Prime CDL Training

Topic 22982 | Page 33

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Kim T.'s Comment
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I woke up this morning and it was snowing. Ugh! It wasn’t bad but it was cold enough for the roads to be slick. So, I sleep we’d her down and carried on.

I pulled up to the receiver a little while ago and was told to pull in an empty spot and someone would get back to me. Well, I told my trainer that as soon as I got in the spot they would come out and tell me which dock to pull into. They did! So, I pull back out and had to pull into the dock. But I did it!

Ok, back on the road. Will reply to Donna and Splitter as soon as I’m parked.

Be safe!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

If I felt better about the backing I would be ready I’ve got my miles.

-Donna

Here's something to think about. What is going to be different about your backing when you're solo?

Let's look at two possible scenarios.

1) Maybe now if you are having trouble getting backed into a dock or a parking spot you just give up and have your trainer complete the maneuver.

2) Maybe now if you are having trouble getting backed into a dock or a parking spot your trainer starts saying things like, "Ok, turn left, more, more! Ok, stop, pull forward and turn right, all the way... now start backing up. Okay, hurry up and get the tractor under your the trailer... whoa! You didn't get under it quick enough. Pull forward!"

Donna, nobody, and I mean NOBODY "feels" good about their backing when it's time to go solo. They can't because they are rookies - they lack any kind of experience to establish their skills at going backwards because it's too easy to rely on their trainer's help or advice. NOBODY learns to back by being told which way to turn the wheel. Nor do they learn by just letting someone else take the wheel.

Backing is only learned by doing the very uncomfortable work of repetitively trying it ourselves until we slowly begin to get a "feel" for how the trailer reacts to the driver's input at the wheel. For some of us this takes a great deal of time, but it has to be done by ourselves.

I looked like an idiot when going backwards as a rookie driver. My legs would be hurting sometimes because I had to G.O.A.L (get out and look) so many times to make sure I wasn't going to hit anything over on my blind side. That's how you learn to drive in reverse - you just do it! Don't worry about how silly you look or how long it takes. Your main concern is that you don't hit anything.

To be successful in trucking we've got to put ourselves into situations that we aren't comfortable with. We take hotel rooms with total strangers at orientation. We commit to living in very tight accommodations with a stranger while in training. We do whatever it takes to get our loads delivered on time. We drive all night or in less than desirable weather. We stretch our limits so that we can better ourselves, therefore improving our performance, our skills, and our results. All these efforts are returned to us in not only better paychecks to support ourselves and our families, but also in the extreme gratification and satisfaction of accomplishing something that very few people ever do.

Trucking is best experienced by those who are willing to take on new and difficult challenges. Cowering to the difficult parts of this job will stifle your ability to grasp the concepts of success in this career. Donna, you have already shown considerable bravery and commitment to your new career. Now it's time to step up your game and face the next level of challenges. Going solo is like starting over again. You're going to be uncomfortable and feeling like you've forgotten everything you've already learned. It's like the first time the trapeze artist works without a net. Once you remove the familiarity and the comfort of that trainer being right there in the truck, a new level of learning begins.

You've just been sort of riding the bike with the training wheels still there as a back up, and as much needed protection. Eventually you've got to take that risk of removing those training wheels. Is it going to be scary? Heck yeah it is. It's also going to be exhilarating and liberating. You're gonna scrape your knee a time or two, but you're going to be loving your freedom so much that those minor knee scrapes are going to propel you into a new level of accomplishment. That is when you will both learn to back the truck, and slowly begin to "feel" like you know what you're doing in reverse.

Backing A Truck Is Like Clown Soup For The Soul

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Just the facts about staying on the truck pass TNT training

#1 You don't go back to Springfield to upgrade until AFTER you get off the truck. Sooooo, you'll HAVE to do that at the end when you DO get off the trainers truck.

#2 Your CPM's go up to I BELIEVE .17 cpm and / or a guaranteed weekly mimimum of $700 + $300 "delay bonus" for a total of $1,000 per week. Again I'm sure it's in so long as your available for dispatch. Which is pretty much going to be dependent upon your trainer.

#3 There WAS some mention of additional $$$$ for doing so through Winter. But I'm going to have to go back and verify that with my FM before I post it here. When I find out for sure and certain? I'll post it here. Meanwhile irs just hear say in so far as I'm concerned.

#4 The Additional $300 went onto my pay stub almost automatically as soon as i completed my 30,000 TNT miles. My FM just sent a QC message to verify I was still on the truck.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Backing

Just SOMETHING we're all going to have to learn how to do on own on. To quote another driver, "I've been driving for 15 years, I expect to have it down pat by next fall.

If your just wanting ANOTHER driver out there with you? $$$$ wise you'd PROBALLY would be JUST as better off teaming with ANOTHER company driver in my honest opinion. Speak with your TM if interested. I BELIEVE the average is about $1300 a week teaming at Prime. There's handouts laying around the Millieum Building and bottom floor of the Plaza Building.

Just more day to day experiences that you may or may not yet been exposed to.

Winter Driving experience if your not accustomed to such

An opportunity to put back $$$ for things you'll want and need when you get your own truck such as a GPS, CV radio, etc. So you can pay cash vs financing?

Personally I'm taking it one day at a time. I can ALWAYS go back to Springfield and up grade any time i want. There's no obligatory commitment to my staying on the truck.

There Is supposed to be a "shortage " and wait for bring assigned a truck, although from what I'm hearing is irs not much of one. A week or there abouts. Your up grade will take three or four days minimum as I understand it?

Some other considerations?

Between now and just before Christmas is SUPPOSED to be very busy for the Reefer division.

After the first two weeks of December freight is "Supposed to" drop off.

There's a some discussion on the Prime FB pages about the bonus of $750 for working through the Holiday season. A lot of discussion as to whether it's $500 Or $750, as well as inclusive dates.

Many have said they've done it, but won't do it again, because they ended up going to shippers and receivers that were closed? You can check it out and be the judge. [Sidebar: You can find some good buys and even free stuff for your truck on these FB pages. Just today, a driver was giving away a free flat screen tv, as he upgraded his, another was giving away a mattress that he bought but wouldn't fit his bunk in his truck]

Hope this was of some help

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

As an afterthought I would like to add my own personal decision to stay on my Trainers truck was impacted by my being on Prime's Veterans "Fast Trac" program in which my contractual obligation to Prime is only 9 months vs 12 months.

I've already competed 3 of those 9 months. By the time I get off of the trainers truck on or about sometime in March, I will have all but competed my contractual obligation to Prime.

I plan on staying WITH Prime at this point in time? Its just that it so happened to synch with my decision.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Derrick B.'s Comment
member avatar

When I first got with my second trainer I had considered asking to team up when my training was done because we got along well, but after 20k more miles, I would have taken a pay cut to get off the truck and be able to sleep stationary again lol. You won't ever feel 100% comfortable. That first week solo will be full of questions you didn't even know to ask when you were with a trainer, but in time things fall into place and you get into your own routine.

Splitter's Comment
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Yesterday I had to drive through wind gusts of 45mph on I-65 for 90 mns, a snow squall that was blowing sideways on I-80 near Chicago, then more wind until I got to my 01. Only to sit there for my full 10 cause the load wasn’t ready.

Today I had to drive 622 miles in one shift to make sure I made it to this 02 on time for my 1am appt. There was no other way to get it done. I made it here with 30 mns left on my 11.

Tonight at midnight, I get 10 hrs back on recaps to add to my 3:49 left on my 70. With that I have to get to my 90 tomorrow then up to Pittston cause my bunk heater decided to crap out on me last night.

I wrote all that to illustrate Old School’s post & how you learn by the seat of your pants out here. I learned my backing by watching other drivers at the the truck stops, shippers & receivers. Slowly you will find your groove & by GOAL’ing as much as possible & not worrying about the other drivers. At one point they were in that same position & most are pretty cool about it. Mind you, I did say MOST! :D

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

Stopped In Laramie little while ago. Truck in front of me lady had a screw in trailer tire asked me if I thought it was okay. It was only in the rubber. She was older and been solo 3 years she said first u got to learn to just say f— them don’t worry what no body thinks and until u go solo.. u ain’t solo...I think she said it all.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm thinking more and more EACH day about going up grading, getting my own truck and going SOLO.

EVERYTHING I've read on the subject of learning how to back, says it's just SOMETHING you've got to learn on your own and can't REALLY be taught. That although others can explain it? They can't help you comprehend?

I've read where 99% is the Set Up.

Despite my initial green horn jitters awhile back? I've gotten NOTHING but good sound advice from the members of this board.

I was ready to jump ship to another company, but all the old hand veterans to stay the course.

Man!!! Am I glad I did! Right up there with marrying my EXHEX of a wife, it would have been one of the STUPIDEST things i EVER did!

I'm going to stay that the course for now. I've always the option of upgrading and going SOLO or teaming with someone else.

Again thanks for all the good info.

Donna M.'s Comment
member avatar

I sleep real good while the truck is going. However everytime it stops I wake up. Guess going solo I will need some new sleep patterns. 🙄

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

I sleep real good while the truck is going. However everytime it stops I wake up. Guess going solo I will need some new sleep patterns. 🙄

In a way yes but not in the way you think. While it is nice to sleep in a parked truck, you’ll have other issues to contend with. Like having to flip driving days & nights depending on load appointments. Or my favorite, somehow catching 😴 while the trailer is being bounced around with a forklift going in & out loading/unloading. But you’ll somehow figure it out & get the job done.

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