him.

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.

INIKITS's Comment
member avatar

So at the receiver I backed into a spot and coupled a trailer for the first time. This time it didn’t take as long and I felt pretty good about it. He told me after that, that if my next trainer yells at me, it’s not the trainer, it’s my fault. He says I’m more concerned with my vape than I am learning, which I don’t necessarily agree with. The reason being he says I don’t ask questions about our load assignments. I told him I know the basics of what things are and I’m unclear on what kind of questions to ask, because I can’t think of anything. He said this because as we were about to leave I was watching him write down the load information while I was filling up my vape with juice so I didn’t have to ask him to do it while I’m driving (less distractions). I normally do this every time before we start driving for the same reason.

Then he goes on to tell me that it’s annoying that he has to give me turn by turn directions and that anyone would be annoyed. He’s never brought this up before, so I was really confused by it. We haven’t gone over trip planning or anything and the last time we had a load assigned to us at 10:00 am he was asleep and I let him sleep while I worked on pretrip by myself because I knew he’d only gotten one hour of asleep after binge watching Netflix. Pickup wasn’t until 5:00 pm and was only 70 miles away, so I was going to let him sleep until 12:30. When I did that, he woke up at 12:00 and was upset that I didn’t wake him up earlier and said “no offense but you don’t know s*** about trip planning because we haven’t gone over it. You should’ve woke me up.” So I really haven’t tried to plan routes or anything because of it.

Anyhow, I went ahead and looked at the directions and planned my route to our new 01, and without asking, he gives me turn by turn directions. Most of the time he does this. I normally ask really specific directions when driving around town or into a shipper/receiver.

This whole thing is so backwards to me and I really don’t get it, but I’m THANKFUL I will be back in SpriMo tomorrow.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

INIKITS I've been following your saga and have a couple of observations I want to share that hopefully will help you.

Overall I think you are doing a decent job as a student, despite the obvious personality conflict. That said, try to focus more on what you are doing and not allow his quirky behavior to negatively influence or distract your learning effort. Emotional responses to his attitude is only going to make it worse. Try to be strong and toughen up a bit. If he is not being clear with you, reiterate your request for information more firmly. Regardless of what happens with him, going forward with your next trainer discuss how they are going to train you and what they expect from you. The inverse, make a list of everything you believe is an area of improvement like trip-planning and setups for backing. I suggest getting into the habit of regular, daily communication. Listening skills are extremely important during training; listen to understand and not to reply.

Trucking is a very tough and unforgiving business. Try your best to think through problems and challenges rationally and logically. Avoid the emotional response/reaction, it only exascerbates the situation.

Last but not least; your current trainer is partially to blame for damaging the cab faring (fin) during the backing attempt in New Jersey. Two things to consider, your fifth backing attempt must have been a tight spot, otherwise you would not have been jacked at a 90 degree angle. If your trainer had been doing his job, he would have offered a warning that as the tractor approaches a 90 plus degree angle to the trailer, keep an eye on the faring. Don't buy into him blaming you entirely for this mishap, he was lazy in his responsibility to provide the proper guidance based on the situation.

I am glad you are moving-on to the next step on someone else's truck. Be strong, think and don't allow anyone, including a trainer to rush you.

Good luck.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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