Tips For TNT Driving?

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Harvest's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, I am new to this site. I ship out to Prime inc again on the 6th. I made it halfway through my TNT training when the team driving was wearing me thin. I was trained by Turtle from this site actually for PSD! He did a amazing job making me comfortable driving these big trucks and putting me through situations I didn't think I could handle, but walked me through it all and made me realize I can actually do this! Where I really struggle at is the TNT driving... Unlike PSD where both you and your trainer sleep at the end of the day. With TNT I drive while my trainer sleeps and vice versa. Sleeping in a moving rig is just so hard for me to do, plus driving solely night shift was becoming difficult for me. Does anyone have any tips for team driving and getting through this? Just like PSD I know this is a necessary step in training, I wish I didn't struggle to sleep so much.

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.

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Honestly your trainer should not be letting you drive nights. When I trained the students were not allowed to drive past midnight. It's just unsafe.

Sleeping in the bottom bunk helps a lot if you're not doing it already.

If it was me id have a talk with your trainer and if he still wants you to drive nights I would get another trainer, but that's just me.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
If it was me id have a talk with your trainer and if he still wants you to drive nights I would get another trainer, but that's just me.

Let's think about that for a minute. What if it works? What if his trainer says he never has to drive nights? So he drives nothing but days for two months. Then he goes solo. Within a few days, they give him a load that he has to drive overnight. How is that going to work out for him? Not well at all.

To say that a student should never have to drive nights doesn't seem realistic to me. It makes no better sense than to say a student should drive exclusively at night. On-the-road training should involve a little of everything.

Harvest, you shouldn't have to drive the night shift exclusively, but as you know you're not on a paid vacation either. The point of training is to expose you to things you're not comfortable with, but in a more controlled environment so you can safely adjust to life on the road both mentally and physically.

Almost everyone struggles to sleep in a moving truck. Part of that is just getting used to it. It's something you can learn to do. There's no such thing as a person who isn't capable of it. It may not come easy, but keep in mind that being exposed to uncomfortable situations is why you're out there with a trainer.

Try not to stress over it, either. We can make the problem worse by stressing over it. When we're babies we sleep better in a rocking chair. As adults, we're not used to it, so it takes time. You'll get there.

Just have open and honest discussions with your trainer. Let him know if you're struggling a little. Let him know if you're getting to a point that it's getting dangerous.

Don't expect it come easy, but don't push yourself too far. Trucking is all about pushing yourself to perform but only within your limits of safety. It's also about keeping your cool and controlling your mind in uncomfortable circumstances.

You'll get there. Don't sweat it too much. Just take it a day at a time and speak openly and honestly with your trainer about it. You took a break from the road, you regrouped, and you're ready to get out there and redeem yourself. Embrace the challenge. Don't hope for it to be easy. Know that it will be hard. Meet the challenges head-on and believe in yourself. We are all capable of so much more than we realize.

Rob. D.'s Comment
member avatar

Harvest,

Since you mentioned Turtle was your PSD Trainer, I remembered from his training diary that he pretty much drove nights during TNT.

Turtle Training Diary

I plan to go flatbed at Prime and have already resigned myself to driving pretty much nights during TNT. In my younger years, I worked night shifts at several places. In the Marine Reserves, we would have weekend training at Ft. Campbell. We left Friday night on buses, slept through the night, trained on Saturday, and then another nighttime bus ride back to Springfield.

Keep us updated on your progress.

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.

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.

Harvest's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the replies everyone, I am truly excited to give it another chance. I know once I am done with TNT I will feel more confident as a driver and feel truly accomplished just like PSD. I will talk to my new trainer and see if maybe we can do week rotations of shifts. One of the challenges I have to get over with night driving is taking the back roads like is Texas. With unfamiliar roads and curves I tend to take them allot slower than most. Once in Texas I had a whole line of other trucks behind me that seemed ****ed off I was going so slow.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Don't worry about those fast guys down in Texas. If you were going 80 on the back roads, some other truck would still be right on your tail.

Just do your own thing. The load doesn't pay extra money for taking unnecessary risks. Drive your truck and don't worry about them. Don't forget that.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Harvest, what's up man! I'm so very glad to hear you're giving it another shot. As eager as you were to get out on the open road, you owe it to yourself to see this all the way through. That's the only way you'll make it through the darkness and onto the good side of trucking.

TNT is tough, no doubt about it. It's very easy to let your mind come up with excuses to get out. It'll be a little easier this time knowing what you're getting into. Go into it knowing it's going to suck, and embrace the suck. Tell yourself that it's only for a very short time in the big scheme of things. Don't let anything distract you from your goal. Night driving, Texas Super Truckers, team driving, etc. It's all tough, but I know you can get through it. You know it too.

Call me if you need to pal. I'll help where I can.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

40 Days's Comment
member avatar

Have a few days left TNT myself. I drive almost exclusively nights. Body pillows to brace and keep from the rocking motion. Earplugs help. Took me 30,000 before I knew the roads well enough to know when to stay up if they are crappy and when to sleep when they smooth out. Then you can plan a bit. And embrace the suck. Wish I had Turtle for PSD.

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.

Harvest's Comment
member avatar

Update: I am currently in Pittston, I got here this past Sunday. This time I drove my self up here, the 180 miles seemed so daunting the first time I came here but it was a nice drive, and very convenient to have a vehicle here.

Everything has been great so far, I had to do computer based training again and go through the normal class training. However what was different this time around was I was a “E” seat my first day. The first day of orientation we had to test on the simulator to see if we would move up to “C” seat and go straight to TNT. Or if we failed then we would have to do PSD and do a mock CDL exam at the end. I was very nervous about this since I struggled so much memorizing the pre trip when I did my actual CDL exam. There were 3 of us testing that day and 2 out of the 3 of us passed, INCLUDING ME 😁. Sadly the one who failed missed a “12’6” bridge sign and had a collision.

I also decided to go tanker this time around, I’ve been asking allot of questions and it seems to be the best for me. Staying around the Northeast is a big plus for me, plus in a year or so I would have tanker experience for some decent local companies. The biggest thing for me now is to keep my confidence up and KNOW I can do this!

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great update, Harvest! I hope everything works out for you pulling a tanker, though.

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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