Tips For TNT Driving?

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Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I've never pulled a tanker myself, so I don't have any words of wisdom to offer in that regard. However, I want to stress that you think long and hard about this endeavor. A tanker can be very dangerous for a newbie. The surge from a smooth bore is very real. Keep a sharp focus at all times.

Having ridden in the passenger seat next to you for a couple weeks, I have extreme confidence in your driving ability. Just be super careful.

good-luck.gif

Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
member avatar

Turtle or Harvest,

What are the Prime seat class designations and what practical significance do they have for trainees?

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Turtle or Harvest,

What are the Prime seat class designations and what practical significance do they have for trainees?

Prime seat classes

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Ya know, I didn't read through that link before posting it. It may not mention the reasons why one would be placed in some seat class or another. That has something to do with whether you come to Prime with a permit, CDL with no experience, CDL with limited experience, etc. I can't remember off the top of my head how that goes, and can't look it up right now.

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.
Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
member avatar

Harvester informs:

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.

After reading the links to the seat classes above, I remember reading them and if I understood them at the time that they generally break down between current CDL holders and non-CDL holders.

That "D" seat essentially is your non-CDL holder: orientation, PSD, 50,000 TNT miles, and then upgrade to solo.

However, if you have your CDL, you are "E" seat which is an evaluation stage seat. If can pass a mock CDL exam, you become C seat driver, which requires 60,000 TNT miles versus 50,000 TNT miles as a "D" seat driver. The idea being that if you haven't gone through Prime's PSD training they want you to do more TNT miles. If you don't pass, you go out for "remedial" PSD and then 50,000 TNT miles.

Please correct me if I misunderstand.

Harvester: were you "E" seat because you didn't progress all the way through TNT?

I'm asking just to understand, not to judge.

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

Harvester informs:

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

After reading the links to the seat classes above, I remember reading them and if I understood them at the time that they generally break down between current CDL holders and non-CDL holders.

That "D" seat essentially is your non-CDL holder: orientation, PSD, 50,000 TNT miles, and then upgrade to solo.

However, if you have your CDL, you are "E" seat which is an evaluation stage seat. If can pass a mock CDL exam, you become C seat driver, which requires 60,000 TNT miles versus 50,000 TNT miles as a "D" seat driver. The idea being that if you haven't gone through Prime's PSD training they want you to do more TNT miles. If you don't pass, you go out for "remedial" PSD and then 50,000 TNT miles.

Please correct me if I misunderstand.

Harvester: were you "E" seat because you didn't progress all the way through TNT?

I'm asking just to understand, not to judge.

Yes I was E seat because I didn’t complete the TNT training last year. Wish I could keep the miles I completed, but nothing I can do now.

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.

Iron9s's Comment
member avatar

I just finished TNT for Tanker and am at Springfield for my upgrade now. I will say, if you have trouble sleeping in a moving truck, a moving truck with the surge is going to be a little harder for you. You will feel the surge during the first few gears up shifting as well when it needs to downshift going up hills. It will sound and feel like you were rear ended. It will jolt you awake. You will also know what loads you will be pulling that it will be even harder to sleep due to the consistency. Chocolate, cocoa butter, and palm oil are the worst with coconut and soybean oil having the least amount of surge. Also picking up loads at AAK with a /2 on the B/L will let you know that the tank is 1/2 full which is not only harder to drive but more surge.

With my trainer I I would drive 2am to 2pm and he would drive 2pm to 2am. Since a lot of the routes are shorter in tanker there will be times where you will have a little more time to rest in a stopped truck by getting to the shipper/receiver early. There were times we had hours of waiting before being loaded or unloaded. Take every minute of this to sleep. There were times where my trainer and myself would go a couple days without good sleep and would tell the FM to slow us up to where we would be stopped for both of us to sleep.

One tip is buy some melatonin. 5mg is all you need as you don’t any more in your system. It will help you fall asleep and help you keep falling back to sleep after each time the surge wakes you up. It takes about 5 hours to run through your system so you wont be groggy getting up.

Also, when driving, remember you have a 14 hour clock, 11 drive. There were plenty of times driving that I knew I had those 3 hours in my pocket and had plenty of time to get to the shipper/receiver and would pull up and nap for that time. Those nights/days that I used that time to nap would help me punch though the rest of my clock.

Unless your trainer is Northeast regional you will pickup/drop is the triangle from north east/mid-Atlantic/south/and as far west as WI.

Just a couple of notes that may help you: - When I did flatbed for a month and had to go down any steep hill, you hit the Jake and it starts slowing you right down, this is not the case with a tank. When you hit the Jake to slow down, the liquid will surge forward and push you. You will feel some rocking initially but then the Jake will do what it needs. So hit the Jake a little earlier on the crest of the hill.

- There is not only front and back surge, there is side to side. The side to side is not nearly as bad but you have to watch your speed on turns. Not only exit/entrance ramps but going though some windy roads. I always did at least 5mph below the suggested speed on each turn and didn’t have any issues.

- You will pull allot of Palm oil out of AAK in Port Newark going across 80 in PA. If you are stuck doing nights, let your trainer know you want to run that route during the day a couple of times. Also, as everyone knows. If you have to get off any interstate in PA pay close attention. You can come around any random turn and next thing you know you will be going down a 12% grade. It will pucker you enough in any truck, but knowing that the Jake will surge you forward it goes from pucker to oh s**t pretty quick.

Good luck. If you have any questions about Tanker TNT you can send me a message.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Interstate:

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

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Turtle Protege (formerly 's Comment
member avatar

Great Post Irons 9

I just finished TNT for Tanker and am at Springfield for my upgrade now. I will say, if you have trouble sleeping in a moving truck, a moving truck with the surge is going to be a little harder for you. You will feel the surge during the first few gears up shifting as well when it needs to downshift going up hills. It will sound and feel like you were rear ended. It will jolt you awake. You will also know what loads you will be pulling that it will be even harder to sleep due to the consistency. Chocolate, cocoa butter, and palm oil are the worst with coconut and soybean oil having the least amount of surge. Also picking up loads at AAK with a /2 on the B/L will let you know that the tank is 1/2 full which is not only harder to drive but more surge.

With my trainer I I would drive 2am to 2pm and he would drive 2pm to 2am. Since a lot of the routes are shorter in tanker there will be times where you will have a little more time to rest in a stopped truck by getting to the shipper/receiver early. There were times we had hours of waiting before being loaded or unloaded. Take every minute of this to sleep. There were times where my trainer and myself would go a couple days without good sleep and would tell the FM to slow us up to where we would be stopped for both of us to sleep.

One tip is buy some melatonin. 5mg is all you need as you don’t any more in your system. It will help you fall asleep and help you keep falling back to sleep after each time the surge wakes you up. It takes about 5 hours to run through your system so you wont be groggy getting up.

Also, when driving, remember you have a 14 hour clock, 11 drive. There were plenty of times driving that I knew I had those 3 hours in my pocket and had plenty of time to get to the shipper/receiver and would pull up and nap for that time. Those nights/days that I used that time to nap would help me punch though the rest of my clock.

Unless your trainer is Northeast regional you will pickup/drop is the triangle from north east/mid-Atlantic/south/and as far west as WI.

Just a couple of notes that may help you: - When I did flatbed for a month and had to go down any steep hill, you hit the Jake and it starts slowing you right down, this is not the case with a tank. When you hit the Jake to slow down, the liquid will surge forward and push you. You will feel some rocking initially but then the Jake will do what it needs. So hit the Jake a little earlier on the crest of the hill.

- There is not only front and back surge, there is side to side. The side to side is not nearly as bad but you have to watch your speed on turns. Not only exit/entrance ramps but going though some windy roads. I always did at least 5mph below the suggested speed on each turn and didn’t have any issues.

- You will pull allot of Palm oil out of AAK in Port Newark going across 80 in PA. If you are stuck doing nights, let your trainer know you want to run that route during the day a couple of times. Also, as everyone knows. If you have to get off any interstate in PA pay close attention. You can come around any random turn and next thing you know you will be going down a 12% grade. It will pucker you enough in any truck, but knowing that the Jake will surge you forward it goes from pucker to oh s**t pretty quick.

Good luck. If you have any questions about Tanker TNT you can send me a message.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Interstate:

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

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

That was a DanG good post, Iron9s! Well done.

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