Official Solo Primate Soon With Questions!

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Mitchell C.'s Comment
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So as some of you know, I started my journey back on April 8th, on my birthday to become a prime driver. Graduated psd April 24th and got on my tnt trainers truck on the 30th. Last week we put in 6212 miles and this week we put in 6700 miles, i only need 900 miles to finish my tnt before i have to be approved by safety for me to upgrade to solo.

My question is, i’ll be taking a LW if possible and was wondering if we have any LW drivers here that can share your setup for your truck so i can get a general idea on how i can set it up for max comfort (pictures if possible). Also can i buy my own appliances and have them install it for me? What size tv can go into a LW? What volt/wattage do i need to look for said appliances? Can anyone recommend a good gps?

I know company drivers get some bonuses, how much extra in pay is it or is it cpm? Also as a company driver, can you reject loads? I have a serious problem with the NE 🤬 really can’t stand the roads and traffic. Since i live in Louisiana, will i still be going coast to coast or certain regions?

My trainer is actually leaving prime next week, he got a job as a fuel hauler in montana with a girl he met on tinder about a month ago. He said he’s giving me his chains and detention stamp which will save me a little bit of money. He got on my nerves at times but we never really argued, he answered all my questions and showed me what and how to do something if i asked so all in all he was a good trainer. I lucked out and got good trainers for both psd and my tnt phase.

I’m taking some tips and advice for going solo, i’m pretty confident i’ll be able to manage without someone guiding me but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Oooh ooh ahhh ahh...

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CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

First, congratulations on making it through TNT. That is no easy task. You show some serious grit on making it all the way.

how i can set it up for max comfort (pictures if possible). Also can i buy my own appliances and have them install it for me? What size tv can go into a LW?

Never had a LW, so I can't help you on the set up or TV size. Even in my condo I only wanted a 24in TV, to reduce clutter.

What volt/wattage do i need to look for said appliances?

You get a 1500 watt inverter, so any accessories you use, either by themselves or collectively, will need to stay under that capacity.

Can anyone recommend a good gps?

Rand McNally or Garmin are both a good GPS. I've only used the RM, and will continue to stick with it.

I know company drivers get some bonuses, how much extra in pay is it or is it cpm?

You get 5cpm extra to run LW.

Also as a company driver, can you reject loads? I have a serious problem with the NE 🤬

Technically, no you cannot reject loads. You could let your preferences be known, and your fm may try to accommodate you. But do you really want to be that driver who right out of the gate tries to pick and choose where you go? Or do you want to be the "go to" driver your fm can depend on to get it done, wherever it is? Choose wisely.

Btw, you also get 5cpm extra for running the NE.

Since i live in Louisiana, will i still be going coast to coast or certain regions?

Unless you specifically opted for a regional account, you'll be coast to coast.

You've come a long way, Mitchell. But there's still a long way to go. It's about to get very real, very fast. Focus on safety above all else. The rest will fall into place.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Fm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

So when you say you get an extra .5 cpm running NE, is that only if you choose NE to NE or is it any loads going to NE?

As for the gps question, i should’ve specified a little more, i was planning on getting a rand mcnally but was wondering which, the 540? 740? Seems most truck gps on amazon has horrible reviews so wanted to be sure i’m getting the right one.

As for the bonuses questions, i know LW gets an extra .5 cpm, this question was mainly geared towards fuel bonuses, safety, and whatever else. I read a thread by kearsey a while back but it never actually showed how much extra in bonuses, just the different types.

I’m just trying to buy all my stuff at once because i know the terminal over charges you for a mini fridge and such. $500 for the same mini fridge that is $200? No sir! I know they take out a fixed amount per check but still, save money when you can right?

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The RM TND 750 just hit the market a bit over a month ago. When I get the next one, that will be the model.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

We didn't get the bonus in the flatbed division, so Kearsey would be the better one to answer that question. I don't know the specifics of the NE bonus.

I have the 740, and find that it suits my needs nicely. The mag mount does seem to shake loose on a particularly bumpy road sometimes, but not too often. Other than that, it does randomly shut off inexplicably once in awhile. Someone told me the charger cord needs replacing every so often to remedy that, but I'm so cheap I just keep using it.

Fuel and safety bonuses are based on a percentage of miles driven, and will fluctuate weekly. Those bonuses were always just extra fluff to me, so I never paid much attention to the specifics. I had a rather heavy foot, so my fuel bonuses weren't always as good as some other drivers. But if you are keenly aware of your MPG, the bonus will add up. In flatbed I was always more focused on getting it there and delivering ASAP. My fuel / safety bonuses combined we're normally in the $50-$100 range each week. Kearsey I'm sure saw larger bonuses.

Yes, definitely buy your own appliances when you can. The money they wanted for a little bitty fridge was ridiculous vs what I could provide for myself.

You can have the detail shop remove the passenger seat, and that's where you can strap down your fridge, microwave, etc.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

The RM TND 750 just hit the market a bit over a month ago. When I get the next one, that will be the model.

Nice to know. I'll be looking into that as well.

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

Sweet just bought the 750, should be able to pick up everything when i go home next week, last question on fridge size, any “dorm” size fridge should work right? Any “must haves” ya’ll have that will come in handy now or in the future? 🤔

William P.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations. I ran NE for Prime in a LW for 1 1/2 years then went CONDO and I was Refer. Back when I ran we were able to have the Passenger seat removed, that gave me more room. I still keep in touch with my ex students and they tell me you can't have the seat removed. But it never hurts to ask. Remember the inverter will only accommodate so much power. I kept a small Microwave on the truck and a coleman DC cooler, no frozen but holds a lot. Like was said be the go to guy for you dispatch in the long run it will get you the better runs and you'll make more money. You should be able to get the bonuses. Your Qualcomm is good, GPS but don't forget a good MAP. Finally Good luck and don't fear the NE, there are some tight spots but you can get through it, stay safe.

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.
Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

+5cpm for lightweight as has been stated.

You get +5cpm for being NE regional. You don't get any +5cpm for being otr and getting a load to the NE.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Mitchell C.'s Comment
member avatar

Don’t suppose anyone know how to get wifi on the truck? Trainer has a modem but his trainer was the one that hooked everything up. He says all he knows is you need a modem compatible with a sims card, an ipad/andriod notebook, an unlimited data sims card, and an internet provider. How does that all come together? 🤯

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