Staring Prime In Springfield March 23

Topic 27688 | Page 1

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Rob. D.'s Comment
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After contemplating a career change a year ago, exploring several different options for second careers later in life, initially scoffing at the idea of becoming an OTR truck driver, but then coming to the realization that this might be the best second career for me, I am headed to Prime in Springfield starting March 23.

I applied last Thursday after speaking to a recruiter. I followed up with a telephone call Monday morning and by Monday afternoon my application had been processed and I was approved to attend orientation.

Thanks to the High Road Training Program, I passed all my written tests and will arrive at Prime orientation with my CLP in hand, including all of the endorsements other than passenger and school bus. There were some questions on the Missouri tests that I had not seen before either in the Missouri CDL manual or the High Road Training Program. I think that I got a total of three questions wrong on all the tests. For those taking the test in Missouri, you are allowed to skip questions, which is a good strategy because of the way the test works. You need to get 40 out of the 50 questions correct. Once you get 40 questions correct, the test ends. So if you skip a question you aren't sure about the answer, you may not actually need to answer it.

Also for those who may be going through the same process, you take the tests and then you obtain your CLP. It is really two step process. I actually had to go to a different office to get my CLP. BEFORE, you get you CLP, you must have your DOT medical certificate. I got mine at a Minute Clinic inside of a CVS $109 fee. If you plan to have the HAZMAT endorsement, you must obtain your threat assessment clearance letter from TSA before you get the endorsement on your license.

With regard to the application process, Prime has a pretty simple online application that takes maybe 20 minutes to complete. You get an immediate e-mail confirmation and generally a recruiter will call you after the application is submitted. I had already spoken to the recruiter the day before, so we didn't talk again until this Monday. If you are a veteran, they will need your DD214 so that you will have only a 9 month contract as opposed to one year contract. I e-mailed those to my recruiter immediately after I submitted my application. I also e-mailed her my W-2 for the last four years and my most recent pay stub on Monday morning. As has been stated on this forum, your interaction with the trucking company personnel is a continuous interview. I think that my responsiveness with regard to my DD214s and W-2s was a factor in her processing my application essentially in a matter or hours.

In addition, after I was accepted and I spoke with her regarding setting my orientation date, she said that she needed to schedule my DOT physical. I reminded her that I already had my DOT physical. Again, attitude being the key. She asked me to send her the full DOT physical form because I would "need if at the DMV for my license." First, you don't need the full DOT physical form at the DMV for your license. I know this because I already had my CLP and my DOT certificate is part of my driving record now. Second, I wouldn't need it at the DMV because, again I already have my CLP. However, I didn't argue with her. Rather, I went to the Minute Clinic, waited 30 minutes and had them print off the entire form. Even the person at the Minute Clinic asked why they wanted the full form. Regardless, I got the full form and faxed it to the recruiter that same night. She called this morning to discuss the next steps and confirmed me for the March 23 orientation class. I also reminded her that I had my CLP and will have my hard card by the time I show up for orientation.

Again, as is emphasized on this forum, attitude can make determine who gets sent home in orientation. I intend to continue my professional and patient attitude in dealing with Prime personnel throughout orientation, PSD , and TNT. While I'm sure my patience will be tried throughout the process, I intend to maintain because I am committed to succeed at this endeavor.

I will post the beginning of training diary in the next few days.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Woo-hoo! Congratulations on taking the plunge, Rob. The first step in an undoubtedly adventurous journey is perhaps the hardest. Wishing you nothing but the best of good fortune as you progress. It's going to be a fun ride. Thanks for bringing us along.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on the big step!

dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

Obviously, you did not use me as a reference!?!?!

good-luck.gif

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

Very exciting as the page turns, Rob! How great to begin a new chapter with the first week of spring. Wishing you premium adventures and prime experiences! good-luck.gif Looking forward to your training journal, too.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

With your pleasant attitude, you will go far!! Good luck in your schooling!

Laura

PJ's Comment
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Congrats Rob!!! I’m very happy for you.good-luck.gif

Bird-one's Comment
member avatar

Awesome news Rob. Judging off of our ride along, i have no doubts you have the potential to be very successful at this. I know you were, and probably still are very anxious about the trainers you are going to get. Just remember its all temporary. And you have Rainy and Turtle. Doesn't get better than that.

Good luck man. Exciting stuff.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

dancing.gif

Great news! I'm glad you've been accepted by your first choice. I look forward to reading your diary

David R.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome!

I went through orientation at the Pittson, PA prime terminal about a month ago. I am currently in my second week of TnT training and loving it so far.

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.

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.

Rob. D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the words of encouragement.

I am lucky that I was accepted by my first choice.

I plan to take advantage of my luck and strive to succeed.

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