A Week In Review

Topic 25017 | Page 1

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Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Hi folks,

Some of you "considering a career" types may have seen a few entries from me on here in the last few months. I have been training on the road since Monday the 18th. I am currently in the PSD (first phase) portion of Prime Inc out of Salt Lake City.

Initially I intended to provide daily feedback but found myself wanting to pay more attention to the tasks at hand than try to keep making journal entries on a smartphone keyboard. However I did want to contribute some info back to the website that gave me sturdy footing when I began this journey. So I'll keep up with a week in review post as my time progresses. Please ask questions and I can probably answer more specifically than trying to encompass every subject detail of each individual event.

What a week. I have a trainer that will be at his million miles in a matter of months. By everyone I spoke with at SLC, he is considered the best flatbed trainer in the west. In minimal time I have concluded this to be true. My set up this week:

2017 Freightliner towing a 53' flatbed with an sliding rear tandem option. Just can't seem to find a 48' to trade.

We have hauled minor and Max loads so far. Tarping and strapping is not the Boogeyman you are making it up to be in your mind. Give it a shot, it's more using your head and the proper tools to get the job done and does not require pure brute force. Have hit Twin Falls Idaho, Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Santa Maria CA, Fontana CA and Medford Oregon so far. I've gone down a both sides of the Hood River in Oregon. Much more exciting on the north side where the mountainy lumber mill was we picked up 47k of lumber at. Went across the Hood River bridge and thought I was going to have a nice oncoming c class Mercedes as a new hood ornament if he didn't give me that last inch at the last second.

Pulled that big horn 3 times so far in the whole week but all within 5 miles. California drivers in the Oxnard area are particularly interested in merging on to the freeway at a slow enough rate to count my radiator grill slats in their rear view mirror.

Found 2 feet of snow going over the Nevada mountains. Several spin outs blocked it all for hours. Tow truck drivers are surgeons when they need to be. Got an impromptu chaining class , Max chains per highway patrol. Lovely with barehands.

Hit and killed a duck this morning going through Sacramento. He hung on to the mirror til we got to the rest area. Ironic due to the multiple Oregon Ducks emblems on my trainers truck.

Been backing every chance and screwing it up as much as doing it awesome. People gonna try to rush or wave hands at you. I have learned to make an over exaggerating scared face as the truck is moving backwards and they figure it out and leave you alone. Don't let them pressure you into freaking out or giving up.

I have driven with a smile on my face every minute of every mile so far. Smiling standing in the rain, trudging the 60lb chains through the snow and in and out of busy parking lots. This is all a grand adventure, try and remember that as you proceed.

I've showered almost every other day. Truck stops are clean and pretty friendly. Keep your head on a swivel in the parking area though. I've not bought more than yogurt bananas and trail mix at these places. I am eating off 20 dollars at WinCo before we left. I have lost weight and am two belt holes tighter. I haven't slept less than 7 hours a day but this is a flatbed thing I've been told. If our receivers and shippers are only open certain hours then it's how you modify your clock and trip plan. Lucky us I guess. I'm sure there are exceptions.

On another note, I have yet to meet a lease operator. Pad trainers, class instructors and truck trainer are or always have been company drivers. One suggested 2 to 3 years of experience before biting that off.

Never did the simulator. Dunno bout why.



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.


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".


Operating While Intoxicated


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.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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. People gonna try to rush or wave hands at you. I have learned to make an over exaggerating scared face as the truck is moving backwards and they figure it out and leave you alone. Don't let them pressure you into freaking out or giving up.


i used to yell at them. Then i got to.the point when i pull the brakes and hop in the bunk. This confused them. I would then tell them that i would go to bed until they behave better.

you are doing GREAT!

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Thanks Rainy. That's an interesting tactic as well!

Nolan's Comment
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Hey Spaceman! Thank you for your awesome review and your pictures are top notch! :)) good-luck-2.gif

PackRat's Comment
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Hey Spaceman! Thank you for your awesome review and your pictures are top notch! :)) good-luck-2.gif


Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Thanks Packrat , I'm sure the depths and far reaches of this website are no longer a mystery to you. Thanks for bumping some of the older stuff on the main board!

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