Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Topic 27910 | Page 3

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

4/9/2020: Orientation Second Day

7:00 a.m: Roll call and trainer matching. Contrary to what we were told yesterday, we did not have a tour of the Millenium Building because you have to be “cleared” and have your green ID badge for PSD before you can enter the Millenium Building. Also, although I had thought I was maybe ahead of the game on CBTs, I was only one of three that had NOT completed them. So I’ll eat a little crow on that one. But I did have some legitimate questions that prevented me from completing the CBTs. While I had two videos to complete, you also have to sign your PSD Contract, which says 12 months. For veterans, you only have a 9 month PSD contract. Our roll call instructor told me that if you are a veteran and have submitted your DD 214, you only have a 9 month contract, even though the contract states 12 months.

The training matching involves the basic male/female, smoker/non-smoker, but then has all these opinion statements that you drag into one of three boxes: most important; moderately important; least important. But you don’t just do it once. You do it multiple times for many of the same opinion statements.

8:00 a.m.: Finished CBTs and informed our roll call instructor who marked me off as complete. So one more processing task to check off my list. I had gotten several notices through Driverpulse, which is the smartphone application for Prime’s application process, that I need to sign a document. I did sign the document Driverpulse told me I needed to sign, but I kept getting the message. So I e-mailed my recruiter who told me they were having problems verifying my employment. I e-mailed all my W-2s again and also sent my March pay statement. This fixed the problem.

10:00 to 18:30 pre-trip, pre-trip, pre-trip. I met Chad Rich, whom I’ve heard about but haven’t really watched a lot of his videos. Check out Mitchell’s diary for a more detailed summary of our meeting. Chad was a nice guy and had lots of good things to say about Prime.

20:00 SIM Lab training and assessment. We did a simulation two times that involved a little more than just the basic driving, such as adding traffic. The next simulation, number 4 was driving in the snow, plus with some thick fog added in during the drive. For the most part I did well until I took the offramp going about 20 mph, where after several hundred feet, I slid right off the pavement. I started the simulation again and completed the simulation without crashing. Despite the crash, I was starting to get a little more comfortable with the simulations. The next simulation, number 5, involved city driving where you have to make a decision at each intersection where you can drive. The simulation instructor told us it was difficult and that he did not expect us to make it through the first time. Challenge accepted!. Other than wiping out a fire hydrant at one turn. I did not make a wrong turn at any intersection or collide with anything that terminated the simulation. Each time I did the simulation after that, I got better and didn’t take out the fire hydrant any other time. I just took my time, stopping at an intersection to find out which direction allowed truck traffic. After this simulation we took our assessment. Other than one hard braking event, and few other minor issues, I performed pretty well (83). Overall pretty happy with the result. I am adopting the attitude of kinda taking it one milestone at a time to build on what I hope will be successful completion of training and my rookie solo year.

Also, I below is a link to some photos I have taken the past two days:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/jLzsC935fzeQETDE6

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.

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

Had no idea that veterans were only required to sign on for 9 months. That’s something I’ll have to consider.

Did the simulator feel realistic? Does it have force feedback of any kind?

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

Had no idea that veterans were only required to sign on for 9 months. That’s something I’ll have to consider.

Did the simulator feel realistic? Does it have force feedback of any kind?

Very sensitive controls, no feedback on breaks so you dont know how hard you’re really breaking. You can feel the rumble strips if you’re drifting to the outside or another lane.

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

4/10/2020: Orientation Third Day

7:00 a.m. Classroom. We were not certain whether we would have roll call this morning. It was not on the schedule, but we showed up just in case. No roll call.

8:00 a.m to 12:30: Pre-trip, pre-trip, pre-trip. Also checked the Federal Drug Clearinghouse to see if it showed that Prime had gotten my drug test results. Nothing.

13:00 Clearing status. Met with one of the orientation office staff who told us that 4 out of 8 of us had cleared. The rest were pending. He said it could be one of three things: employment verification, drug test results, or physical. I had emailed my DOT physical “long form” to my recruiter, but she told me to bring it with me just in case. Sure enough, as we found out later everyone who was pending, was delayed because of their physical. I went by the orientation office and had them scan my DOT “long form.” They said they would call me.

16:00. No call yet so I went back to the orientation office and just as I arrived the orientation staff who was supposed to call us for clearance was just walking in the door. I asked him about any update. He said “come in, let me check.” He pulled the “cleared” list and sure enough, I was on it. There were already a couple of people in the orientation office who had the same idea. So the orientation office staff person asked their names. We all went to the room where they have the ID badge printer and got our badges and safety vest.

After this, I went to get my “extended” meal card. Prime covers your meals up to the point you get assigned to the trainer. Then you have to buy your own meals. But your green ID card, is also a Mastercard. The $200 loan they give you goes on the ID card and you can use it anywhere except at Prime (don’t ask). I also went to the Campus Inn check in office because your room key deactivates after three day and you have to get a new card after three days.

17:00; Dinner. Hooked up with Mitchell and took the shuttle over to the Millenium Building for dinner. You can also use your paper meal card at the Millenium cafe.

18:00: Training Pad. The one guy that Mitchell mentioned who helped out with the pre-trip at the Campus Inn took us over to the training pad, where Mitchell met his trainer. I’ll let Mitchell share the details of that, as that is more of his diary. I was just along for the ride. The one thing that I will say, is that his trainer seemed to be a decent laid back guy. So far, I’ve yet to anyone at Prime that is not professional and patient. They may be firm and/or stern in their direction, but always professional.

18:45 (or so): Back to the room. Took the shuttle back to the room and called the wife. While on the phone, I noticed that someone had left the hood open on the pre-trip practice truck. So after the call, went out and did the engine compartment and driver’s door and fuel area before closing the hood.

20:00: Diary and bed. After updating by diary and surfing the net for news, TT general forum, etc. I called it a night.

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.

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

4/11/2020: Post-orientation Day One

After you get “badged,” which allows you to access the rest of Prime’s facilities and also drive in the PSD phase, you are post-orientation until you connect with your PSD trainer for training. While in post-orientation you show up at the training pad classroom and simply do what you’re told. There are two CDL holder candidates who are in our group along with Mr. Canada and the woman who seems to struggle with language among things. This is the same woman who was late to the SIMs class. One of the CDL holders is a woman who lives here in Springfield and then a guy from Kansas.

8:00: Training pad class room. We all hung out there until our in-house instructor “Z” came in and told us to come out to the truck. It was drizzling so we went inside the cab.

9:30: In cab. Z said he was going to teach us the in-cab inspection. I was in the passenger’s seat and he asked me “what’s first.” Seat belt. Z then said, what’s next. Fire extinguisher, red reflective triangles, and spare electrical fuses. Z then says “switch seats with me.” I sit in the driver’s seat and he says “keep going.” Not having done it hands on before, I stumbled here and there, and responded to prompts from Z. I am beginning to learn what Turtle talks about with muscle memory. You really need to do it hands on to get the muscle memory down. But I pretty much did the entire in-cab inspection, including the three part air brake test, trailer and parking brake test, and service brake test. Then backed the trailer into the parking spot (straight back about 50 feet). After I was done Z said “you’ve got it. You’ll pass, just work with your instructor.”

11:00 lunch.

13:30 pre-trip, pre-trip, driving. After lunch the woman CDL holder drove on a 6 mile loop east of Springfield, onto the highway, and then back to the terminal. During this road trip, the woman who struggles with English asked if she would have to drive that fast her first time out. Z commented that we were only going 60 mph and how fast did she think we should be driving. She said 20 mph. Z said, “you would be taken to jail.” The CDL holder did a good job driving on the 6 mile loop. A couple of times she cut the corners a little short, but not enough to be a problem.

16:00 released for the day.

17:30: Dinner at Millenium Cafe with Kearsey. Due to the Coronavirus, the Millenium Cafe is the only place where we could go to eat dinner and sit down to talk. I won’t go into detail, because Mitchell shared pretty much everything in his diary.

21:30 bed.

Story:

I had gone to lunch with the student that struggles with English and found out more of her story. She is from Brazil. She drove for a private car service for a woman who lives in Manhattan (NYC). She also drove a limousine and taxi. She knows other Brazilians who drive for Prime. We met them at the company store after lunch. On the walk back from lunch, my new Brazlian friend shared that she believes the entire Coronavirus is preparation for the government to put a “ship” (chip) in our bodies that they will use to control our thoughts. That people will no longer go anywhere on vacation. Rather, they will program your vacations into your head. And in order to ward off their programming, you need to be “mindful.” Because if your mind is not occupied with your own thoughts, they will give you thoughts to think.

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.

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.

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

4/12/2020: Post Orientation Day Two; Tag Along with the CDL holders

8:00 Check in with in-house PSD instructor. Went to the truck. I spent a lot of time with the Braliian student who is really struggling with the pre-trip. A lot of it has to do with her struggles with English. Like she will call the push rod for the slack adjuster, the tie rod. Also, she doesn’t understand a lot of the concepts. Such as the progressive nature of the air brake test from normal function (applied pressure test) to when the tractor protection and parking brake valves pop out. She didn’t understand that when those pop out, the spring brakes are automatically applied and the truck will stop. After that we watched the Kansas CDL student do straight line backing and left and right off sets. Although I haven’t gotten to drive yet, I am learning the reference points and I watch the driver’s movements and then look in the mirrors to see how it affects the trailer.

11:00: Released for lunch. Mitchell and I went over to the Millenium Cafe for lunch.

13:30: Second CDL student did a 6 mile road trip. After that, we got in the truck with the Springfield CDL student who did offset backing, ala, the movie Miracle. Again, again, again. After so much repetition, she got better and better each time, including being able to correct errors more efficiently. And she continued to experiment by modifying her reference point alignments and describing to us each time what changes she was making and then how we could see how those changes affected the trailer movement. Again, even though I was not driving we both provided input as to reference points and corrective measures. So I am learning the reference points and seeing how the trailer responds to different input.

16:00: Done for the day. Picked up dinner at the Millenium Cafe and took it back to the room.

19:00: Zoom meeting with my wife and then off to bed.

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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great updates on the progress, Rob D.

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

4/13/2020: Post orientation day three. Parallel parking all day.

8:30. Check in with the PSD trainer desk person. Then went out to the truck to do parallel parking all morning with the Springfield MO CDL student. Again, while not driving it was a joint effort as we both provided input as to the reference points. She kept on going too deep into the box and it took a while for us to figure out how going short of or beyond the reference point lined the trailer up better.

11:00 Lunch with Mitchell.

13:30; Back at the truck. Did parallel parking with the Kansas CDL holder all afternoon. I already had the reference points from doing it all morning with the Springfield CDL holder. After he did it a couple of times, the trainer left to go to the Plaza building. I continued to watch the Kansas CDL while he backed. After a while I could tell by just looking in the mirrors if he was too deep or too shallow in the box. After about 2 hours of doing parallel backing Z let us go for the day.

16:00: Released for the day. Went back to the Campus Inn, had dinner, updated diary, and called it a day about 9:00 p.m.

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

4/14/2020: Got my trainer today.

8:00 Checked in at the Plaza with one of the in-house instructors who had been working with the CDL holders. She explained to me that they were trying to get the CDL holders their hours so that they could test out for upgrade. But she said that she would bring another in-house instructor in to get me in a truck and do some driving. Also said that she would check with the person who assigns trainers to try to get me a trainer.

9:00: Went out driving in a light-weight with a 53’ reefer trailer. Went to the “industrial court” for some driving practice. When we got there and turned around, the instructor said he was going to drive because there were some tight turns in the industrial court. I asked him if I could try them and he said sure. He guided me as to how to line up and then swing wide so that I could use all the pavement I have, which I did. After the first loop he had me do it again but this time he would not give me any direction. Did the same loop without hitting any curbs or other obstacles. About this time the guy that assigns trainers called and said he had a trainer for me. So we headed back to the training pad. When we got there, I asked if I could try to back the trailer into where they keep all the test trailers. He said sure. I did an okay set up and about got in in the first time but, I was too close to the tanker. I pulled forward a couple of times to line up, did a straight back and got it in. It was not the prettiest backing job, but I got it in and didn’t hit anything.

9:30: Met my trainer on the training pad. We talked a little about expectations, personality, and training perspective. He seems pretty decent, for being a lease op. I won’t get into all the details, but he essentially went through the laundry list of bad trainer qualities and assured me that he does not do those things. We hooked up to a flatbed trailer and went out for some driving. Drove about 60 miles that included highway (his truck is governed at 65 on the pedal), lots of city driving including pretty narrow lanes with curbs right at the edge of the pavement, a few snug (I won’t say tight) right turns (the worst being the Flying J west of Springfield). Also had our first “move your ass” interaction with another driver who I think was doing a complete detail job on the inside of his truck in front of the fuel island exit.

Headed back to the training pad and did some backing. Straight back, was no problem. Offset left and right took some work, as the reference points were different than what I had learned yesterday. But each time I was able to make corrections and get in in the box. Parallel parking was difficult because the spread axle trailer responds differently and his truck is a loaner truck so he doesn’t know it as well. He had a Peterbilt before. We were both trying to figure out how to adjust the reference points for this truck. He got in and backed the trailer a couple of times to try to figure them out. I did end up getting it in the box without a boundary adjustment violation a couple of times, but I definitely need to work on parallel parking.

After backing practice we went to drop the trailer and he had me back the trailer next to another trailer and open spot. Not pretty, but I got it in with one pull up and didn’t hit anything or cross the line. We unhooked and I bobtailed over to the Millenium building parking. I backed the bobtail into a spot there. We had lunch and talked for a while. He showed me pictures of his truck and a lot of loads he has run.

17:00: He dropped me off at the Campus Inn. We are supposed to have a load going out in the morning. Don’t know when or where at this point, but after doing some driving today and seeing some of the loads, I’m pretty excited to get out there and running loads.

18:00: Subway for dinner from Walmart where I got some laundry soap. Did my laundry so I have all clean clothes and ready for my first real load with the trainer.

Check out this trainer's sweatshirt from Weed, California:

0203054001586914583.jpg

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Rob (Mc)D's training diary-I'm Lovin' It!

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