Prime Inc TNT Students Will See Increased Mileage Requirements In Training

Topic 25606 | Page 5

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Old School's Comment
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The mileage is measured as "to the truck."

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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nterestingly 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

Brett, you are a strong, independent guy with lots of life experience. Not everyone will be as awesome as you or learn as fast. Everyone has different learning styles, so one type of teaching method does not always work. Computer based training goes in one ear and out the other for a lot of people. When I tell people, even on this forum that their questions were answered on the videos, they dont remember. The SIMs were great for learning shifting patterns... which we don't need anymore due to automatics, and determining which students were serious and using mirrors. They were also designed for men, not women. Apparently women's eyes are different and depth perception is different. Many women had headaches and nausea using the SIMs. The students who thought or acted like they were videos games got sent home. The Springfield SIMs were $10 million dollars and in no way compare to trucks. You know how lease ops lie to themselves about how great leasing is? That is how I feel about the SIMs. The companies brag about how much they will prepare you and when they ask the students afterwards... most say the SIMs did not help anywhere near what Prime believes they did. Despite their design, the grades and winter scenarios felt flat and pointless, it just made things move slowly, it didnt look up/downhill to me. Maybe that is the female eye thing, i dont know. We get like 9 hours of SIM before going OTR , then another 6 hours to upgrade to solo.

Prime gives very little classroom time compared to some other companies because it is modeled to teach all 3 methods of learning. Some are visual/reading learners, some are auditory learners, and some are hands on. A great instructor will demonstrate and explain to satisfy the visual and auditory learners, then make the student do it for those who are hands on learners. The better a student knows himself and can tell the trainer their prefered learning method the better the trainer can assist them. Going back to upgrade at Prime there are classes that should be a review only, not initial teaching. For many people it is the constant repeating it to retain it that works.

Everyone's past experience will effect them too. You and I had no fear of snow or ice, but one of my trainees was terrified since he was born and raised in MS. The CBT or SIM on winter driving wouldnt help that. People with mechanical knowledge have a much easier time. When I did High Road i was so stressed about the different "valves" discussed. Not actually seeing it made me not understand it. Why couldn't it just say "trailer brake" for a newbie instead of "Air Supply Valve". (This is not a dig on High Road but the DMV manuals. High Road is precise in the terminology used). Lots of drivers with campers, boats, or farmers come out here and zip into docks with no problem, but for someone who never drove a manual car, it was really hard for me.

TNT is supposed to provide a safety net after a certain point. The trainer is there if you need help, but not necessarily really "teaching", rather than assisting. Many of the typical newbie mistakes can be ironed out in TNT if both the student and trainer take things seriously. It is supposed to allow the student confidence to go solo with as little internal distractions as possibl3, resulting in fewer accidents.

It also goes back to what you said about the company making money. The company is making more money by having them OTR than paying them to sit in a classroom and paying for the motel. Even though Prime owns the motel, the overhead and staff is costing money.

Eveyone is different. Add some lease ops "training" just for a driver, it isnt even fair to say "let them upgrade by skills". Some lease ops will lie and keep a safe driver on their truck to help their own pockets.

Most drivers say "I learned so much once i went solo." But I become a "ghost" on the truck. Splitter laughed and called me a very chatty ghost, but coming off my truck, a student knows they can do it. So although that learning curve is still there, it isnt as steep once solo.

I like your idea of swapping trainers, but i also think there should be a "mentor" for support who can be called after training. Not all trainers and students get along.. and getting info and ideas from various drivers cannot hurt. So i think there should be a pool of qualified drivers willing to give out the numbers to answer questions and prevent that feeling of being lost and alone.


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.


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.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.


A refrigerated trailer.


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.



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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Thanks Rick. But we have some truly incredible trainers and awesome experienced drivers who assist but don't train.

But not everyone who drives can actual teach or have the personality for it. Just as not everyone who thinks they can become a driver can handle it.

I have always been an overachiever, so i was doubly stressed. I feel.totally incompetent with change until i master the changes. I think because of that, i have a different opinion than many others. Being on the truck with a horrible trainer for a year doesnt help.... but 2 months with a great trainer? Priceless.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Rainy wrote;

some are hands on.

Yup that's me lol more hands on learner ! When I worked for Pepsi, as diesel mechanic, my boss, wanted me to bring a trailer up to the shop to replace the worn out lift-gates.

Well they were only 48 ft trailers then, and truck was a cab over, no sleeper. Well he wants me to drop the trailer along the office building, with end of trailer just at the edge of shop door not to block it. I'm like NO way I can jack knife the truck 90 degrees to drop that trailer!

Gas pumps were probably 60+ feet away, with concrete steel posts by them.

So he goes and gets the 1st truck/trailer and puts it how he wants me to do it. Man I was amazed how he did that with 2-3 inches between the axles and them concrete posts!........So he says , next one, YOU do like I showed you ! wtf.gif

After I finished with the lift-gate job, I went out got the 2nd rig to put that trailer how he showed, and I'll be damned, I got it within 2 inches of them steel posts shocked.png

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Rainy said: "i also think there should be a "mentor" for support who can be called after training. Not all trainers and students get along.. and getting info and ideas from various drivers cannot hurt. So i think there should be a pool of qualified drivers willing to give out the numbers to answer questions and prevent that feeling of being lost and alone."

This is the part of your comment that really struck a chord with me. I had a great trainer, but he kept his distance on a personal basis. I think one of the reasons for this is he viewed his job to train students, not to make friends. I can understand this because he has trained so many drivers, that he can't have them calling him all the time. But there have been many times I wished I could call him a pick his brain. My DBL has never been a driver, so she can't do what he could do to help me. And DBLs don't have the time to be hand holders. I try to talk to other drivers as much as possible, but there are limited opportunities. So my main way of getting 'mentoring' is right here on TT. Even if I ask a dumb question, I know I will get sound guidance.

Robsteeler's Comment
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Just a question about the close are they to how a steer tire blowout feels, or a full on skid on ice? I had a slight skid on ice in my actual truck, and it didn't seem the same to me as the Sim.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Just a question about the close are they to how a steer tire blowout feels, or a full on skid on ice? I had a slight skid on ice in my actual truck, and it didn't seem the same to me as the Sim.

Simulators really aren't designed to learn how to handle the truck itself. They work best for teaching things like defensive driving techniques, shift patterns, techniques for descending mountains, strategies for approaching intersections, and things of that nature. They're not going to excel at things like handling skids, stab braking, tire blowouts, and icy roads.

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