Prime PSD Training, From A Trainer's Perspective.

Topic 25397 | Page 2

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Army 's Comment
member avatar

Indeed, just making sure I knew what stage the driver was in, my son is close to “d” seat I think with Wil-Trans... but I haven’t heard from him for a week.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, he's too busy to call the "Old Man" right now. He's gonna be really busy for a few months. Eventually things will settle down, but that first three or four months goes by like a whirlwind. I remember my wife panicked one time because she hadn't heard from me in a few days, but the truth was I just never had a chance to call her during hours that I thought she was awake. We were not allowed to use our cell phones during training unless we were off duty.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

There's no way I'd ever sleep behind a trainee from day one and eventually towards the very end of their training I *might* be able to catnap behind a very few of them. There have been a very few though. Usually I just get in the sleeper and observe and document.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Part of why I chose PSD is because I'm required to sit on-duty in the passenger seat beside them. I've become a professional passenger, basically. I'm not sure I'd be able to sleep with a newbie driving.

More backing practice prior to leaving the truck stop yesterday. He's still struggling with the alley dock, as is expected with anyone just starting out. I have to keep reminding him that he's only been doing this for a couple days. Some people take several months to even get close to having a handle on it. It's important that I don't let him get frustrated over it, but I could still see some disappointment from him.

He drove the 8+ hour leg to Springfield, logging 450ish miles for the day. This put a smile on his face, as he pulled it off without a hitch. The only real complaint I had is he tends to favor the right side of the lane, triggering the lane departure warning buzzer when he drifts over the line occasionally. Most of it is due to the high winds experienced yesterday, and maybe a little nervousness from the Super truckers blowing by this slow Prime truck, but it's still something he needs to correct. I'm kind of a stickler for lane control in any situation.

Fast forward to Springfield. We dropped my loaded trailer, picked up an empty, then went straight to the practice pad. 3 hours later, you'd swear he was a whole different person. Gone was the disappointment and doubt in is eyes over his backing skills. He's picking off straights, offsets, and parallels like it's nothing now. The alleys are still slightly more difficult. He mostly just needs to fine-tune his judgement on when to cut the trailer and went to get back under it. But he's nailing it like 8 out of 10 times.

Most importantly, in this short span of time, he's developing a natural feel for which way to turn the wheel when backing. Not having to think "right or left" will help tremendously.

I'm so glad I chose to stop by the yard for this practice. Beforehand, he was probably doubting his ability to pass a test. Now he's beaming with confidence after seeing how the reference points really simplify the maneuvers. At least he now knows that the test itself is passable. Applying the reference points to the real world will be another matter, but for now let's just get past that test.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Fascinating account of the training process. The trainee is training to drive and you are training to train, so to speak. One technique that helped me was that at the end of everyday we wrote down what I needed to work on the next day based on the problems I had that day. Then that list got taped to the dash the following morning. Rarely was an item repeated for two days except "Watch your Tandems!" was on the list every day. Looking forward to continuing reports of this training process.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Wonderful account, Turtle! I commend your training style, and enjoy reading about your student's success, and your interest in his success. Awesome job, Boss!

side note: Susan, thank you for being an active trainer!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
One technique that helped me was that at the end of everyday we wrote down what I needed to work on the next day based on the problems I had that day. Then that list got taped to the dash the following morning.

I think this is a fantastic method for helping students learn. Having a clear short term goal is very helpful. The student is overwhelmed by 100 different things at all times. If you can give the student one or two specific things to focus on at any given time it really helps to keep them calm and focused. It keeps their mind from spinning.

I've mentioned I'm learning how to climb. Every day I have specific things I want to work on. Usually we do a bunch of shorter climbs each day and each climb we do has a specific task to work on. Often times I'll have 3 or 4 things on my mind that I want to pay attention to, but I get to the end of the climb and realize I had completely forgotten about some of them. I just had too many things to think about at once. When that happens you wind up making a lot of mistakes and learning very little.

So the more specific you can be with your students about what you want them to be working on at any given moment the more focused and relaxed they'll be. Give them too much to think about at once and they'll be overwhelmed.

It sounds funny, but I've always told new drivers there's only one golden rule - don't hit anything. That's it. You can grind gears, miss your exit, be late for an appointment, or accidentally go over your available hours and all of it can be easily fixed as long as you don't hit anything. Even giving them that one simple goal to focus on seems to calm them down a bit.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

This is great. Professional passenger is a perfect designation.

So since this is your first student, what gear did you find yourself acquiring before his arrival (2nd bumblebee, extra winch bar, etc) or did you find yourself already loaded out for two people pretty much ?

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
So since this is your first student, what gear did you find yourself acquiring before his arrival (2nd bumblebee, extra winch bar, etc) or did you find yourself already loaded out for two people pretty much ?

I mostly already had redundant systems in place, on the chance I'd lose or forget something somewhere. Extra winch bar, hard hat, safety glasses, and those type of things were already here. I did pick up a few more sets of gloves, because I destroy them fairly often. So will he.

To be clear, as a PSD student he is not officially hired yet, and thus not required to assist with any securement or tarping. However, any wannabe flatbedder worth his salt isn't gonna sit and watch me do it by myself.

To make the situation a little more comfortable for the student, I cleared out a cabinet for them and made room on the food shelf and fridge. It took a total reorganization of the interior to make it happen, but now I've got it pretty efficient in here without causing an undue burden on either of us.

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.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
I did pick up a few more sets of gloves, because I destroy them fairly often.

Is this mostly from the chains?

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