Prime Inc TNT Students Will See Increased Mileage Requirements In Training

Topic 25606 | Page 4

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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It's somewhat amusing to me (I'm easily amused), that the term "crash course" is usually avoided at Schneider. However, I do believe that Schneider has a knack for picking great instructors and trainers. At least that is my personal opinion based on my very limited experience.

And Rainy, how do you deal with your 34 hr. DOT breaks when you are training? Do you get a motel room for one of you?

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rainy 's Comment
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And Rainy, how do you deal with your 34 hr. DOT breaks when you are training? Do you get a motel room for one of you?

Nope. Not unless I want to get us off the truck to decompress.

We share a rolling closet, so what is the differnce of sharing it at a truck stop for a 34? Not to mention I can do "rolling 34s". If i drive in the trainee has been off for 10 hours. I park the truck for 24 hours.. we eat, shower, do laundry, then the trainee drives us out. at the end of his/her 34. Im on break for another 10 hrs to complete my 34.

Sometimes i go.into the terminal and they can get a room or stay on the truck and i go get my jacuzzi suite

smile.gif

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rainy 's Comment
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I think the quality of the training is far more important than the length of the training. I remember one student several years ago who went through four months of training with Prime before going solo. In all that time he had never done a drop and hook by himself and wasn't sure how to drop the trailer. He was at the yard and had to ask another driver for help.

This is my concern. A lousy trainer wont teach you whether you are training for one month or one year. I was told they are going through the trainer rolls and eliminating bad trainers. They have done this several times in the past, but kept the influx high. So people were sometimes waiting for trainers. Many of the lease ops are rejoicing with comments like "Oh this is great. It takes me 2 to 3 weeks investment to get to the point where I feel comfortable going into a deep sleep. Now i can have that ability longer before swapping students".

The student's comfort level also makes a huge difference. I went to a private school and then only went on the road with a trainer for two weeks before going solo. I felt I was as ready as I was ever going to be, and quite anxious to get my own truck. I got along splendidly with the trainer. He was a great guy who I felt did a great job teaching me all he could in the time we had. We both felt that trucking is a "learn by doing" type of trade. Once you know the basics of how to handle the truck you just have to get out there and get the experience. Sitting there next to him was going to hold me back more than it was going to help at that point. He had said at the time that he kept some students for 4 - 6 weeks, but others are ready after 2 weeks.

Yeah but Brett, there are so many gadgets, apps, macros, sensors, and procedures to learn now. It isnt just about handling the truck or flicking the reefer on and set the temps, it has like 30 different settings and understanding the alarms and messages it sends to the QC can kill or save a career. the new trucks are the same way. Mine is so advanced i have roll over airbags, so even understanding how the seat works can save your life. Having seat covers or objects blocking the seats could harm you. Our QC systems has had 3 updates in the last year and it sucks. Each update reacts differently.

I am sure to have my students ready by weeks 3 to 4. The rest is practice while they borrow my truck. That builds confidence. I had a student who could have gone solo at week 3, and one who was just never going to make it cause she couldnt grasp the backing or make a decision.

The more I get accomplished in training, the less mistakes they will make, and less hassle they will be for my FM. Brownie points for me lol

I am shocked with the automatics they extended training instead of decreasing it. And i have seen no evidence of reducing ttaining pay, despite the autos being easier.

We were also told.they cancelled the orders for the Volvos they intended. Last year they got 25 to test and had an order in place. They just announced the Volvo downtime and costs for repairs are not good enough and they are giving feedback but no longer getting the Volvos. Volovs need to go to the dealers and the wait times have been ridicilous as well as part availibility. The non warranty items are expensive.

Im guessing this is why we have seen a great increase of internationals on our fleet this year.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Yeah but Brett, there are so many gadgets, apps, macros, sensors, and procedures to learn now. It isnt just about handling the truck or flicking the reefer on and set the temps, it has like 30 different settings and understanding the alarms and messages it sends to the QC can kill or save a career. the new trucks are the same way. Mine is so advanced i have roll over airbags, so even understanding how the seat works can save your life. Having seat covers or objects blocking the seats could harm you. Our QC systems has had 3 updates in the last year and it sucks. Each update reacts differently.

Interestingly enough you don't even need to be in a truck to learn most of that. You can learn about the reefer codes, macros, seats, and sensors from computer based training or simulator training. In fact, I would say those would be the better ways to learn that kind of stuff. You only need to be in the truck if you're learning how to handle the truck or dealing with circumstances on the road like parking and fueling.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robsteeler's Comment
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Why is there such a disparity in training miles from company to company? At Schneider I only drove two weeks with my trainer (plus or minus 6,000 miles) and then they put me solo. I loved getting out on my own, but in retrospect, I really needed more training.

YOU needed training? I only had a week, which broke down to 3 1/2 days of actual driving training with a home daily guy. He rushed through the day so he could make it home. I'm lucky I didn't have an actual accident. The little incidents I had would have been prevented with a bit more experience. I really hope I'm past that sort of thing at this point, but I don't want to get complacent. The saving Grace is that Schneider's instructors really are top notch. I think the incidents I had resulting in more training really helped.

Robsteeler's Comment
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Brett, you say freight is slow, I say freight is slow, everybody says freight is slow and right now I'm waiting for a load, so why why is it that every time I hit an OC, yesterday for one, I see full classes of trainees. The OC I stopped in also had rows upon rows of brand new trucks with the plastic on the seats as well. What do they know that no one else seems to know?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Brett, you say freight is slow, I say freight is slow, everybody says freight is slow and right now I'm waiting for a load, so why why is it that every time I hit an OC, yesterday for one, I see full classes of trainees. The OC I stopped in also had rows upon rows of brand new trucks with the plastic on the seats as well. What do they know that no one else seems to know?

There are always fluctuations in freight that are impossible to predict. Unfortunately all anyone can do is try to react to the current trend and make some guesses as to where things are going next. It's like the stock market - the only thing that's certain is the past, and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

So for starters, what happens next is anyone's guess.

On top of that, it takes time to set plans in motion for a big company. They often purchase trucks many months in advance of their actual arrival, and they set up students for class several weeks or even months ahead of time. So they're not able to react real quickly to changes in the marketplace.

Not only that, but the large companies can flip switches to change the amount of freight they have fairly quickly. If they need more freight to keep their trucks rollin they can always find it, but it might not pay very well. If they're decreasing their fleet size they can increase their freight rates a little bit and still keep the trucks rolling.

So it's a constant game of looking at the recent trends and trying to predict where things are going over the next few months to a year. Ultimately there's no way to know, so sometimes they get surprised. They wind up with too little freight or too much freight, too few trucks or too many trucks, too few students or too many students. It's a moving target. They're always trying to match up their truck inventory and the number of drivers they have with the amount of available freight that pays enough to be worthwhile.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Robsteeler said: " I hit an OC, yesterday for one, I see full classes of trainees."

Rob, you know I am not currently driving for Schneider. All those trainees is because Schneider is scrambling to replace my production.

Even with all the bean counters and college grads in management at these huge companies, they still don't have the proverbial crystal ball. Very few people saw the last financial crisis coming. I hope there's not another one coming, but even so the trucks have to keep delivering goods. Layoffs might happen but most drivers will still be needed.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
What do they know that no one else seems to know?

They know that this business fluctuates wildly. The business of trucking is wildly cyclical. They know that what's down will go right back up, and they've probably been caught unprepared before. The last thing you want to do is get caught in an up-cycle without being prepared for it. This is a capital intensive business that is asset based. If you are not prepared (having the assets in place and ready) you can lose out big time when the circumstances demand action. Business is all about execution when opportunity knocks. Timing is a guessing game at best. Having skin in the game and being prepared for opportunity is prudent and smart.

Rick S.'s Comment
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They may also be doing this to "weed out the weak" in their applicant pool. While more experience can't be bad, many folks that are just not interested in teaming in the first place, may be less amenable to hiring on somewhere that they have to do 50K miles of it.

Understanding that most TNT's are lease ops, and "meat in the seat" to rack up miles can be one of the main benefits of being a trainer (Rainy being the exception)

And pardon my memory lapse - but is that 50K TO THE TRUCK, or the DRIVER HIMSELF? That comes out to 18-20 weeks depending.

Rick

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 14ยข 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.

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