My Prime Orientation PSD/TNT Journey (Extremely Detailed)

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EricTheRed's Comment
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My PSD phase is almost over. We’ll probably knock out one more load before heading back to Springfield. I’m doing really well on my pre-trip, although I need to get a little tighter on some of it. I really hope to trifecta and that’s my focus right now. I need to get this 30,000 miles of TNT behind me so I can see my family, friends and get my little dog with me on my own truck (I miss her in ways words can’t describe).

With PSD phase coming to a close, my advice to those coming into it is just flip a switch in your head. I’ll be straight here and say it… this is all gonna suck. There is really nothing easy or enjoyable about what I’ve been through since first boarding that bus. BUT, there are a plethora of signs showing me, without a doubt, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The grass is greener. But only for those who can get there. Only for those who have the mental capacity to make it that far.

If you go into it weak minded this probably isn’t going to work. If you going into expecting things to go your way, expecting things to be comfortable or enjoyable, etc… you’re going to have a tough time. It’s hard. Very hard.

I will say this, though. In my time of PSD I’ve driven through Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. I’ve seen wind, rain, snow, ice, sun rises and sunsets. Canyons, grassland, badlands, 13,000 foot peaks and lake valleys. It was 28 degrees one morning and 72 the next. It’s a trip. And you only get to enjoy it if you can power through the challenges that come with it.

Hopefully this gives everyone a different perspective of this process. I didn’t want to just post the schedule. Wanted to try and present a full perspective that could be consumed and understand by all.

I think this gets me caught up. Will come back and update after Springfield and as TNT kicks off.

Good luck out there and stay safe! More updates to follow.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Army 's Comment
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Awesome, we look forward to your next stage of the journey.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Good luck & hope it hit that trifecta. Great read.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

Knock it out man. And don't let TNT kick you in the plums, it's a tad more demanding with night hours etc.

Sorry about the smoking issue, that just straight sucks.

Speaking to you from mile 4500 of 30k in Wheatland Chicago yard headed to Mass for my first new England area run.

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.

EricTheRed's Comment
member avatar

Ok gang... finally getting around to a new update. SO much has happened. I mean wow. It's surreal to think this whole adventure has been just 5 weeks. I mean, in traditional living 5 weeks feels like, well... 5 weeks. In this PSD/TNT process 5 weeks feels like 5 months. It's such a short amount of time, but so much happens. So many experiences. So many wild rides. It's all kind of a blur yet you remember every little detail.

So yes, I'm now in TNT. About 5,000 miles into it. Much of it has been amazing and I've learned so much. Much of it has been downright disconcerting. But let's start with finishing off PSD.

In my last update I was almost finished with PSD. The lead up to my CDL exam was extremely stressful. The training pad, pre-trip, preparing for the mysterious road test... I wanted that $250 bonus and I wanted my license. And I didn't want to have to go back for a second try. So I studied, I practiced, I studied, practiced and studied some more.

And I trifecta'd on the first go. :-)

It was an amazing feeling. Such a relief. And it meant the beginning had ended. But a new beginning had begun.

The experiences pile up at record speed. Those crazy busy Walmart distribution centers, the damn meat plants that make you sit for 48 hours, the traffic, construction zones, days without showers, mad dashes for laundry, etc. It's all a part of the experience.

I've learned so much. But I've also had some hiccups. Right now I'm in Springfield waiting for a new trainer. My trainer is a great guy and we became good friends. But his hygiene was just intolerable. I could go into detail but I don't want to do that to him. Even though I haven't mentioned his name or my full name (and I won't) I still don't see any point in piling on. I'll just say some people have different standards than others, and I cannot nor will I put myself through certain living environments for that long of a period of time. Can't and won't.

So my new fleet manager has been assigned and new trainer comes day after tomorrow. Then it's off to finish TNT!

More updates to follow.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
It's surreal to think this whole adventure has been just 5 weeks. I mean, in traditional living 5 weeks feels like, well... 5 weeks. In this PSD/TNT process 5 weeks feels like 5 months.

Eric, we've said before that trucking is like living three lifetimes. It's incredible how much you can see and do. I've been on the East coast and then over on the West coast in just a matter of a few days, and I had all those experiences of traveling that distance while getting there. You'll have plenty of stories to regale your friends with. It's non stop overexposure out here - it's one grand adventure!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

I second Old School in his response. I myself am laying in the bottom bunk looking out the porthole to the new Mexico desert right now. Mere days ago it was Connecticut, Utah, indiana, Delaware etc etc. I used to think the time zones would screw up sleep rhythm but it has really not.

Furthermore the time calculations with time zones and travel distance, conditions etc hasn't been too bad.

I find hygiene a worthy cause to switch trainers. That must have been a tough conversation with you two. I'm grateful I didn't have that specific issue with mine. Thanks for not putting his information out there, that's professional of you and I'm sure that attitude will carry over to other aspects of this career with rewarding results.

Thanks for your updates, alot of folks are basing decisons on the lessons from this website and lazy people like me haven't contributed enough.

JJlearner's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

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