Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Topic 27910 | Page 7

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Turtle's Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif WOOHOO!! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Although I never had a doubt that you would pass, it's great to finally hear the news. All the thought, study, and worry has paid off. Congratulations driver!


Rob T.'s Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Great job Rob!

PackRat's Comment
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Awesome job, Rob!!!


G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations Rob!!!


Old School's Comment
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Aha! Another flatbedder is born. Congratulations Rob!


Bird-One's Comment
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I second Turtle. Never had a doubt. Congratulations Rob. Keep it up soon to be Driver.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Congratulations!!!! Cant wait to be in your shoes😊😊😊


Bird-One's Comment
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You're killing me Rob. Better be 3 pages of updates coming. smile.gif

Rob D.'s Comment
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Welcome back to the story of probably one of the most fortunate Prime TNT students ever. That is after Turtle left to go to Walmart Private Fleet. That would have been the “best ever” as they say. Nevertheless, my luck with trainers continues. My TNT trainer made room for me on the truck other than just the top bunk and a small storage compartment. I even can put things in the refrigerator. He bought a pillow, linen, and foam bedding for me. He likes to cook and has been buying most of the groceries so I am saving money on food. He is committed to creating a good learning environment. He takes the extra time to allow me to practice backing and to teach me securement. But he is receptive to other securement methods and other trucking tips. I am his first student so I think that he still follows the training philosophy taught by Prime.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated because we have been running pretty hard. Our first week was 5200 dispatched miles, but that was after a slow first two days.

5/4/2020: Met trainer; APU shop; Packrat’s Favorite Pilot.

Nothing eventful to relay today. Met my TNT trainer in St. Charles near my house. He needed to get his APU fixed so we went to Thermoking in downtown St. Louis. We pretty much stayed there all day until we went to the Pilot in East St. Louis where we saw the same C.R. England 3 million miler that Packrat has posted on the forum.

Trainer made grilled tuna steaks over spinach with peanuts and baked sweet potatoes.

5/5/2020: Highland, IL to Catawba, SC

Picked up a Cooper Eaton two stop load. Had to bump a dock inside a two bay door. I didn’t think that flatbed had to bump docks. The trailer was preloaded so we just dropped our empty next to the preloaded trailer. The trailer was too high so we had to crank it down. My trainer broke the bolt on the landing gear handle trying to crank it down. We strapped and tarped inside before we left. On the way out, I just brushed the yellow bollard and pulled off some bungee hooks, but no damage otherwise.

Drove until my clock ran out. I didn’t pull the miles from my Qualcomm before the 8 day log so I don’t have the exact mileage.

Stayed the night at the receiver in Catawba, SC.


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.



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.


Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rob D.'s Comment
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5/6/2020: Catawba, SC to Deerfield, Florida

Construction guy got us up and led us to the gate. I remember Old School mention in a post waiting to get unloaded when he drove a dry van. That he was used to the forklifts swarming when he pulled up. I have had the same experience with eager receivers. Wherever you park on site, they will find you and drag you by the ear to unload location. We had to watch a safety video before we could enter the premises. We got a yellow card that is good for a year. Similar to Nucor. The construction guy was waiting for us on the other side of the gate and led us to the unload area. We untarped and unloaded. I asked one of the guys if he had a bolt to fix the landing gear handle. He said he would look. While he was looking, I took a hammer and bent back the prongs on the landing gear handle that had pulled apart. Not only did he have the bolt, but he pulled his wrenches out and fixed it.

After we collected everything, we headed out to Florida.

Since I had just been there last week, I kinda knew my way around. By the time I am writing this, it’s been a while ago, so I can’ remember anything significantly eventful except the Prius stare down by the Florida Highway Patrol

They still have the check points going into Florida. All POVs must stop; all CMVs pass through in the left lane. A FHP officer stands out there pointing drivers to the correct lane. A Prius driver got confused and went left with the commercial vehicles and right in front of me. As we approach the merge wedge for the checkpoint, two FHP cars pull out, blocking the road and effectively staring down the Pruis. At about 500 feet in front of the FHP cars, the Prius pulls into the checkpoint. I had been coasting watching this unfold and now I’m coasting toward the FHP car on the left about 500 feet away with my foot hovering over the brake in case the FHP car doesn’t move. After about a second, he pulls to the right and I go my way.

No overnight parking so we went to Walmart. No luck. Then went to a Lowes, where I parallel parked the truck for the night.

573 miles in 10 hours 12 minutes


Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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