Out Of The Shadows

Topic 22780 | Page 1

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Rocky N.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I've been lurking for almost a month now, reading all the posts and soaking up all the information I can and figured it was time to introduce myself and to thank everyone for all of the information...it has certainly changed my preconceptions of what being a trucker is like. I got my call from Prime today and will be starting orientation towards the end of August. I'm a little nervous about the 30000 TnT miles as i'm a bit of a loner, but also really excited. Anyways, I'm Rocky (yep, real name) and thanks again for this site and all of the information and resources it contains.

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

Welcome Rocky. Be sure to join in on some of the conversations here, there's lots to be learned.

Don't worry so much about TNT. It fits a loner lifestyle rather nicely actually. While you're driving, your trainer will be sleeping. And vice versa. You won't see a whole lot of each other.

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.

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I've been lurking for almost a month now, reading all the posts and soaking up all the information I can and figured it was time to introduce myself and to thank everyone for all of the information...it has certainly changed my preconceptions of what being a trucker is like. I got my call from Prime today and will be starting orientation towards the end of August. I'm a little nervous about the 30000 TnT miles as i'm a bit of a loner, but also really excited. Anyways, I'm Rocky (yep, real name) and thanks again for this site and all of the information and resources it contains.

I'm fairly new here too Rocky. About to road test next week...keeping my fingers crossed.

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.

LoneStar's Comment
member avatar

Congrats!

Prime is a wonderful company and I personally do not have anything negative to say. I got my CDL through Prime. I just wanted to give you a heads up, If you go through the Springfield terminal for orientation make sure you stay on top of all the tasks they give you. Also, the medical staff that conducts your DOT physicals can be rude but be aware that they have 100+ applicants a week that they have to put through and get asked the same exact questions dozens of times daily. Try to be patient with them. During my orientation we started with 100-110 people(Not sure the exact number but there was not enough seats for everyone) and by day 4 of orientation we only had 60 or less and there were 10-20 of them that were probably sent home after day 4 because they had not finished a lot of things. The biggest thing to worry about is keep your cool and be patient. Also, make sure you bring a little spending cash just in case you accidentally go over the amount you are allowed to spend on the little meal cards they give you plus there is a culver's, applebees, gas station and walmart near by but be careful walking around especially at night because it is not the safest area. It is the first Walmart I have ever seen with armed security patrolling the lot.

I assume you have your CDL already so you are basically going to be team driving. Your trainer should ride in the front seat for a couple days at least just to make sure you are squared away but if not then talk to him or her about it. I trained on flatbed and I had two trainers. Where I messed up is my first trainer was a great trainer but he had a serious drug problem and would bring prostitutes into the truck. I requested a new trainer as I did not feel comfortable at all and explained why. I am unsure if he still works there. He is a hard worker but a big liability. My second trainer was literally physically abusive and violent. I spent about a week with him before he actually hit me in front of the customer. I then requested a new trainer however when I switched trainers the first time I also switched dispatchers. My new dispatcher I guess took it as me being difficult and decided to let me go and leave me in the parking lot to sleep in my car for two days and both him and all the other POC's I had would not return my calls so I went home and security would not let me go see anyone either and I can understand why I was terminated and understand the company's stand point as they do not have time for drama. They ended up calling me a couple months later out of the blue asking if I would come back but I decided not to. Unfortunately after I decided not to they changed my DAC from "resigned" to "discharged" making it a little more difficult to find a driving job. What I am getting at is go into this with an open mind, prepare to be patient, and above all be flexible. Thousands of students have completed this program and for most people it should not be an issue and for me it shouldn't have been an issue but I made it an issue.

I am not suggesting you take any form of physical abuse or tolerate someone snorting cocaine on the truck but I am saying be prepared to have a heart to heart with your trainer. Looking back, had I done that and flat out said "Look man I need you to cut this crap out because it is making me uncomfortable and I don't want to get a new trainer" I have no doubt in my mind he would have stopped or at least not do those things around me. At the time though all I had was "tunnel vision" and thought "man I need out of here fast". I was also both of these trainers very first trainee.

All of it could have been avoided had I went about it properly the first time. Also, if you need hometime in TNT they will do their best to get you home but it will not be often. The best thing is to tell your dispatcher as soon as possible. You should get to meet your dispatcher and recruiter towards the end of orientation.

Also, just a little disclaimer...I am not some truck driver with years of experience. I am 25 year old father of 2, now a pretty level headed person, that is still a noob but I do drive currently but still less than a year of experience...but I am with my second, and hopefully last, company... That was also the only job I had ever been "terminated" from.

Sorry for the long post but normally I am a very flexible person and I thought I could share how quickly it can turn from 0 to 100 just by how you go about things and how you say things.

Good luck my friend! Prime is truthfully a wonderful company and they truly do their best to set their drivers up for success and take care of their drivers! The President is a great guy and often can be found playing basketball down in the gym with drivers!

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

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.

Dustan J.'s Comment
member avatar

Geez, that's a hell of a thing to do to a person who just wants to get through and move on to the next step! Getting hit by a trainer is inexcusable conduct by any standard. A coke head is a whole other thing altogether. Imagine if he had gotten arrested and you were just stuck with a truck and no trainer. I wonder how they would have handled that one given that a student was simply caught in the middle of it all.

LoneStar's Comment
member avatar

While you are right I also didn’t handle it properly. On my second trainer I had contacted the dispatcher and was rather angry and demanding and did not really keep my cool like I should have. While the events that took place were unfortunate I still could have went about the situation differently. Regardless of what occurs between a student and trainer there should still be a certain amount of professionalism displayed when interacting with your dispatchers. After all, they are in this to provide for their families not get involved in drama. Especially when some dispatchers might have 100+ drivers they have to keep track of every single day.

Side note, I did manage to get the violent trainer on camera once throwing his head seat and kicking over trash cans and screaming across the parking lot. Lol, at the time it was rather comical to see a grown man have a melt down over being given the wrong delivery date(resulted in being there 2 days early), not being able to unload early, Found out it was supposed to be tarped, and then being placed on hold by our dispatcher lol...

Geez, that's a hell of a thing to do to a person who just wants to get through and move on to the next step! Getting hit by a trainer is inexcusable conduct by any standard. A coke head is a whole other thing altogether. Imagine if he had gotten arrested and you were just stuck with a truck and no trainer. I wonder how they would have handled that one given that a student was simply caught in the middle of it all.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Im curious..."hit me in front of a customer". hit you how? like tapped you on the arm and said "lets go"? or hit you in a joking manner or what? there is a huge differemce between touching and punching. granted, this is a busniess and touching is inappropriate even in a back slapping type of manner. why didnt you call the police since you had witnesses? even as a woman, i think if someone hit me, my reaction would be to hit back. so did you? what was your reaction?

im finding some of this hard to believe after being at Prime for 3 years and a trainer for 1. do.some.people have bad tempers...sure. a drug.problem possibly. that one could have been drug tested and handled. immediately.

The most unbelievable for.me is calling you back after you left months prior. By your own admission, Prime has 100+ students per week come in. Why would they need to call back those who left? and why waste time on those by changing DACs month later.

Delivering 2 days early is not that big a deal either. Drop it at a yard or swao w8th a solo driver who can sit on it. or just take the 34 hour break to reset both driver clocks.

Dustan to answer your question...a nearby team would have been sent to pick up the student and truck and take it back to a terminal. With 8000 drivers it wouldnt take long. i know a trainer whose wife had a heart attack and wasnt expected to live. he flew.home and a team.was sent to bring his student and truck back to the terminal.

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.

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.

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.
LoneStar's Comment
member avatar

I’m sorry you don’t believe me but there is nothing I can do about that. It did indeed happen. Did I push him away from me after he walked up and smacked me? Sure, but my thought process was I’m not going to risk going to jail or risk losing my career over some old angry person. He hit me because he apparently I adjusted his seat and a few other things while I was driving. Like I said, I was his first trainee. And likely his last. I also did not want to be stranded at a customer, that then asked us to drop our trailer and leave because he decided to try and pick a fight. My though process was keep my mouth shut and get back to the terminal and square this away and link up with someone else.

These things happen daily. Like you said, Prime is a large company and you cannot possibly tell me you know every single drivers experience there as well as every single trainers training style and abilities. You don’t have to believe it. But it doesn’t make it any of it any less true.

Nothing I said knocked Prime even remotely and if it did that was not my intentions. They did indeed contact me both by phone and via email months after wards asking if I wanted to get back in and finish my training.

Again, it happened. I still believe it is a great company. Just not the company for me. I will still encourage people to apply there. Just because I got two bad eggs out of 100+ trainers is not the companies fault. Neither has had a trainee before.

Also, I know we could have dropped the trailer somewhere but I wasn’t upset I was explaining why he was upset. He was a rather angry person with an excuse and story for everything.

Im curious..."hit me in front of a customer". hit you how? like tapped you on the arm and said "lets go"? or hit you in a joking manner or what? there is a huge differemce between touching and punching. granted, this is a busniess and touching is inappropriate even in a back slapping type of manner. why didnt you call the police since you had witnesses? even as a woman, i think if someone hit me, my reaction would be to hit back. so did you? what was your reaction?

im finding some of this hard to believe after being at Prime for 3 years and a trainer for 1. do.some.people have bad tempers...sure. a drug.problem possibly. that one could have been drug tested and handled. immediately.

The most unbelievable for.me is calling you back after you left months prior. By your own admission, Prime has 100+ students per week come in. Why would they need to call back those who left? and why waste time on those by changing DACs month later.

Delivering 2 days early is not that big a deal either. Drop it at a yard or swao w8th a solo driver who can sit on it. or just take the 34 hour break to reset both driver clocks.

Dustan to answer your question...a nearby team would have been sent to pick up the student and truck and take it back to a terminal. With 8000 drivers it wouldnt take long. i know a trainer whose wife had a heart attack and wasnt expected to live. he flew.home and a team.was sent to bring his student and truck back to the terminal.

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.

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.

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.
LoneStar's Comment
member avatar

I have also been in EMS for many years and served in the Army. I have dealt with difficult, angry, and violent people often. My natural reaction isn’t to start a fist fight in the middle of a customer. It’s to deescalate the situation and reasonably avoid conflict until we can get into a better environment to address the situation.

Im curious..."hit me in front of a customer". hit you how? like tapped you on the arm and said "lets go"? or hit you in a joking manner or what? there is a huge differemce between touching and punching. granted, this is a busniess and touching is inappropriate even in a back slapping type of manner. why didnt you call the police since you had witnesses? even as a woman, i think if someone hit me, my reaction would be to hit back. so did you? what was your reaction?

im finding some of this hard to believe after being at Prime for 3 years and a trainer for 1. do.some.people have bad tempers...sure. a drug.problem possibly. that one could have been drug tested and handled. immediately.

The most unbelievable for.me is calling you back after you left months prior. By your own admission, Prime has 100+ students per week come in. Why would they need to call back those who left? and why waste time on those by changing DACs month later.

Delivering 2 days early is not that big a deal either. Drop it at a yard or swao w8th a solo driver who can sit on it. or just take the 34 hour break to reset both driver clocks.

Dustan to answer your question...a nearby team would have been sent to pick up the student and truck and take it back to a terminal. With 8000 drivers it wouldnt take long. i know a trainer whose wife had a heart attack and wasnt expected to live. he flew.home and a team.was sent to bring his student and truck back to the terminal.

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.

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.

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.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

What is it with freaking Prime...?

wtf-2.gif

Just kidding. They do seem to attract some great people. So, Rocky you'll be in some good company!

Welcome to the site and congrats on your choice! Look forward to reading up on your progress. (You do plan on keeping us updated now that you've read all the valuable info here, right?)

good-luck.gif

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