Prime PSD Training, From A Trainer's Perspective.

Topic 25397 | Page 17

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Turtle's Comment
member avatar
What's happening with PSD training?

Well, I'm actually glad you asked. At first, I wasn't going to bore you guys with the details of another student. He's been with me for just a few days, and the training has largely gone the same as the last student.

Although he came to Prime with a CDL acquired through a driving school, I suspect the school just "pushed him through". He can drive ok, always safe and aware of his surroundings. But his backing skills were lacking, and pre-trip knowledge was nonexistent. Following driving school, he drove an expedited straight truck for Panther. In his own words, they just threw him and another newbie into a truck as a team, and sent them on their way.

Aside from that, they paid him as a 1099 independent contractor, and he soon found out it was not working out to his benefit. Not that I'm trying to knock Panther here, just relaying the story as it was told to me.

Anyway, we've had several days to dive deep into practice, and he's improved dramatically. As I mentioned before, this trainiing is condensed, intended only to mold him into shape for an in-house exam, scheduled for Friday. I'm confident he'll pass that without any problems. Following the exam, he is still required to complete 30k miles of road training with a TNT trainer.

Now... on to the cool part. At least for me anyway. There's an unexpected aspect of training that I hadn't considered.

He's from Ghana, West Africa. 6 yrs ago he was accepted into some kind of travel lottery, allowing him to come to America. I still haven't quite got a grip on how that works, but he considers himself incredibly lucky to be chosen. It took a year for him to save enough to cover the travel expense to get here.

Upon arrival in the US, he was placed in contact with a host family, with whom he lived for 3 months. After saving more money, he was able to get his own place. Mind you, he had zero family or friends here, and just jumped head long into this new opportunity. Sometimes working 3 jobs, and I'll explain why in a little bit. Dock worker, gas station attendant, taxi driver, uber, you name it. He kept himself busy. All the while saving every spare penny he had. Eventually he found his self-described "passion" was driving.

He freely told me all this information, so I don't think I'm betraying his trust by saying this. He comes from a very poor family, with 7 other siblings back in Africa. Keeping enough money for himself to survive, he also sends money back to Africa to help support his family. As the eldest son, he feels it's his obligation to do so. This opportunity placed before him has given him a chance to bring his family out of poverty, and I can't describe just how thankful he is. I won't go too deep into that, but let's just say it opened my eyes to just how good some of us have it, compared to others.

For me, this opportunity has allowed me to learn so much more about a different culture from what I'm accustomed to. I've peppered him with literally dozens of questions so far, all of which he gladly answers. It's completely fascinating to me to learn of the cultural, social, and familial differences between us. In some ways I feel like a better person for it. It's hard to explain. Two guys from different worlds, living in a truck. That's kinda cool.

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.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle that is an awesome story. Far too often people look at trucking as a job for slobs or those who fail at everything else. His story is inspirational and helps put how good we have it in this country into perspective. Truck driving is really making a huge difference in his and his families life (as it does for many of us).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
At first, I wasn't going to bore you guys with the details of another student.

Clearly no one is bored with these stories. They're super interesting, not only for experienced drivers who enjoy following along, but for newbies coming into the industry who are craving any advice or experiences that will help them succeed.

Keep sharing em!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
He's from Ghana, West Africa. 6 yrs ago he was accepted into some kind of travel lottery, allowing him to come to America. I still haven't quite got a grip on how that works, but he considers himself incredibly lucky to be chosen. It took a year for him to save enough to cover the travel expense to get here.

It's called the "Diversity Visa Lottery". Enacted a number of years ago, it allows a certain number of immigration visas (50K total # per year, divided up by countries with low immigration to the US) to be given out. You basically throw your name in a hat - and if your number comes up you get an Immigrant Visa. About 100K are actually issued annually, as they consider immediate family at their discretion also (wife, children).

Sadly, current administration wants to stop this - one of the few things I DISAGREE ON (though I'm with him on stopping chain migration - the practice of one immigrant admission bringing 20 family members in - the lottery system was designed for the number of immigrants we could assimilate annually, not quadruple the numbers).

We CAN AFFORD to assimilate 50K people under the program, even from poorer backgrounds, and it does bring DIVERSITY to our nation. We CAN'T AFFORD the millions who "cut the line", and just sneak in, expecting to receive benefits and remain here. I have friends from Thailand who waited TEN YEARS for a non-lottery visa - and they're more angrier than I at the number of people who break the law and expect to receive the same treatment/benefits as those who FOLLOW THE RULES.

Diversity Visa Lottery winners - tend to be people who WANT TO BE AMERICANS, and they WORK REALLY HARD at integrating into society here - as is demonstrated by Turtles new student.

This was not meant to be a political "thread hijack" - just an explanation of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program - since Turtle didn't know how it works (as many ppl don't even know it exists).

So we aren't a mean old country, that keeps poor people out - we have a method in place to allow diversity and the ability for people to come to this country. OTOH - we cannot afford as a nation, to just allow millions to stream across our border, because it sucks where they are. The number of illegal entrants through the southern border, who are NOT from this hemisphere, are evidence of how lax border security and immigration enforcement, can destroy our economy and create an undue burden on our social welfare systems that are in place to help people who FOLLOW THE RULES get a leg up from poverty. (OK, that might have been a little political).

Rick

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

The immigration issue is a tough one and far from being solved.

I just listened to a Public Broadcasting Radio piece on an immigration situation in Iowa. The unemployment rate in Iowa is very low and businesses are unable to find enough workers. So they turn to undocumented workers who, for the most part, work hard, live peaceful lives and contribute to the economy. Then ICE comes in, raids factories and arrests these workers. This is a terrible dilemma with no clear solution in sight.

Turtle's account is a great example of the good side of immigration. I contend that if any one of us 'lucky' ones lived in Ghana or any impoverished country, we would try to do the same thing and immigrate to the U.S. for the purpose of a better life for our family and ourselves.

I believe it was Thomas Paine who said: "My country is the world and my religion is to do good"

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle,

My wife works with many immigrant families and has had a couple from Africa. It's amazing the dramatic difference in the cultures.

BTW, now that Prime requires 50,000 miles for TNT I assume that I would have a more difficult time to convince you to be my TNT trainer.

Looking forward to more PSD training stories.

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.

Anthony's Comment
member avatar

That's one interesting story, and sure makes training worth while for folks like that !

Years ago when I was in Iraq, I had an employee from Kenya. He was a hell of a worker and very respectful person. So we go to the gym after our 12 hour shift and this guy has the treadmill on Max speed, Max incline and runs for an hour !

I was amazed and started asking about his running skills, and he told me he had an offer to go to the Olympics for his country, but turned it down to go overseas to make money to help his family !

I almost didn't believe him, until he showed me photos and the letter from the Olympic commission.

Sorry to get off topic, but it shows how truly amazing people are if you take the effort to actually meet them. It's not easy letting them into our personal space and giving them control of our lives, but remember it's their life, career, and future in your hands as well !

God bless

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

It truly is a feel-good story of immigration working the way it should. He's worked hard to reach this point. His U.S. citizenship should come through in a few more months, and you can really see the appreciation he has for all he's accomplished.

Working with him really has been a great experience. I haven't gotten over how polite and respectful he is. His eagerness to learn and work hard is going to be one of his biggest strengths.

We return to Pittston tomorrow to get him tested out, and they already have a new PSD ready to hop on my truck.

I just may like this training thing...

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle said: "I just may like this training thing..." Turtle, I'm sure I'm expressing the sentiments of everybody here when I say "it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy".

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I truly enjoy following your training posts, Turtle.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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