Prime Refrigerated - Springfield, Missouri - Spring 2020

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Mitchell C.'s Comment
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Orientation Day 1 - 4/8/20 (My Birthday)

7:00-8:00: The Process. We were all given a green packet to fill out yesterday when we arrived at the hotel and we were required to complete the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Registration in C2 (a classroom) asap (finished mine 4/7 since I arrived a day early). The green packet was the rest of the application we didn't have on the website, such as bank info, driving records, referral, trainer if lined up, etc. At the start of class, the instructor took roll and then wanted to know if we've finished the Clearinghouse registration. We were given a short schedule for the next 2 days, which was pretty much Sims class and finishing CBTs before 4/9 midnight. Lo and behold, there's a guy that hasn't done anything yet, I'll call him Mr. Canada (will go into this later). After this, a lady from the cafeteria came in and handed out a meal ticket for everyone; Breakfast $5.75, Lunch $7.25, and Dinner $7.25. Having the meal tickets in our hands, our next stop was the orientation office.

8:00-9:00: Orientation Office. A place where they go over your green packet that you were supposed to have filled out the day prior. My file review was fast because I have a clean record. Kind of reminded me of reception, hurry up and wait. Except no DS screaming in your face.

9:30: Went to the cafeteria to eat, got a strawberry fruit bowl $ 1.95, boiled eggs $1.60, OJ $1.85 for a total of $5.40.

10:00-12:00: Returned to my room to do CBTs, 34 total, got 7 done because I had to wait for my laptop to install updates since I haven't used it in a while.

12:00-12:30: Got some lunch. Just some boiled eggs and Gatorade, was still full from earlier.

13:00-15:30: Sim Lab. Class started and Mr. Canada got called out for being on his phone. He smiled at the instructor, the instructor did not like it. 5 mins into the powerpoint presentation, a classmate showed up late. The instructor told her that if she's late again, Prime will not like it and may send her home, he also told her to leave and come back in with Group B. After the presentation, the instructor showed us how to work the simulator and told us the controls are really sensitive. The controls are super sensitive, we did 2 simulations total, Sim 1 was just driving, and Sim 2 was going down hill, learning when and how to stab break.

STORY TIME! Mr. Canada! Short story really. Mr. Canada. Our sims instructor told us a story while he was a night dispatcher in his earlier days about a driver and his GPS. So the driver was trying to go from Michigan to New York, his GPS told him to go through Canada. The driver called dispatch at 3 am and asked what he should do, the dispatch said DO NOT GO THROUGH CANADA, both verbally and an email through QualComm. The dispatcher received a phone call at 5 am from said driver saying that he's stuck in Canada. The night dispatch was switching to day dispatch and he told the day dispatch what was going on and he flipped. The night dispatch said he told the driver verbally and in an email not to go to Canada. So the driver didn't leave Canada until 5 pm that day. Fast-forward a year (might have been 2), the same driver called dispatch; the same dispatch (he originally told him that he wasn't in his fleet but actually was and face palmed) and asked what he should do, because his GPS is telling him to go through Canada. The same route, from Michigan to New York. Guess what happens? 5 am, dispatch receives a phone call, the driver says he's stuck in Canada.. lol

The reason i called said student Mr. Canada? He doesn't listen and doesn't have any common sense.

16:00-21:00: Picked up dinner to go from cafeteria, large chicken salad $4.20, boiled eggs $1.60, chocolate pudding $1.00 for a total of $6.80. Went back to room and finished the rest of my CBTs by 19:30. Watched T.V. until 21:00 and went to sleep.

Qualcomm:

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.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Turtle's Comment
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Great post, Mitchell. You and Rob D are bringing back fond memories of my time at Prime. Good luck!

Rob D.'s Comment
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Great summary. I almost feel like I was there.

shocked.png

BTW, happy birthday. I'll tell you in person later.

Its nice to have two of us sharing. But with such a detailed post, I might have to step up my game a little tomorrow. A little friendly competition. Mitchell will be able to beat his chest a little in tomorrow's post.

But I must say. Flatbed Rules!

See you at 13:00

TxTruckerGirl's Comment
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Good stuff. I start my training on the 20th.

Delco Dave's Comment
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Happy both you guys are getting started and are enjoying everything so far!

Really ticks me off that someone like Mr. Canada is there wasting the companies time, and taking up space. Meanwhile, I’m stuck home waiting for my accountant and the DMV to open. Wish I could take his place, obviously he’s not grateful to be there.

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.

Larry's Comment
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"5 mins into the powerpoint presentation, a classmate showed up late. The instructor told her that if she's late again, Prime will not like it and may send her home, he also told her to leave and come back in with Group B."

I saw her with your group yesterday morning and then in our Sim class (showed up late! 😳😳) in the evening!!

Enjoying the accounts. Very realistic!! 😆😆

Mitchell C.'s Comment
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Orientation Day 2 - 4/9/20

7:00-8:00: The Survey? Showed up for roll call at 7:00, told instructors all my CBTs were finished and then our instructor had us do a short survey to match with trainers. Of course Mr. Canada said he's already done it but to our knowledge, and the instructor, he did the wrong one. Seeing her face of aggravation kind of made my chuckled a bit because it seems like a common occurrence with the same class mate everyday. I brought up the terminal tour and asked if we were doing that today because our sim instructor told us that's what we would be doing from 9:00-16:00. Turns out that wasn't the case and the instructor had no idea why the sims instructor told us that. So knowing that was the case, me and Rob wanted to try and move our Sims class from 20:00 to an earlier time slot and was instantly shut down. We tried!

8:00-12:00: Rob, I, and a few others brought up the pre trip and came to an agreement on working on it since we had nothing to do for the next 12 hours. We spent the next 8 hours outside just going over pre trip and talking to random PSD and TNT students. One even came to help us and made the pre trip somewhat easier. Like showing us where most of the parts are at and some tips and trick on how to remember stuff.

12:00-12:30: Got some lunch to go from the cafeteria, nothing changed much from what I get. Salad, eggs, and pudding and some free green tea.

13:00-18:30: Biggest Fan?! More pre trip with the fellas and I met Chad Rich, the guy i referred and admired. It was crazy because he was one of the reason why I became a driver and meeting him person and not through a screen was pretty amazing. Had a little fangasm when i saw his truck pulled up to the lot. Also another student kind messed with me a little, asking me if i knew what and where a hose stretcher was. I said no and i got to thinking that this might have been a blinker fluid kind of joke and it sure was. I even messed up the blinker fluid part, calling it a wiper fluid: wiper fluid is an actual thing.. lol

18:30-19:30: Picked up dinner from cafeteria, the same thing as lunch and went back to room and studied some more pre trip.

20:00-22:30: The Sims Test! We started class with a mini story like always and had 3 sims + an assessment to do tonight. Sim 3 was basically taking the off ramp to a rest area while following red arrows: pretty straightforward. Sims 4 was driving in snow, this wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. I slid twice, once trying to switch lanes, and another going up the off ramp at 10 mph. Going 10 mph up the ramp seemed a little slow and may have been the reason why i slid. On my second attempt, i went 14 and didn't slid. You have to make sure you keep an eye on your surroundings during this sim because we hit fog and had some pretty crazy drivers on the road. Sim 5 was city driving and this is where i... killed a dog. Instructor told us to make sure we knew which way we needed to go before turning, i got to the first turn and didn't really see a trucker route sign because it was kind of hidden a little bit. So i went left and killed a dog. From my second attempt and on, no more mistakes was made outside of some pretty crazy turning. Trying to do a proper button hook turn on a sim is a real pain in the ass. We then took a short 10 min break and came back to do our assessment, the assessment was pretty much sim 1 + 2 so it wasn't bad. I did mess up, didn't pull breaks out at start and had 2 hard breaks, 1 in lane because a cop was in the middle of the road and i couldn't get in the other lane because it's hard to gauge how far back a car is in the sim.. The second hard break was at the end, in front of the stop sign. We do get 2 attempts, if we failed an attempt we get another go but I passed with a 77 (i wanted to retake it but he was like nah you're good). Mr. Canada however failed his first, not sure on his second because he was the only one that failed.

23:00: Zzzz's.

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

HtRedNeck's Comment
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Awesome diary and thank you for doing this!

Grats on passing the sim part, and keep practicing that pre trip!

Mitchell C.'s Comment
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Orientation Day 3 - 4/10/20

6:30-7:00: The Big Wait. Went to the cafeteria to eat some breakfast, nothing too grand.

7:00-7:30: Showed up for roll call only to find out there was no roll call. Me and a few others met out by the pre-trip truck to talk and attempt to do pre-trip. Was super cold and windy, i went back to my room and followed a video while doing the pre-trip.

8:00-12:00: Nothing really happened, still in my room learning the pre-trip. Was able to memorized the engine and driver door side and visualize it in my head where each part was. Each section didn't really have a lot of new stuff to learn. Like the trailer has the breaks + tires parts from the engine, the only thing different is the steer tires and driving tires thread dept.

12:00-12:30: Picked up some lunch, some fried cod, mash taters and veggies.

13:00-15:30: This part aggravated the crap out of me; 4 people from my group and 2 from group b was cleared to get badged. So the orientation guy comes in at 13:00 and called the 4 cleared people from my group saying that if our names wasn't called, it meant we were still pending and to wait in the room until he gets his pending list. An hour later, group b comes in and 2 people were called from being cleared. Our group got to talking to the other group about what we think could be holding us up. 30 mins later, the orientation guy comes back in and said he's still waiting for the pending list and for us to go back to our rooms. Some people went to the orientation room because they called their recruiters asking what was holding them up and said it was our DOT forms. I tried calling my recruiter to make sure that it was the same for me and of course, i had to call my recruiter twice because she really doesn't like to pick up. When she did pick up she said the same thing, DOT. So we informed everyone what it was and orientation guy said to wait for a call to get badged. TIP! - If you come to prime orientation, give the people in the orientation office your DOT form the day you arrive.

15:30-16:45: I honestly thought most of us was about to sit through the weekend not being cleared because it was getting to the last minuet for them to badge. Lo and behold, he called most of us into C5 to get our vest and badge. Afterwards i went back to the orientation guy to get the extended weekend meal card and headed to the terminal with Rob D to get some dinner.

17:00-19:00: We took the shuttle to the terminal with some people we knew and Larry from here. It was our first time at the terminal and it was really busy. It looked kind of plain on the outside but whatever lol. In the dinner line waiting to order, my trainer called asking if i was looking for a trainer and i said yes. His name was Tim and told me to be at the pad tomorrow morning at 7:00 and i said ok. During dinner we met the guy that helped us with the pre-trip, forgot his name and he asked us if we wanted to walk over to the training pad. Rob and i said sure and after dinner we started heading over there while talking about what was going on earlier and he asked if we had trainers yet. I said mine called me during dinner line and he asked what his name was and i told him Tim. He knew who he was and nearing the training pad he asked if i wanted to meet my trainer because he was smoking outside talking to another trainer. We bull****ed a little and it was getting late. We decided to call it a day and headed back to campus.

19:15 - 20:00: Visualized the engine and driver's side door pre-trip making sure i made no more than 5 mistakes and did just that.

20:15 - Got ready for bed and then headed to bed.

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

PSD Day 1 and 2 - 4/11/2020 and 4/12/20

Since training will be mostly the same everyday, i'll give updates on this every couple of days.

4/11/20

6:30-7:00: Headed over to the plaza to start training only to be told to wait by my trainer. He also said he's also training an older lady who had her cdl and now going through prime to retrain.

9:00-11:00: Sharon and I did some straight backs, my first attempt took a little bit but it clicked on what to watch for when your trailer started to turn during my second attempt. We both backed 3 times a piece, she took a little longer because it didn't click for her yet.

11:00: He told us to go on our lunch and to be back at 13:00. Rob and I headed to the terminal for lunch talking about random stuff. He still doesn't have a trainer so we talked about how his pre-trip game will be pretty pro.

12:30-13:00: Arrived back at the plaza only to wait.

13:30-14:30: Trainer is finally done talking and smoking and told us lets go for a drive. Sharon went first, we headed to down the road, near the Hogan? facility and did some turns down that road/path. She did pretty good because she drove for greyhound before coming here. As for me, hmm... i'm not used to the wide turns and it didn't click yet.

14:30-16:30: We took turns driving, she drove a longer path than me, can't really give you specific roads because i don't remember all the roads or the area very well. My turn came up and he told me to get on the interstate , my first and really only mistake was slowing down to try to get into a another lane because i was waiting for a car to get ahead. I do have a weakness and it's turning left, i'm not used to going straight to do a wide turn since i drive a small car. I didn't hit or run into anything except turning to early so i'm not swinging wide enough.

16:30-17:30: Helped Sharon with her pre-trip, she has problems remembering how to say; Properly mounted and secured; Not cracked, bent, or broken. She also forgets the "at both ends" part. So i kept trying to help her different ways to remember and gave moral support. Afterwards we headed back to campus.

18:00-21:00: Rob and i went to the front desk to meet Kearsey, we talked for a little bit and then headed to the terminal for dinner. While eating we talked a lot about trucking and her trucking past. I also met another youtuber, David H and his wife and talked to him for a couple of minuets. Kearsey told us some stories of her past and they were very interesting and entertaining. Stories like Mr. Deer and Dem Tandems! - I'm Actually A Vampire?! After talking for a while we decided to head back and Rob took a picture of me and Kearsey with social distancing in place and then we headed back to the campus. We said our goodbyes and i headed back to my room and to bed.

PSD Day 2 - 4/12/20

The only thing really different from today and yesterday was the drive. Sharon and i drove once before lunch and another drive after lunch. The left turns finally clicked and i no longer have problems doing them. Everything is coming together, slowly but surely. I believe Sharon was trying to kill me though with the path our trainer gave her. The first 10 mins was tight turns where she needed to use the on coming road to turn otherwise the trailer will go near or in the ditch. The rocking back and forth because she kept trying to accelerate and break in quick succession almost made me sick. All in all, today was a good day, i'm still feel a little nervous driving.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.
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