Starting Prime Inc. Orientation As Reefer Before Going Flatbed?

Topic 26374 | Page 1

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Jay N.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello, I finally registered after many weeks lurking this wonderful forum on my way to breaking into this industry. After weighing the differences between reefer and flatbed I opted to start out in flatbed but, because of my location, I’d be starting out in Pittston, PA, and since flatbed boot camp is in Springfield, MO, that option is unavailable. My recruiter said I will have to start out reefer and ‘upgrade’ to flatbed later on.

May I get your thoughts on this? And how long until I will be able to transfer over to the flatbed department?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Jay.

There must be some confusion, because you can train for flatbed at Pittston or any other terminal as a new student.

The only "boot camp" we have is for when someone wants to switch divisions. Like if you were a reefer driver that wanted to switch to flatbed, you'd have to attend the roughly week-long bootcamp for flatbed. The bootcamp is a crash course focused on the skills needed for that particular division.

It's possible your recruiter was referring to the PSD phase, in which you may have to go out with a CDL instructor from any division to get the skills necessary for obtaining your CDL. Once you finish the PSD phase you will go out with a TNT flatbed trainer. It just comes down to availability of an instructor. For PSD they'll likely just put you with the first instructor that comes up.

I'm a flatbedder, but I've trained PSD students from all three divisions, and I pull my students from Pittston. Once they get their CDL, they move on to a TNT trainer in their chosen division.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

☝️what he said

Jay N.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Jay.

There must be some confusion, because you can train for flatbed at Pittston or any other terminal as a new student.

The only "boot camp" we have is for when someone wants to switch divisions. Like if you were a reefer driver that wanted to switch to flatbed, you'd have to attend the roughly week-long bootcamp for flatbed. The bootcamp is a crash course focused on the skills needed for that particular division.

It's possible your recruiter was referring to the PSD phase, in which you may have to go out with a CDL instructor from any division to get the skills necessary for obtaining your CDL. Once you finish the PSD phase you will go out with a TNT flatbed trainer. It just comes down to availability of an instructor. For PSD they'll likely just put you with the first instructor that comes up.

I'm a flatbedder, but I've trained PSD students from all three divisions, and I pull my students from Pittston. Once they get their CDL, they move on to a TNT trainer in their chosen division.

Oh I see. I went over the Orientation package emailed to me and on it said flatbed/tanker drivers will have to attend bootcamp in Springfield. I asked my recruiter that and her answer wasn't very straightforward and it may have confused me a bit. Thank you Turtle.

I'm starting Monday so just trying to get all my ducks in a row. For my PSD phase, I'm aware there will be a screening process and various paperwork but everything should clear without a hitch. Afterwards, I will start collecting my 10k instructor miles, correct? I already obtained my CDL permit so assuming I won't have to attend classes? Sorry for the ignorance. Thanks for all your answers.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

No problem with the questions Jay. That's what we're here for.

The boot camp thing still baffles me though. It may just be in how it's worded.

When you complete TNT , you will have to go to Springfield to upgrade, and the upgrade process includes a flatbed securement class. But that's a different thing from the "bootcamp". Maybe another follow up with your recruiter will be wise, just to be safe.

Afterwards, I will start collecting my 10k instructor miles, correct? I already obtained my CDL permit so assuming I won't have to attend classes?

There are some company classes during orientation, but they have nothing to do with the permit. Safety, company procedures, etc. Afterwards, yes you will get on the truck with an instructor. Typically you'll arrive at orientation on the weekend, and will be with your instructor by Friday or Saturday. It won't necessarily have to be 10k miles. The only real requirement is you must have your permit for a minimum of 14 days before you can test for your CDL. Your PSD instructor will decide when you are ready to come back to test, usually in 1-2 weeks.

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.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

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.

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