Topic 23410 | Page 1

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Francia F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Everyone!

Well, made it through my first week at Prime. I am now officially a "Primate." LOL I thought I would post a little bit about my experience this week. There were 80 people in my class (a relatively small class compared to the 240 that are due in tomorrow night!!! WOW) I am at Campus Inn. If the Campus Inn is booked, you will go to either the Oasis (NICE!!) or the Lamplighter (ok, but nowhere near as nice as the Oasis!!)

Let me start off by saying, DO NOT lie on your application! They are like the FBI here. They check ALL your previous jobs and verify your references. If you have an outstanding ticket or warrant, get it paid before you come!! You get a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call Monday through Friday and are expected in class by 7:00 a.m. GET TO CLASS BY 10 TILL 7!!! At Prime, early is on time, on time is late! DO NOT BE LATE to anything or they will send you home! You have to accomplish four things in your first week. Not necessarily in this order, but you have until Friday to pass the written CDL permit exam. You can go to the DMV starting on Tuesday and they give you two tries a day to pass. Example, if you pass combination, air brakes and tanker, you just need to keep taking general knowledge until you pass it. Thanks to Brett's High Road Training Program, I passed all four on the first try!!! I even made 100 on tanker! Monday is the drug test, physical (consisting of a hearing test, eye test and blood pressure). The cutoff is 140/90. I had a 140/70. Right on the cutoff. I just squeaked by!! Phew! They will let you come back the next day if it's too high and do your blood pressure again. Next, you see the doctor. He tests your reflexes, then you pull his fingers and push against his palms. Then he had me touch my toes, squat and walk two steps. The whole thing lasted about five minutes. They send the drug tests off to a lab, but, be warned, they have a dipstick test that they do onsite right then and there. DO NOT COME HERE DIRTY. Three people got sent home and their drug tests hadn't even been sent to the lab. They tell you not to flush the toilet. Not sure why, but they did. I think they test that water for fake pee?? Anyway, if you even think you might test positive, don't come to Prime. The DOT now does a 12-panel vs. the old 5-panel drug test. Google that. They test for EVERYTHING!!! On Monday, you will be given 30 computer-based training videos. You watch the videos and take a little test after. THESE MUST BE DONE BY WEDNESDAY. The computer room is open until 11:00 p.m. so you can go do them in there after dinner. I brought my laptop and did them in my room. Then you will have simulator lab. You will drive down a freeway, through town (make sure to read your signs and follow the truck routes). After two days on the sim, you will test (using the freeway one). You have to pass this to move on. I passed with an 80 (went over the white line three times and followed too closely (really was 7 seconds instead of 9 seconds, but still too close). You also get to back the truck into a dock on the simulator but this is not part of the test. The first time I tried to back, my tandems kept going too far to the left. You turn towards the problem, everyone says. The next time I did the backing, I got that sucker inside of the cones and bumped the dock (that's what you are supposed to do. LOL) Mr. Low (owner and CEO of Prime) paid multi-millions of dollars for these simulators and they are really cool! I don't think any other company has them. Anyway, this whole week is to see how you manage your time and your attitude. One lady got sent home for cussing out the cafeteria lady!! All the staff is really nice here, and I can't imagine doing that, but she did! The way they look at it, if you can't get to class on time, you can't be depended on to deliver a load on time! Makes sense to me. If you treat the staff with disrespect, you most likely will treat shippers and receivers the same way. If you complete the physical, drug test, written CDL exams and simulator, you will get a purple badge. That is the coveted badge that allows you to go to the Millennium Building. You cannot go over there without it. Got to go yesterday and it was every bit as awesome as I heard it was. The food here at the Campus Inn is good, but the food at the Millennium is even better (they will grill your steak in front of you.) YUMMMY!

A few no-nos: don't lie on your app, don't cuss out any staff member, don't drink while in either PSD or TNT , and last, but not least, DON'T BE LATE TO CLASS!! Oh, and they tell you that if you are here to meet the love of your life, Prime is not the place! LOL Gotta go, I'm tired. It's been a long week but it went fast and the best is yet to come! Thanks for listening. Hope it helps somebody coming to Prime!!!

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.

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.

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".

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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

Hi and welcome to Prime!!!!

Glad you are getting on well. You touched on one of my favorite places...the oasis!!!

I often get the two story Paradise Suite with spiral stairs, fireplace, kitchen, rain like shower and overflow jacuzzi. we get like a 25% discount and that room alone was worth getting through training for lol

0959185001537101415.jpg0068980001537101470.jpg

and..no one told.me, i found out on my own...we get rewards points and the spa has massages and a steam shower with several heads. I always use my points there lol

try the whiskey burger at Fire n ice and Turtle loves the pudding at millenium.

im spoiled.

congrats and good luck!!!!

Francia F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks or the welcome post, Rainy!!

I never got to see the rooms at the Oasis but thanks for the pics. NICE! I did go to eat at Fire N Ice and had some fried calamari. It was soo good. I went with a couple of drivers who were drinking so I made sure the bartender knew I was NOT drinking and had a coke. I am in PSD so I'm not allowed to drink. No big deal. The Oasis is a beautiful hotel (at least the lobby and fountains!) I actually bypassed the "hound" and flew in. It was a direct flight on United from Houston straight to Springfield. It was like $400.00 so Prime will reimburse me the difference (the bus is about $200.00) It was so worth it. The "hound" would have taken me about 18 hours to get here. The flight took only 1 hour and 10 minutes, so you can't beat that! I stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Saturday night which I think is comparable to the Oasis. Anyway, now, I'm in the old part of Campus Inn (with no carpet or microwave) LOL but it's free so I'm not complaining. Jeez, we lost more people this week. I hate to see anyone go home. Just hope I can pass the pre-trip and CDL test!! There is so much to learn. Already found several people here who are using the High Road Training for pre-trip. Brett, I can't tell you thanks enough for that program! It is truly the most awesome CDL training program out there!

Well, got to get to simulator class for more alley dock backing. (No blindside yet).

Be safe out there, everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome, Rainy!!! Hope to see you here at Prime sometime!!

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.

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.
Mike D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for sharing Francia. I look forward to reading your postings as I hopefully will be there in three weeks. Good luck.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Ugh..i did 36 hours on the bus. they didnt offer my a flight reimbursement.

For pretrip this is the guy who helped me. he has a few different videos now.

APEX driving school.Pretrip

Many here on the site use our moderator Daniel Bs PTI advice....

Daniel Bs Pre Trip

Francia F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Mike!

I see you're from Texas too! Three people in my class are from Houston, as am I. I wasn't surprised though. There are a ton of people here from Texas. Not sure where Deep E. Texas is, LOL, but I assume it's somewhere in east Texas? I was a nervous wreck before I left for Prime but once you get here, you will find that everyone is very helpful and things just kind of roll along. I will say this again, though, Prime's motto is "Early is on time. On time is late" and they really mean that. They just want to make sure you can manage your time well and get everything done all with a good attitude. You will have time to chill out, go eat (but don't go to Appleby's or the Oasis and drink!!!) You will also have time for smoke breaks if you smoke. There are a lot of people here who vape, but I'm still working on quitting cigs (ugh). I'm thinking about going back to patches. Cigarettes on the east coast are anywhere from $11.00 to $14.00 a PACK! That's terrible. Newports here are only $5.40/pk. They are $8.00 in Houston!!

Anyway, hope I've been of some help. If you have any questions, there are plenty of experienced drivers here that can and always are willing to help. I can help with most orientation questions, but since I'm not a driver, I can't give out any driving advice! LOL I hope to be one day soon, though. Oh, another thing, I WAY over-packed. Just bring enough clothes for one week. There are washers/dryers here. It is $1.50 to wash and $1.00 to dry, so not bad. If you are coming soon, bring a jacket cause I hear it's fixing to get cold, but we have been on the training pad starting Saturday all day in the sun and it's been HOT. I'm used to the heat being from Houston, but it's still hot out on the pad all day so hoping for some cooler weather soon. Hope to meet you here at Prime!!

Be safe out there everyone!!

Francia F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the pre-trip info, Rainy!! I actually saw that video and it is a good one. One of the classroom instructors here said, "Okay, who's been watching YouTube pre-trip videos? I raised my hand. He said "STOP! Don't do that anymore!" I think he was mostly talking about the truckers who do the videos not the Driver Solutions one. They even had that one on a video here. It is a very good pre-trip video. Oh, and Daniel B.'s pre-trip is amazing! Identical to the sheet that Prime gives you, but with pictures. Very well done!!

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

He said dont because the language has changed over the years. But dor identifying parts it works. a brake chamber is always going to be a a brake chamber. if you can identify the part, it doesnt matter what make or model teuck you get, you can find it. the other issue is the air bags vs leaf springs. our older trailers have leaf, but most have air bags. people who dont learn the parts and only recite exactly what they heard say the wrong parts.

RAMS4LIFE's Comment
member avatar

Hi Francia, I was wondering if you need to bring your social security card or do they just need the number? Thanks I hope to start at Prime after Christmas.

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