The End Of An Adventure, And How Prime Is Helping Me Begin Another.

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Turtle's Comment
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The short version...well kinda:

After 2 1/2 years OTR together, my wife and I both want to be around our grandchildren more often.

When I first started researching trucking, grandchildren weren't even in the forecast. Even after learning the first one was on the way, I still figured we could get a few years of driving in before they would know enough to miss us. However, I grossly underestimated the strength of us missing them.

So we came to the decision that my wife will stay home from now on, and I need to find a way to get home more often. But I still love my job, and the company for whom I do it. OTR is still where my heart is, and a regional position just doesn't interest me, not yet anyway. I really want to have my cake, and eat it too.

With Mrs. Turtle staying home, I'm free to do something else I've wanted to do: train new drivers. I feel I have something to offer, and this will give me an outlet for that.

I discussed these thoughts with my FM , and gave him a list of my demands.....er... I mean desires.

1- I only want PSD students out of our Pittston, PA terminal. Solo dispatch, no team driving. I'm not interested in TNT training.

2- I need to be home for a couple days in-between students. By doing PSD only, this will put me home every 7-14 days, depending on the student. Sometimes maybe a little longer.

3- I need to retain the ability to go OTR with the wife every now and then. We do love our adventures after all, and don't want to give that up entirely.

4- Likewise, the wife and I need to continue getting loads to FL every couple months to visit my folks. This is also very important to me.

I had a few other talking points, but to everything, my FM simply said "no problem". Just let him know when, where, and what I want to do, and he'll make it happen. He's pretty much letting me plan my strategy as i see fit. As a bonus, I stand to make a fair amount more than I do now. Can't beat that.

I spent last weekend cleaning her stuff out of the truck. It was a bittersweet moment, for sure. Even after 29 years together, we are very close. This will be a tough change, but it's part of my short and long-term goals. A means to an end, so to speak.

I'm very thankful Prime is standing behind me, and showing me they value my service by kind of allowing me to do this on my terms. I guess that's really the moral of the story. I reached out to my company with some concerns, and together we came up with a plan to keep this ball a-rollin, while also getting me home to the grandbabies much more than before.

We'll see how this new adventure plays out. If I hate it, I'll just find something else to do. For now, bring on the first student!

I'm actually in Pittston now, having just finished up 3 days of instructor training. I've already met my student, and even gave him a little seat time yesterday just to get a feel for the truck. We head out on our first load in a couple hours. This should be interesting. I'll probably start a new thread on Prime PSD training, from a trainers perspective.

Guess this wasn't such a short version after all...

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

That is very very cool, Turtle. I know about the Grandchild issue and you are doing absolutely the right thing by putting them first, you will never regret it.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
member avatar

I hope you're happy with this new chapter. I'm sure you have a lot of wisdom to share with new drivers. I'm willing to wait a few more years before I have grandkids...

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

You will be a great teacher. Look forward to seeing your posts.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

Good for you, and I'm sure Prime will appreciate having another great trainer who isn't just trying to leech miles from someone.

I am in no way saying all trainers do this at Prime or other companies, but we have all read stories to that effect.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Just goes to show you how far communication goes. I'm glad that you and Prime were able to come up with a game plan that benefits both of you. Thank you for helping get new drivers get trained, there seems to be a shortage of trainers who are willing to train new drivers the way things should be done. Your future students be very lucky to have a trainer such as yourself. I give you credit particularly for doing PSD training. I'd love to read a thread about PSD training from your perspective if time allows. It would be a great resource for future students to read as well.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Turtle this is really good stuff. I think you'll make an awesome trainer. We'll all benefit from it, directly or indirectly. I'll try to route myself north tomorrow, deliver to the Pittston, PA Walmart, grab a coffee in the Pilot across the street (assuming that's fairly close to your terminal). I am up that way often enough, might actually get a chance to meet you; a photo opp. for the TT forum.

Best wishes with the new gig. Safe travels.

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.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations! Best of luck to you. Your current and future students don't know how good they will have it. Prime will benefit greatly from the students you teach.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck to you Turtle as you close one chapter and open a new chapter. I know you will be a super trainer. Your students will have lot to look forward to. Happy Trails.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Awesome news, Turtle! I've read posts by our more experienced members talking about how being a top tier driver can earn you certain perks with your company. You are a wonderful example of just that...and kudos to Prime for accommodating you. Hope to see you around Pittston whenever I'm there. My fleet manager , Theresa works out of Pittston.

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.
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