Driving For Prime

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Southern Dad's Comment
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I still say bad words going through Atlanta in a four wheeler.

I was through Atlanta couples days ago and only said one or maybe two ugly words.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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If you dont at least think real hard about saying some unpleasant things in Atlanta between 6 am and 8 pm you dont have a pulse or arent paying attention.

The only thing I can add here is, if you arent certain you want it dont do it. As Old School always says, this is about commitment. You have to want it like you have never wanted anything before. There will be stresses you cant imagine, because there are things you just dont deal with anywhere else but the drivers seat of that 72 foot long machine. Its magnificently rewarding, and if you yearn for freedom from the mundane this is it. Your drive will determine the outcome for you. Set a goal and work your butt off to accomplish that. Settle for nothing less, just dont second guess yourself, be sure you want this and are up to all challenges.

40 Days's Comment
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I am currently still in training with Prime. Great company to start with and from what other drivers tell me long term as well. Did my research for years only made me nervous and made me feel like I knew what I was getting into. Haha OMG. Nothing you read or do can prepare you it only gives you realistic expectations. This has been one huge learning adventure of a lifetime. If its your time do not miss your opportunity. You cant dip your toes and check the water. Like others have said don't worry about training Prime wants you to succeed and anyone can learn the basics. But be on your game and study High Road Training here. Out of 100 in my orientation class only 13 are left. Read the diary Turtle made from his beginning word-for-word truth of what it's like. Hopefully, you make the right choice for you whatever that may be.

RealDiehl's Comment
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If you think that being uncertain about backing and driving in tough situations is uncommon, think again. A healthy fear of these things is not only normal, it also means you are sane. Lol!

Some people think they are not the type to pick up on these kinds of skills quickly. For whatever reason: Gender, upbringing, former employment, experience driving forklifts and such...I don't think it matters. No one is predisposed to driving a tractor trailer.

In my CDL school we had a guy who was super confident. He was a diesel mechanic prior to coming to school. He knew trucks inside and out. But when it came to learning the skills needed to drive one, he struggled just like everyone else.

Dont let any doubts about your current skill set or aptitude influence your decision too much. People from all walks of life succeed or fail based upon how hard they work (or not) to achieve their cdl and become a driver. Nobody jumps in a truck and becomes competent overnight. Setbacks, doubt, and frustration are par for the course. Stay focused on learning and improving, and you will succeed.

Good luck to you!

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.
Exfloridagirl's Comment
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I plan on doing that for sure before I commit!!! 🙂

Ice cream man's Comment
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Hi there I am almost done my training at prime. There are a great company that makes you feel like family. Sure it was a big step in life I have a wife at home and times can be tough. But it’s life change we jumped into head first. Prime will get you the training and the tools you need to drive if you want it. I had 3 women in my class in June and we all still talk to each other and help each other . Not one of them had ever been in side a big rig but all three got there cdl first try. They are all doing very well with there training as one told me the other day it get easier every mile and every stop she never thought moving around a big truck would become a natural feeling. But when she went home last week for a few days her car felt strange to drive and she wanted her big truck back. If your committed prime had the tools to get you there. Best of luck in choosing a new path in life. P.s I am a little one sided but there are a lot of good training companies out there .

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome to the forum...

As Errol suggested and I agree; reading the document(s) found in these two links will go a long way in grounding your expectations, allaying some of your concerns and establishing a base of knowledge that you can leverage as you move through this journey.

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

If you do nothing else, please read them. Priceless and informative.

I had to chuckle about the feedback you received from family and friends. Been there, and at times still there..."Why would anyone want to do that for a living?" LOL! rofl-1.gif

Seeking input from anyone who has never experienced this; is like asking a vegetarian where to find a good steak. They will never "get it" and if they claim to, they are sprinkling pixie-dust. Problem is; none of the folks who offered their opinion to you, or me, know the first thing about this and probably associated your motivation to something completely undesirable in their sphere of reality. "Unshaven, stinky, toothless slobs who pee in bottles and spit nails". A small minority have created a very negative stigma for all of us; not based on how the majority of us conduct our business or present. When I decided to commit to this full time, I heard both highly positive and highly negative opinions, neither of which really mattered. In the final analysis of your current state, turn totally inward for your answer, and realize that you must go into this with a positive attitude, no distractions and a commitment to focusing all of your attention on learning and practicing. Understand what is motivating you to do this...it must come from within because "that which drives" is imperative to success.

And seriously try not to fret over things like "backing into tight spaces"...step 10, you are on step 0.5. "Repetition" is the greatest teacher, persistence eventually overcomes any and all resistance. Keep that in mind as you allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Implied in that though...you are going to make mistakes; accept there to be many bumps and setbacks along the way. Brush yourself off, learn from them and progress.

We all started in the exact same spot as you...we knew nothing and had to work through all the preliminary stuff to have a clear commitment.

You are not alone...believe that. I'd like to introduce you to the writing and miscellaneous ramblings of our resident Prime-ate Trainer, "Rainy". AKA Kearsey, she is one of the best sources of how to succeed in this business, and has an excellent grasp on the woman's perspective. Her no BS, pragmatic approach is easy to understand and apply. I think you will be able to relate to her...

My suggestion is to start with a blog article she wrote...this one addresses the F.U.D factor (fear, uncertainty, & doubt) which you are currently experiencing...Getting Past Your Fear of the Unknown

Lots of good stuff in the BLOG section, I suggest getting familiar with it. We are sincerely interested in hearing your feedback once you have completed the reading assignment. Good luck!

smile.gif

Donna M.'s Comment
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Omgosh thank you for sharing Donna!!! I can relate with so much of what you said. I just need to get the confidence in myself that I can do it. I've also read about a few horror stories regarding bad situations with trainers which is another concern of mine if we're going to be spending alot of time together... can you tell me what your experience was like. Do I get any input of who I get?

U will fill out a personality form in which they match u with a trainer. U will have a choice of smoker or non and male or female. Keep in mind female trainers are few and once u make that choice u can’t undo! My psd and tnt trainers were male.. I choice to go back out with a second tnt trainer she was female. That didn’t work at all. Two dominant females in one truck was horrible, lasted two long weeks! U will have a greet and meet with your trainer, they decide if they like u and u decide if u like them. Look for the respect factor! Like my first trainer said when u are getting dressed I will wait outside truck once your dressed then I will get dressed. It just shows respect for your privacy. Of course there are plenty drama people. They can make anything a bad situation. Oh he louder at me or cussed me, the whole time he was referring to the car that cut him off. It’s what u make of it! Now there are times when for whatever reason it just don’t work. Call prime, voice your problem, this isn’t their first rodeo, they will get a new trainer or whatever it takes. They are there for u to succeed. They invest money and time in your success. They give u the best of equipment, no ragged out junk, for u to succeed!

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Donna, you could write your stuff up as a TT Blog entry. That's something Brett can decide.

In the meantime, here is Rainy's (Kearsey's) Blog entry: Sexism In Trucking From A Woman's Perspective

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not an old hand at trucking at all. I do have sine experience in regards to your questions about "Getting into and training for trucking though ~ or at least a couple of ideas, thoughts and suggestions on the subject.

No. #1. Attitude.

Initially and I would say that it's the No. #1 thing you've got to vigilant in. keeping the right attitude, and your mind focused.

There's going to be moments let alone days on in, when you might have to at least work if not struggle to maintain the correct attitude and frame of mind.

You may find yourself having " to reset" your perspective, mindset, frame of mind, even perspective from time to time.

I myself try to maintain a professional attitude, perspective and frame of mind as much as I can. I'm not always successful, have to "catch and check myself" and get it together.

No.#2. The 5 P's

"Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance"

Become a sponge 🧽 and absurd any and all knowledge, pulling from any source of such and experience you can. Such as here!

The one source you don't want to pull from? Any source of negativity. Stay away from the Terminal Rats 🐀, Negative Nancy's and such. Avoid them.

Always watch out for 90 Day Wonders, guys that haven't really been driving for very long, yet they've all the answers to all the questions, have the solutions to all the problems, know any and everything.

I'm. If the opinion that this is a business that you NEVER quite quit learning. If the day ever comes I ever reach that point? That'll be I hang it up..

No. #3 Hyper Vigilance and Attentiveness. Speaks for itself. You've ALWAYS got to be on your "A" game 🎯. Take NOTHING for granted.

In your training? You'll be taught proper processes and procedures. Listen 👂 to them, adhere to them.

There's REASONS we do what we do!,

Drivers with a MILLION MILES or more Safe Driving 🚦 records and awards 🏆 are methodical in everything they do, everytime they do it.

No. # 4. The Learning Curve

In any human 🚶 endeavor, when learning a new subject, skill, etc, ........

There's a formula, .....

In which in the beginning?

E = r. That is to say, that in the beginning of learning 📕 🎓 a new subject or skill? A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF EFFORT (E) yields very little results, (r)

But with the right INVESTMENT of time, effort, energy combined with the right attitude and perspective? The equation flips to:

e = R, in which very little effort yields BIG RESULTS! 😉

#5. Trainers

I would suggest you conduct your own interview with a potential trainer.

~ How long have you been driving?

~ How long have you been training?

~ How many students have you trained?

~ Will have be taught and allowed to__________(Backing for example)

~ What your rules 🚷 for the truck

~ What endorsements do you have

~ What is your home 🏠 time schedule 📆 and how does that synch with my training schedule.

~ Do you yell and cuss?

~ Showers?

~ Sleeping arrangements

~ Pet Peeves

None of the above are all inclusive or may be personally relevant to you individually?

Above all?

Attitude, attitude, attitude. ☺

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.

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