Traning W/ Prime Inc.

Topic 28271 | Page 1

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Travis K.'s Comment
member avatar

After peeking into this topical forum, I noticed there weren't too many recent posts, and there are even less from those who have went through Prime Inc. I've been searching for people to talk to who I can relate with - so i thought, why not start my own story?

I'll attempt to document and describe everything as much as possible - especially with the new changes with COVID-19.

1. I am 8 days and 11 hours out from jumping in my rental car and heading to Missouri. Prime is no longer accepting trainees by bus or airplane as a result of COVID-19. Fortunately, they agree to reimburse your expenses once you've obtained your CDL license and are an official employee. I've scheduled to pick my rental up on Friday and pack it in that evening to prepare to start my trip at approx 5:30 AM on Saturday AM. I'm traveling from SC - a 14.5 hour drive. I purchased a cheap Air BNB in Memphis Tenn. to get a good bit of the trip over with on the first day, and I will continue the rest on Sunday AM. I was instructed that I can arrive on Sunday to secure my room at Campus Inn and be ready to rock and roll on Monday AM.

2. Not sure if this is a COVID-19 change or an efficiency change, but you are now instructed to secure your CDL permit in your home state prior to arrival. They will also order your DOT physical and drug test appointments. If you're like me, you'll need to take your physical prior to obtaining your permit. If your state requires this, DO NOT wait for Prime to order your DOT physical. Pay for it, keep your receipt, and turn it in for a reimbursement on a later date. If you're wondering, the permit test is not difficult - all you have to do is read! Read the assigned sections for the relevant endorsements and you'll be fine. If you try to skip or you are not actively reading, you should expect to fail. Be sure to skip every question you are unsure about. It will return at the end of the test. The test resumes until you've reached the required number correct or until you have gotten one more question than the minimum amount allotted to miss. This means - you do not necessarily have to take every question - you only need to get the minimum amount needed to pass. Do not neglect the skip button! Read, relax, and use the skip button.

3. I'm going to miss my family. I cried heavily with my oldest girl the other day (5 years old). She wanted to know why do people need more money when they are growing? Why do you need a new job? I can see in her eyes this trucking is consuming her. I'm worried about the safety of my girls (2 daughters and my bride). We don't live in a bad neighborhood, I think it is just instinctive as a husband and father. We need this for our future though. One day my girls will understand I made the sacrifice for them. The tears will be worth it. I explained to her, "Baby, sometimes you have to do really hard things in order to get something really good. That's what daddy is doing."

That's all for now. Indeed, I feel a little better venting on this forum. Not too many people to talk to about this - folks don't understand - Pastor turned Trucker. Again, I'm 8 days out. I may check back in the day prior to leaving, but I won't spill my anxiety over forum. Just ready to rock and roll. Ready to get into a new rhythm. Ready to cry the tears, dry it up, and do my job. I'm ready to make money and come back home for a couple days.

Hope to talk to you all soon.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Guy B.'s Comment
member avatar

God Speed to you Travis!

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I look forward to following along! Trucking is definitely a big sacrifice but its helped my family and I accomplish things we didn't see possible. I have 3 kids just a tad younger than yours and I can relate to the emotion involved in trying to explain things to them. There will be many days you want to throw the towel in because you miss your family. Get through your first year and many doors will open up allowing you more time at home while still enjoying this lucrative career.

Good luck.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to a Prime.

And don't hold back sharing your story.

I'm in TNT flatbed.

Good luck.

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.

Travis K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies you all! Here we go. Getting close. This entry may have a little bit of emotions in it. It's my last push before I shut them off and get to work.

1. Pre-Trip Plan! - It is 1:35 AM on Friday morning. Later today, my bride is going to pick up some last minute items for my bag. I'm going to get everything squared away and go over everything in my head. Later, I will pick up a rental and take my bride out to eat. Then we will come home and put our kids to bed. Saturday AM, I'm waking up at approx 4:30 AM, drinking a little coffee, and I'm gone. I've got approx a 9 hour drive through GA, Ala., & Miss., before arriving in TN. I've got a bnb in Memphis, and then I'll finish the journey to Springfield on Sun. AM. If you're asking, Why doesn't this guy go through TN from SC to get to Springfield, MO? During the day, my Maps App always puts the southern route quicker - sometimes by an hour or so. I think I'm just going to trust it.

2. I've got to have a talk with my 5 year old before she goes to bed and tell her that I won't be here when she wakes up. I love this girl with my entire being. I would give my life for her, and I intend to give my life for her every day for the rest of my life - including in Springfield. But she's 5 - she doesn't understand that concept. She's going to hurt. I've seen it in her eyes all week. She tries to cover it, but I'm daddy. Her "card making" for me has increased 200-300%. When she gives them to me - I see it in her eyes. God, bless this sweet girl. She deserves nothing but the best. I'm trying. I'm doing all I can. I always will. I'm her daddy - I'm the first one she fell in love with. Now I feel like the first one that's teaching her to cover pain. I'm the first one teaching her that sometimes you gotta push those emotions down and press on. I hate that. I know what I'm doing is good for my family, but this is tough. Just expressing here.

3. It's so hard leaving home. Knowing you won't be here to protect your family if anything was to happen. I've got three girls - my bride and two daughters. If anything happened to them - if it was someones fault - I fear the man I would become. God, bless my home - protect my family.

4. I gotta get out of these emotions. My wife reminded me that I told her, getting bogged down in emotions is like being in the mud w/o 4WD engaged. You gotta set those emotions aside sometimes and push forward. This was my last bask in my emotions. I needed this time. Thanks for reading. It's time to get to work. I've been running through my pre-trip over and over. I've already got my trainer for PSD & TNT. He sent me a pre-trip guide. Most of it is self-explanatory for folks who have worked on cars, even a little. Just think about the function of the part - and consider what you'd check to ensure proper operation. I guess it helps that I've obtained a CDL before to drive school buses and I've got a little experiences driving and maintaining fire trucks. I'm ready to get in the truck and get going. It's time to get to work.

Thank you for this time. I'll check in either on Sat or Sun night. Maybe Monday, I know I'll have a lot to say then.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I gotta get out of these emotions.

Great post Travis!

You are going to have a tough time with this. I understand every thing you've had to say. I have three daughters and my wife. There are so many things that happened at home while I was away. Sometimes it just rips your heart out of ya.

One thing I have is a really good friend/neighbor who is willing to help my wife with anything she needs. He does my yardwork for me and has gone over to the house several times when my dog was barking like crazy in the night, or when my wife had a copperhead snake in the garage. Having someone like that is invaluable.

Your wife will have to take charge of things. She will have to learn what things she needs to discuss with you while you're on the road, and what can wait until you get home. Your relationship will change. The two of you will have to make sure it doesn't change for the worse. Talk with your daughters whenever you can. Tell them about the places you go. Send them photos of the things you see. Let them be involved with you. Later on they will want to go with you. Take them along once they are old enough.

Each of my daughters rode with me on various occasions. They are grown now with children of their own. They still talk about those trips on the road with me. They keep asking me to do this long enough to take my grandchildren out on one of those grand adventures.

It's tough - there's no denying that, but you can do it. Real men shed tears on the road, and it's almost always because they miss their people at home.

Hang in there my friend. The gate is about to swing open, and you are on the back of a bull. Ride it out - don't let it throw you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Best of luck to you Travis. We all absolutely understand where you're coming from, and how hard it is to leave family behind. You know you are doing this for all the right reasons, so lean on that when the times get hard. And believe me, they will get harder before they get easier.

Please please please come to us with any questions, concerns, or even to vent if you feel the need. We all want to see you succeed in this.

As with most diaries, you may often wonder if anyone is even following along. You may not always get comments or responses. But rest assured there are scores of folks reading every entry, and your trials will go on to help countless others in the future.

Good luck and stay safe.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Travis K.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle & Old School - Thank you both SO much for your replies. They are more timely than you can understand - but I know you both sound like you understand exactly how encouraging it is for someone to reach back out to you! Old School - You're talking to someone who just liquidated horses, trailers and everything! I'm ready to ride this bull my friend!

Travis K.'s Comment
member avatar

End of Day 1

It's Monday evening at 11:01 PM! Because of COVID-19, classes are staggered and my first appointment is at 9:00 AM, so I've got time to finish these CBT's, write a short entry, and get some shut eye. I'm more than willing to answer questions about orientation, the COVID differences, & etc. But let's be honest - isn't there enough of that on YouTube? I'd rather keep this to an actual diary. Here are a few takeaways from today.

1. Everyone is not here for the same reason I am here. Respect that. We had a guy late to class today. Instructor had to call his cell phone to, what I presume, wake him up and inform him he's late. He got a public reprimand that lasted 3-5 min about why Prime expects timeliness, and we moved on. I spoke with a hand full of others as well who seemed to complain, be more interested in convo about COVID than getting CBT's done. Everyone is not here for the same reason I am. I'm here to provide for my family. I am here to inject more revenue into my household. I am here because my girls depend on me. I encourage anyone considering this lifestyle, TRULY analyze your motives. If you're here to hang out - I encourage you to stay home. Not because you're not good enough - but because I don't think you'll walk away having a good experience. There are many things worth more than money.

2. Staying out of your emotions while on the phone is not always a bad thing - sometimes your family needs it. My daughter had a rough night last night. Crying and needing her mother. It happened once while I was on the phone. I could see in her eyes that she needed me to be a rock. She needed to be assured via daddy's body language that indeed everything was alright, that daddy is having a good time, and that he can't wait to get back home. Sure - it didn't make her life better, but it's a lot better if the pilot comes over the intercom CALMLY explaining the turbulence, rather than crying about it.

3. If you do not succeed at Prime - it is NOT because you were starved! GOODNESS! I haven't eaten this good in quite some time! I sure am gonna miss the food when my trainer comes to pick me up! He says he should be here tomorrow night or Wednesday AM! The staff and drivers here really have taken on the culture of Prime - we are a family! That is such a great thing!

4. Prime has a scholar program. You can receive 50% off (or your spouse & dependents) if you attend Bethel University. As a graduate student, this is very attractive. Also attractive for my wife. I strongly encourage you to seek out ALL perks for the company you're applying to. Life is more than just money!

I love you all! Talk with you soon!

Travis K.'s Comment
member avatar

Now we're rolling!

I upgraded! I'm out of orientation and into PSD! By the grace of God, my best friend "happened" to meet a guy who trains at Prime. Then, almost 2 years later, here I am with a trainer! My trainer emailed me a copy of the Pre-trip info 4 weeks before I arrived, so I have been drilling the info since I received it. WOW! That made a HUGE difference (If you're thinking about coming to Prime, SPECIFICALLY IN SPRINGFIELD, you would be VERY wise to reach out to me so I can email you info. It's the exact same info I was given in class today). I was clearly the most prepared trainee today at the Plaza. Because I'm so prepared for the Pre-trip, I can place more focus on learning to drive.

What a great day! I was able to get with my trainer and drive a bit. First we bob tailed around the practice pad, then around Springfield a little. We stopped by Wal Mart to grab a few things, then drove more. We grabbed a trailer and practiced a few of the exercises for my license. Because I've hauled horses the past 3 years, he was quite impressed with my starting point! Man I'm so glad. If you're thinking about coming to Prime and don't have this experience, try to gain access to any trailer and start hauling it everywhere. Back everywhere. It's going to make a BIG difference. While the vehicle is different, the concept is the exact same.

Tomorrow we will drive a little more and wait for maintenance to have a chance to work on his truck. Once his truck gets some maintenance done, I'm going to pick up my first load! I'm grateful to have been able to secure a trainer in advance. I'm grateful to have been able to practice my pre-trip in advance. And last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful to be here. Which leads me to my last point.

There are two types of people in this world. There are negative folks and positive folks. I've never met anyone in between. If you're planning on coming here, you would be wise to surround yourself with the positive folks. Do NOT find yourself caught up in complaining about the fact that they're making you do the same amount of miles even though you're walking in with a Class B license. Do NOT find yourself complaining because your personality type doesn't match well with the instructor of a class. I am VERY grateful to be here! I said it yesterday, I said it today, and I intend to say it tomorrow! I intend to say it on my worst days AND my best days! Anybody can dance in the sunshine, but it takes a certain person to know how to dance in the rain! If you plan to reach your potential, you'd be wise to learn how to dance in the rain!

What a great day! I can't wait until tomorrow!

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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