Prime Inc. PSD Covid Edition

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Stoug Danhope's Comment
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Also a couple questions for those in the know.

I can't remember if I mentioned this but my tnt trainer said that if you get even 1 minute off on a day for home time that they count that as home time for a day even if they run a load that doesn't drop until like 22:00 and you don't get home until 23:59 for example. That's a hometime day burned right there. Also the same on the last day of hometime being that the dispatcher will usually send you out at 5-8 am on your last day of scheduled hometime. Basically meaning you can plan for 4 days and get 2 full days and maybe a few hours on the bookends. Also how does it work if dispatch sends you on a load that misses your scheduled hometime. Say you have 4 days and they don't get you there until the 2nd day. Do they add that time to the back end?

Second if I were to change residency to a state different by "renting" a room from someone and using their mailing address for tax and cdl purposes and all that, how would prime work hometime and would they have an issue with that? I'm looking to eventually move out west and would like to already have an address and residency established for when I move on to something that isn't otr. Plus if being located out west meant less time spent screwing around in the east, that'd be fantastic.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

's Comment
member avatar

Hey Stout, Glad to hear you are moving along. Question, I like the sound of your income for solo. Do you know how many miles you are averaging a week? Also on the trainer thing I understand why you did what you did. Now I just tested out 2 days ago and one of the items I had to fill out was a questionnaire on my trainer. It asked about hygiene, stops for bathroom, food, showers etc. Also about personality and if they were abusive etc. Wondering if this is a new thing. Did you have that? I am in the process of updating my training diary. When you get a chance take a peek. Good luck to you trucking brother. Oh on the lane warning I agree with you drives me crazy. Holler when I am an inch from the rumble strip not 6 inches. Add 6 and 6 that makes your driving lane 1 foot more narrow. I had one sharp exit ramp I was easing around and the collision alert sounded. There was not a car in site. Cheers sir

Stoug Danhope's Comment
member avatar

I filled out a short paper asking about my PSD trainer but once I hit springfield with my tnt I got my stuff off the truck and that was the last I heard anything about him.

I'm not sure how many miles I've averaged but I know I've put almost 10k on the truck since getting it. Paid for probably 9k of those. Probably averaged 3000 a week so far but I've been out west nearly the whole time. I've had a ton of time on my loads usually but always try and deliver early, sometimes a day or even two. Usually get a drop and hook that runs a long ways with 3-4 live unloads. Lots of beer and meat loads so far.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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.

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.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, Doug/Stoug Danhope/Stanhope . . .you sure HAVE been 'having it.'

I sure can't answer your Prime specific questions; hopefully Rainy or Turtle will chime in shortly. Just dang, and kudos TO YA for sticking it OUT with your trainer. GEEZ, man.

I'm no driver; can't say much but give you a virtual high five, sir.

A year is but a 'blip' in time .. unless you are 15 years old. Author , ME.

Luck in battle, good sir. Stay safe.

~ Anne ~

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Your Hometime rule is going to depend on your fleet manager. I've only had two home times since I've gone solo and one of those I was under a load so it didn't even count as home time.

Based on my conversation with Turtle who had the same fleet manager that I have as long as you run hard and don't abuse your home time technical rules don't really matter.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Your Hometime rule is going to depend on your fleet manager. I've only had two home times since I've gone solo and one of those I was under a load so it didn't even count as home time.

Based on my conversation with Turtle who had the same fleet manager that I have as long as you run hard and don't abuse your home time technical rules don't really matter.

Guess it all depends mine is 100% by the books from what I've noticed but I've only been running with him a few weeks or however much. It all runs together. Only talked to him twice on phone and once on QC. I'm pretty skeptical they'd run you a month and get you 50-60 hours off, especially since the guy telling me this was a cheerleader for leasing.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

If you park on Sunday.... You get off on tues wed Thursday Nd back on tru k by 1000 on Friday. 10am is the prime policy. As you buold a relationship and prove yourself worthy you can Work something out with the FM

Stop listening to stupid people. 😂

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.
Stoug Danhope's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info on that kearsey. Got one more load then I'm home bound. Dot hemmed me up for over a hour and made me late to an appt but I passed. Had an 8/2 split that the officer wasn't happy about saying I went over on my 14 but it was legal so I dunno.

Going to look into changing states come January sometime. Might see if I can't call in a favor with dispatch and get 5-6 days off come late January to look around the place I'd like to relocate to. Might go ahead and rent me some cheap room to get an address and info changed over but that's 2 months away still.

Going to try and get my apu fixed when I head back out after hometime. It can get hot in the truck and the overnight drain on my batteries has made the truck do weird stuff when I first start it.

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.

APU:

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.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, it sure has BEEN awhile . . . all still good with you?!?

confused.gif good-luck-2.gif confused.gif

Stoug Danhope's Comment
member avatar

Update for the new year.

So got some time off at Thanksgiving but not on it. Applied for the Christmas bonus where you run from I think 12/5 to 1/5 iirc for around 800 dollars. My truck had some electrical issues and also the apu was dead so I had to get it fixed and sat at the terminal for a couple days. Apparently this meant I was unavailable for dispatch and no longer qualified for the Christmas bonus. Oh well I suppose, beats being in single digits or negative with no heat or in Florida with no air and not being able to sleep. Seems to be holding up now and I can sleep sometimes.

I've ran an average on my miles so far and I'm getting about 2300 a week since going solo. I don't care much about mileage as much as what goes to my bank account. I'm taking home on average so far about 730 a week with no insurance and 100 a week on my comdata card for food or expenses. It seems like good money until I realize I'm working 60-70 hours a week all week to make that and even then, it just sits in a bank account or mutual funds. Lots and lots of sitting around. I just had right at 3 days sitting to get the load I'm on now. I know it's slow for the holidays but I'm going a bit stir crazy. By my estimations you're also shorted about 9-10% on miles driven vs miles paid. The sitting also makes my appts difficult to meet sometimes because I won't have the load in the box but with barely enough time to make it.

Still losing weight but it has slowed down. I'm down nearly 40lbs since I started but it seems to be stabilizing more. The biggest issue with health is the sleep for me. Chasing the clock back 4 hours everyday is brutal. Constantly feel jet lagged when you can run and then when you're sitting you sleep until you can't anymore. Many times I'll sleep 3-4 hours of my ten, sit there trying to sleep, then by the time I'm ready to roll and have been driving for a few hours I'm ready to sleep again. It's pretty annoying. I'll be so tired sometimes I'll consider taking up smoking lol but I've abstained so far.

Overall it's a pretty mixed bag from what I'm seeing to be honest. I'm making double what I made before but I'm working nearly twice as much and have no life outside of working. The lifestyle is pretty rough and there's not much enjoyment from running the same few stretches of interstate everyday. It's a weird feeling, the continental us feels like my backyard now. I can be in new york and think, "oh yeah, arizona is just a little ways over there." It might be because I'm still young and wide eyed but man is it a boring monotonous life to lead. It's also interesting how quickly you fade from the life of others when you aren't around daily. I don't even hear from my folks but once every few days and I was living with them when I left out just 6 months ago. It all slowly tapers off, they're the only people I have contact with anymore. I'm a loner by default and I'm not really bothered by it but it's surprising how fast it happened. It's also funny how when I started out, my bank account was building like I've never seen before, then once the money starts accumulating, it seems like it takes forever to see the next little milestone.

As to the relocation aspect I hinted at, not having much luck at all on that front. I've spoken with a few mortgage brokers and loan officers and once you mention cpm pay you hear a dial tone more or less. Apparently you can have a really good credit score, work 80 hours a week, and a 20%+ down payment ready to go but since it's a commission based wage, it may as well be the same as drug money to these people. I've read a USDA loan or a credit union are my only remaining options but nobody is financing usda because of the massive delays they have and a credit union usually won't take members out of state. But I've noticed in general truckers get treated like swine by a lot of people, and from some of the truck stops I've been, they live up to the reputation. Still searching for options but seems a bit like a dead end. I'm damn sure not about to get an apartment when I'll have maybe 3 days a month at it and it's a minimum of 1000/month where I'd like to live. From my experience as well with my dispatcher , asking for hometime gets you crappy loads for a week after you request it and a week before you get off and a week afterwards. I'd rather not sit for 20-30 hours in the truck only to get a load with 5 live unloads on it and 500 miles spread over 3-4 days. Ugh, I learned my lesson on that one.

In general, I think I'm going to serve my contract time and then take my savings and find something back in heavy equipment or construction. At least I can go home and sit by the fire or ride a motorcycle or do something fun on the weekends. I'm not saying it's as bad as jail in solitary confinement but damn if it don't feel like it a lot of times. Doesn't seem to make much sense working your life away. I don't see myself getting rich driving, I'm going to have to work for a long while yet and spending a month on the road for a barely middle class income and 3-4 days off if you can get it is pretty foolish in my opinion. At least in my case, I don't really care for the lifestyle that much so it isn't enjoyable. No point in voluntarily being bored out of your mind and exhausted constantly for weeks on end for who knows how many years. Just my mileage and take on it. It might bring on some haters but that's just like, my opinion, man.

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.

Interstate:

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

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

APU:

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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