Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Topic 27910 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Rob, how does it feel to be pulled off the bench and put into the game? We're all excited to see you moving from the thought process into those first real challenges. Go get 'em!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Rob, I’m really looking forward to reading about your journey. It will be cool to follow along as you go through it. Prime and Jim Palmer are my top two choices and I hope that by reading this thread that the decision will become easier to make.

I’ve been trying to absorb as much information as I can. Been lurking this website for a while, finally made an account the other day. Many thanks to this wonderful website for having such a plethora or information.

Quick question, I’m looking to start my trucking journey as soon as I finish this semester in college. Should I start applying to places now, or should I wait until it gets closer to the end? There’s about a month and a half left, if that helps.

Best of luck to you! Hope the experience is what you’re looking for. I suppose we will find out soon!

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

4/8/2020: Orientation First Day

Schedule and Events

7:00 a.m. Welcome and overview of process. We were given packets to fill out yesterday and we were required to complete the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Registration, both by this morning. The packet is essentially your application form for you to handwrite again. The instructor inquired whether we had done this and answered questions. Two people have already given signs that they might not make it through the next couple of days. One guy was playing some game on his phone while the instructor was talking and hadn’t filled out the Clearinghouse Registration. We were given an agenda for the next two days that does not really involve a lot other than CBTs (Computer Based Training) which is several hours of videos we need to watch before midnight tomorrow night. Immediately after this we went to the orientation office for file review. This is where they go over your packet that you were supposed to have filled out the day before. My file review went very quickly because I didn’t really have anything to report as far as traffic or criminal history. But during my file review, the guy who had been on his phone came up and asked if my reviewer could show him how to complete the Clearinghouse Registration. She politely but firmly sent him away.

10:00: Brunch before I dug into CBTs.

10:30: Completed as many CBTs as I could before SIM Lab at 13:00.

13:00 SIM Labs: Before we got started, the guy who had been on his phone at 7:00 a.m. was on his phone again. He got called out by the instructor and then smirked at the instructor when the instructor told him to put his phone away. The instructor got perturbed at him and said “don’t smile at me.” Another woman showed up late and was told that being late will jeopardize her career at Prime. I think that she has difficulty with English. The SIM instructor went through a Powerpoint presentation going over the SIMs and driving generally. We completed two simple simulations just to get the feel of the machine. The steering is VERY sensitive and it’s hard to gauge where you are in the lane. The steering wheel vibrates when you cross either the solid white line or the center dashed line. I started using my side view mirrors to stay centered in the lane and then toward the end found a reference point on the “hood” of the truck for my lane position. The main purpose was just to get familiar with the simulators, which I did. So mission accomplished for that.

15:30 more CBTs. I had about a half an hour to kill before the flatbed agility test at 16:00.

16:00 flatbed agility test. There were about 11 of us. We filled out a medical questionnaire about injuries and did some range of motion tests. Then you had to 1) lift a 65 lb barbell on top of your shoulder 2) climb a ladder, 3) carry a crate with 50 lbs 10 feet 4) lift 80 lbs to your waist and hold it, and 5) lift a 65 lb tarp, carry it 5 feet, put it on a bench chest high, take it down, and carry it back. Then we had to kneel, one knee, then two knees, then knee plank, then full plank, then stand back up. No one failed, or even struggled, but most were pretty stout guys.

16:30 early dinner. Went for a walk around the building after dinner just to stretch my legs some.

17:00 CBTs until about 20:30, but did take another walk about 19:00. After completing all but two of the CBTs I got the impression that this is a test and/or lesson in time management. The welcome instructor didn’t tell us how long it takes to complete the CBTs, but did say that if you finish them in 2 hours, you didn’t watch the videos and will have to rewatch them all. She also didn’t put our tour of the Millenium Center tomorrow on the agenda or tell us how long we would be on the tour. But our SIM instructor told us that we needed to wear closed toe and heel shoes for the tour tomorrow and that if we went over on the shuttle with flip-flops, they would send us back on the shuttle to the Campus Inn to get the proper footwear. So that when we get back to the Millenium Center, you will have to find out where your group is in the “two hour” tour. So I’m guessing we will be at the Millenium Center all morning, and maybe even eat lunch at the cafeteria there. We have SIM lab training again tomorrow at 20:00. We had enough time today to get pretty much all of the CBTs done. If you didn’t take advantage of that time, it’s going to be hard to get them all done tomorrow when the day may be filled with other things. The lesson, which I first learned when I had dinner with PJ: if you’ve got the time NOW, use it.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

Facilities

The Campus Inn includes the guest rooms, offices, cafe, driver lounge, and classrooms. So we were here all day for everything. They give you a floor plan map so that you can find your way around. The guest rooms are basic, a little dated, but well maintained and clean. The cafe is your basic institutional cafe space. The classrooms are about the same; nothing fancy but, well maintained and clean.

With the COVID-19 guidelines, it’s like being in an episode of the Twilight Zone. They have signs everywhere for “social distancing.” In the cafe, they have only one chair per four person table and the shelf table along the wall has the chairs spaced out 6 feet apart. They have put “x”s on the floor with painter’s tape 6 feet apart leading from the door to the server line. The classrooms also have the chairs spaced out 6 feet apart and limit the people in the room to ten. Talking to our welcome instructor, she said that they have spaced out the orientation classes. Instead of everyone showing up at the same time, they have groups at different time. I mentioned we had about 11 people for the flatbed agility test. The evaluator made two people stay in the hallway.

Thoughts

Overall, so far so good, but it has only been one day. I have already picked up on the “Prime family” perspective from everyone with whom I have interacted. Everyone has been professional and polite, even with some of the people who may not last that long. I’ve gotten the perspective that the people who work for Prime are pretty content. But it’s not a cult like feel that you get with some places where you have a dynamic person that everyone just “loves.” In just the first day, some people have shared some of their frustrating experiences with the company, but not in a “I hate my job,” type of attitude. Rather, just kinda matter of fact. The ladies in the cafe commented about how they have to hand out the cups from behind the counter now. But again, just matter of fact, not really complaining. Speaking of the lunch ladies, you get a meal card for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a limit of how much you can buy for each meal. If you have money available after you order, they’ll say “you’ve got another $1.25, is there anything else you want?”

BTW, Mitchell is in my orientation class. Although this might be “my” training diary, Mitchell please feel free to add, comment, express a different opinion, or correct me if I got anything wrong.

Humor

One of the CBT’s I watched emphasized having a good sense of humor to manage stress. To take things in stride and maybe approach your frustrations with a sense of humor rather than letting it eat away at you.

So even before I watched that CBT, when I sat in the cafe this morning for coffee, looking at the “x”s on the floor, memories of basic training came flooding back. I don’t know how many times I heard “******* to belly button!,” especially in the chow hall line. And I thought about how the DI’s would have fun with “social distancing.”

“Recruit, what the hell do you think those ‘x’s on the floor are for?”

“Social distancing, 6 feet apart ,Drill Instructor.”

“Then why are you closer than 6 feet to Jones? Drop and give me twenty!”

Recruit drops and in the process moves closer to Jones.

“You just moved closer dumbass! Mountain climbers!”

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

Rob, how does it feel to be pulled off the bench and put into the game? We're all excited to see you moving from the thought process into those first real challenges. Go get 'em!

Old School,

It feels great, as you can see from my first day.

I especially appreciate your encouragement, because I recall that you commented how some guys seem to get the breaks. They get their first choice of company, don't get sent home, get a good trainer, and have a good rookie year. A lot different than your experience.

Right now, I feel like one of those guys. At this point, I am focusing on learning as much as I can so I don't get sent home. We have "trainer matching" this morning so I'm hoping that will lead to getting a good trainer.

Rob.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

Rob, I’m really looking forward to reading about your journey. It will be cool to follow along as you go through it. Prime and Jim Palmer are my top two choices and I hope that by reading this thread that the decision will become easier to make.

I’ve been trying to absorb as much information as I can. Been lurking this website for a while, finally made an account the other day. Many thanks to this wonderful website for having such a plethora or information.

Quick question, I’m looking to start my trucking journey as soon as I finish this semester in college. Should I start applying to places now, or should I wait until it gets closer to the end? There’s about a month and a half left, if that helps.

Best of luck to you! Hope the experience is what you’re looking for. I suppose we will find out soon!

Justin,

I wouldn't start applying yet. With Prime, you application is only good for 30 days. I had to renew my application because of my delay.

The other thing, you will notice from the other posts, is that people can't get their CLP. You will need that before show up for orientation at Prime. So you should check the status of that in your state.

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.

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

Pretty much spot on, it's been a different experience but at the same time, it just feels natural. I'm really looking forward to PSD and getting it over asap so I can start making money. Pre-trip shouldn't be a problem since i'm good when it comes to memory. Good talk earlier man!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.
Justin G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the heads up. I’m in SoCal, so it’s probably gonna be a minute before I can get the CLP.

double-quotes-start.png

Rob, I’m really looking forward to reading about your journey. It will be cool to follow along as you go through it. Prime and Jim Palmer are my top two choices and I hope that by reading this thread that the decision will become easier to make.

I’ve been trying to absorb as much information as I can. Been lurking this website for a while, finally made an account the other day. Many thanks to this wonderful website for having such a plethora or information.

Quick question, I’m looking to start my trucking journey as soon as I finish this semester in college. Should I start applying to places now, or should I wait until it gets closer to the end? There’s about a month and a half left, if that helps.

Best of luck to you! Hope the experience is what you’re looking for. I suppose we will find out soon!

double-quotes-end.png

Justin,

I wouldn't start applying yet. With Prime, you application is only good for 30 days. I had to renew my application because of my delay.

The other thing, you will notice from the other posts, is that people can't get their CLP. You will need that before show up for orientation at Prime. So you should check the status of that in your state.

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.

HtRedNeck's Comment
member avatar

Awesome diary, have to ask - was the drug test urine?

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome diary, have to ask - was the drug test urine?

The drug test my recruiter sent me to get back in my home state was urine, i don’t think they do hair but i could be wrong.

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