Hoping To Train At Prime

Topic 26932 | Page 1

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Timmy Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone! I’m Tim. I’m new here, and hoping to start a trucking career, so I thought this might be a good place to start getting information so that I can get a good start on this journey. I’ll try to briefly tell you about myself and my situation.

I’m 48 years old. I’m originally from Knoxville, TN but I’ve lived in New York City for the past 15 years. I love New York, but it’s very expensive here. I make decent money, but my rent is ridiculously high, and home ownership is definitely not a possibility for me here. It’s just not financially possible. For that reason, I’m considering moving back to Tennessee and pursuing a trucking career.

From everything I’ve researched so far, Prime seems like a really good option for training as well as a great company to work for. I like the idea of being with a trainer for 50,000 miles, as I feel that would sufficiently prepare me to be out on my own when the time comes. I also understand that I’ll face a lot of challenges during the first year or so that no amount of training can necessarily prepare me to face. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot by getting out there and experiencing the everyday situations that occur in trucking. But Prime seems like a great place to get off to a good start and be as prepared as one can be.

Here’s some of my thoughts/concerns:

1) I’m overweight at the moment and working on losing weight. I’m currently about 310 pounds (6ft 2in tall) and I’m trying to get down to about 200. I know Prime does the sleep study on people who are overweight so I’d really like to avoid dealing with that if possible by being as close to my ideal weight as possible when I show up for training. I know I don’t have sleep apnea , but I feel being overweight will definitely get me diagnosed with it whether I have it or not. Honestly, I know Prime is probably just being cautious and safe, but I have a hard time believing so many of their drivers would have sleep apnea. It seems like anyone overweight gets diagnosed with it. Anyway, I know I could be completely wrong about that and welcome any information or advice you might be able to give. But as of now, I’m thinking of using the next 8 months to a year to lose weight and get myself into good physical shape. Also, I have some debt I’d like to get paid off during that time so I can come to Prime and not have that hanging over my head. I’ve already been studying the CDL Prep app and am going to start using the materials on this site as well. I want to know the pretrip inspection very well by the time I’m ready to go to Prime. Has anyone else started preparing so far ahead of time? I just feel like the more I know before I even get started, the better off I’ll be once in there.

2) Once I’m out on the road, I’m planning to live in my truck and not keep a place anywhere. I’ll visit my family during my home time. I’d like to do that for a few years while I save up to buy a house when I’m ready. Does that sound like a feasible plan? Has anyone else gone about it that way?

3) And finally, I’m gay. Why even bring that up? Well, I only bring it up because I know I’ll be in someone’s truck (which is pretty much their home on the road) for quite a while and I wouldn’t want to get out there with someone and then have them be upset if the subject ever came up. I know there are probably plenty of trainers who wouldn’t care about that, so I think it’d be a good idea to just tell any prospective trainer that I’m gay and that I just want him/her to know in case that’s something they might not be comfortable with. No big deal if it is...I can just move on to the next one until there’s a good match. Does this sound like the right way to approach it?

Sorry, I haven’t been as brief as I’d hoped to be. I do appreciate any advice you all can give me. I’ve thought about a trucking career for a while now and the more I research it, the more convinced I am that it’s the right move for me.

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

Hi Tim, welcome to the forum!

Some answers for you real quick from a newer Prime driver (I'm at 5% battery)

1- great idea because a 35 percent bmi and neck circumference of about 16 inch or more does get the study last I remember. Debt is always good to remove! And forget about worrying on the pre trip. There are minor things they corrected on the hand outs on day one, specific details that you don't want to have committed to memory. By the end of the first day you'll have such a good grasp that learning it a year prior will seen silly to you.

2- that's feasible and plenty of folks do it. You can search for those topics here and find some great threads about really saving money and living minimal.

3- the decision for you to explain that to a trainer is yours to make. I could care less if it were my truck and I would say my initial feeling is that most trainers feel the same.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jamie's Comment
member avatar
but I feel being overweight will definitely get me diagnosed with it whether I have it or not

They're not going to diagnose you with sleep apnea if you don't have it, regardless of weight. But bigger people tend to have it, and goes untreated for years or never getting treatment.

Even if you was to get diagnosed with it, it would only help you better your health.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Adding onto my last post, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea at the start of this year. I wasn't selected to do a sleep study until Schneider did their 30 day review, and we had to do a questionnaire related to sleep apnea and any side effects you might be having. Based off my answers, I was selected to have a sleep study done completely free to me due to health Insurance provided by Schneider. I tested positive for sleep apnea, and was giving a CPAP. It takes time getting used to it, but after you do; it generally helps you feel better. some people never get used to it, but most do.

Regardless if I lose weight or not, I'd most likely still have sleep apnea due to restricted air flow due to the size(small) of my throat. But dont think it's the end of the world if you are ever diagnosed with it.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree with Spaceman regarding informing your trainer of your sexual orientation. Completely your decision however it isnt any of his or her business. If you're teased or harassed due to it Prime will take care of it. You may hear slurs over the CB occasionally but most of the time if you just ignore the trash talk they stop very quickly. Driving for 11 hours on the interstate can get boring and their way to entertain themselves is to get a rise out of others. If you give them the satisfaction it continues. You will find 99% of the drivers you will encounter couldnt give a crap about your sexual orientation, gender or how you identify.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

1) Not everyone is diagnosed who is tested. I was tested at Prime my first year and was not diagnosed. 2 years later, i gained weight tested again and got diagnosed... so you need to maintain your weight to not be retested if you pass.

2) I live on my truck and take home time with family or around the country. Paid off a ton of debt.

3) I just did a Youtube video on this last week. Only 20% of male trainers I asked cared about sexual.orientation. The rest said "Don't kill me with bad driving.... and don't hit on me".

Do NOT apply until 30 days before you intend to go into schooling. People keep applying to "see if they qualify" then when they apply again they are getting rejected. It looks indecisive to them. So wait until you are ready.

good luck

Timmy Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for everyone’s responses. I really appreciate it. It’s nice to have the opinions of experienced truckers to help guide those of us looking to embark on a career.

I’ve been using the CDL Prep app to study for the permit. I’m able to successfully pass all four sections that Prime requires (General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles, Air Brakes, Tankers) and I’m also starting to study the material available on this site. I know I have plenty of time and don’t necessarily need to be studying yet, but as I come across things I’ve never heard of, like slack adjusters, I look it up and learn as much as I can about what it is and what it does. So hopefully by the time I’m ready to take that step and apply, I’ll be as prepared as possible. Does anyone have any other suggestions as far as study materials?

One other thing that is on my mind, and I’m sure most people who decide to go into trucking from another career experience this, is the fear of the unknown. I don’t really like change too much, even when I know it’s for the best. I’ve been at my job for 15 years and I have really good benefits. It’s scary to give that up without even knowing whether or not I’ll be successful in trucking, although I think that’s just my insecurities and fear, which is normal when one is considering such a change. I’m a really hard worker, and I follow through with my commitments. I think those are qualities that will help ensure my success as a trucker. I’m starting to think ahead to my future, and I really feel like trucking will take me in the direction I need to go.

Okay, I guess I just needed to get that out. I’ve only told a couple of friends that I’m seriously considering trucking, and neither seems to think it’s a good idea. But they’re really great friends and very supportive, so they’ll definitely support me whether they like it or not. Lol. Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Timmy. i was a US Postal worker for a decade and a half. I understand your fears.... i wrote a bunch of artcles here one is entitled Fear of the Unknown! Perfectly normal. The Apex driving school Youtube video for pretrip helped me BUT.. word of caution...

Learn the parts, not where they are cause on different trucks they are placed differently AND wording (especially in cab brake tests) changes often. So utilize it but understand it may need to be tweaked.

Check them out cause there are probably topics you havent thought of yet in the list.

Kearsey's (aka Rainy) Articles

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