Just Another Prime Inc Endeavor

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Uncle Rake's Comment
member avatar

You don't need to live near the trainer for home time. My last student lived in MS and I live in NJ. I just drive thru their town and drop then off then return when I come back from hometime.

You most likely wont be in the terminal much so keeping the car there may not make sense. If the trainer drops you at home you wont have a car. We have some tall drivers and I habent heard issues other than sitting up on the top bunk. I have an international and had a 6ft4 student. The steering wheel and seat were fine. He felt a little cramped sitting up so only laid down in bed.

Thank you so much, Kearsey. That information helps!

Yesterday I went to have my DOT physical. Most things seemed to go well but in 2016 I had a blood clot issue in one of my legs. Since then I’ve been taking a regular dosage of warfarin and have not had any additional issues. However, the physician who oversaw the physical would not grant my medical certificate until my personal physician documents the fact that my situation is under control.

I hate being dishonest in almost anything, but in cases like this it seems like honesty is what causes problems. It is not enough of a problem to lead me to be less than forthcoming, but it seems that in situations like this, those who are willing to obfuscate their history end up with less difficulty. So I texted my physician yesterday and he agreed to fill out the form and fax it back to them. I checked in with them this morning. They received the fax, but the physician overseeing my case was off work today so I need to call back on Monday. I hope everything is resolved then.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Raif, I totally agree with your last paragraph, sadly but honestly so.

I'm sure hoping this all works out for you, good sir; still following.

Also as Rainy stated, you will be in a condo while training, so your height shouldn't be a problem. When you eventually go solo, simply request a condo, not a lightweight. Tell them you aspire to become a trainer, if that gets you a condo quicker. Again, based on your last paragraph of the above post, LoL~!

rofl-3.gifconfused.gifrofl-3.gif

Anne ~ :)

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Sorry but that is the law. I had an ovary removed and needed to provide documents. I just had laser eye surgery and needed to provide documents. Lawyers will twist anything in accident lawsuits and if you didn't disclose they. Would blame you and the company and you would lose a career. Waiting an extra couple days is nothing in the scheme of things. And most things you only provide once.

Marc Lee here had a problem not being prepared to produced ongoing documents for his diabetes. He was terminated from his first company and jumped through hoops thereafter at several companies since.

Those are federal forms. I have seen people lie about stuff including failed drug tests... They get found out. Then door slam on them. Play the game and be legal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

August 27, 2020

For the record, I had no intention of being dishonest. I was just talking about the number of times when it seems like those who are willing to be loose with the truth have fewer hurdles to overcome than those who are completely honest. As it turns out, I did get my medical certificate on Monday, though it is good for only one year. I spoke to my recruiter this week and asked when I will have my drug test. He said that the test will be a part of my permanent record, so they don’t schedule the test until after I have passed my permit exams. I scheduled those almost 2 months ago and will take them on September 3. Then I am scheduled to begin at Prime the following week (Week of September 7).

Since I had to schedule my exam so far in the future, I want to be sure that I have everything I need when I show up to take the exams. I tried calling the local office where the exams are given, but I was routed to a state information service. Through that I did get a link to a document which has the requirements for drivers in Texas. Here are the requirements from that document:

7 Easy steps to apply for your Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) at any driver license office:
1. A Medical Certificate, contact a DOT certified physician to have a physical completed and MedCert issued,
2. Your Texas driver license,
3. Proof of Social Security Number,
4. Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Evidence of Lawful Presence,
5. Proof of Identity,
6. Proof of Texas Residency, and
7. $25 application fee – can be paid with cash, money order, credit or debit card
Last, take the written test at any driver license office.

Since Monday I should have what I need for number one. I do have a drivers license so that takes care of number two. I have my Social Security card, so number three should be good. One of the documents that satisfies the fourth item is an official birth certificate. I have that. I believe number five can be met using a drivers license, so I should be good on that one. Number six is satisfied using a number of documents such as a current voters registration card or utility bills with address listed, automobile registration or insurance statements. I think I can find enough documentation to meet that requirement. So I should be prepared for getting my testing done next week.

As soon as I pass all the tests, I will contact my recruiter who will schedule the drug testing. He said that can be handled quickly and at the same location where my DOT physical was done. Then I look forward to getting to orientation in Springfield the following week.

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

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Liz D.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Raif,

My one year anniversary is coming up end of October with Prime. So still a noob but learning everyday.

Just so you know with sitting so much blood clots can be an issue, I had a swollen ankle and my dispatcher told me to get an ultrasound just to make sure there weren't any clots and to have the report handy if Prime request it. All good btw.

As far as tall, 6’3” Amazonian here and I am comfy on a Freightliner. When I was training if I hit the top bunk it was to sleep.

Anyway welcome to Prime! I did my training in Pittston, from NJ and my trainer lives in Florida, I loved when he did home time cause well it’s Florida lol and a rental car and spent time visiting in the Keys. don’t know why I moved back to NJ.

Well good luck you’ll do fine. Oh get your computer learning done as fast as possible and pretrip, pretrip, and pretrip.

good-luck.gif

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.
Uncle Rake's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Liz. I would not be surprised if I could pass my pre-trip already. I will continue to work on it though.

Congratulations on your first year with Prime.

Uncle Rake's Comment
member avatar

9/3/2020 - CLP Test Day

Well, Just above you can see what I had read about the documentation I needed when I went to test for the CLP exams. Instead of just trusting that information, two days ago I decided to drive an extra 30 miles to the location where my tests were to be taken just to ask about documentation. The lady there assured me that all I needed was a birth certificate or passport and my DOT medical clearance paperwork.

I had prepared to take all seven tests (Texas special use, general knowledge, airbrakes, combination vehicles, tanker, doubles/triples, & hazmat). I felt pretty good about my chances on all the tests but was concerned that missing a single document would prevent me from continuing, and I was scheduled to begin at Prime on September 7. After my extra visit two days before, I was more confident that I would have what I needed. The preparations I had done included time with High Road training but also with both applications that were mentioned on Prime’s website (CDL Prep & DMV Genie). I knew those two very well and both were assuring me that I had a 100% chance of passing.

I began with the Texas special use exam. From the beginning I saw several questions I had not seen in any of my preparation (except perhaps in reading the handbook). One of the questions that I had not seen asked what a round yellow sign with black writing indicated. I think I guessed and got it right but I know I had not seen that question. I expected to see some questions that were worded differently and several on this initial exam were worded in a way I had not seen. I was a little concerned as I worked my way through that exam because it is not a long exam so I knew I could not miss very many questions. In the end, I think I only missed two out of 20 or 25. The rest of the tests were much closer to the materials I had studied, and I think I only missed two or three questions combined in all the other tests.

Unfortunately, my challenges did not end with unfamiliar test questions. I was only allowed to take the exams for special use, general knowledge, air breaks, and combinations. In Levelland, Texas, they only have two computers for testing and due to Covid they only allow one to be used at a time. Each time I finished a set of tests I waited several minutes for the ladies who worked there to be free from other customers so that I could ask them for the next test. When I finished the initial four exams, they told me I could not take any additional tests. I mentioned to them that I had put all seven tests on my application showing that I intended to take all of them. They told me that I definitely could not take doubles and triples or hazmat until I already had my CDL. I told them the company I was going to work with required tanker. One of the ladies called the supervisor who showed her how she could allow me to take that exam. I am thankful I was able to get all of the required exams needed at Prime, even though I did not get to take the other two exams. They should be pretty easy with the preparation I have.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Uncle Rake's Comment
member avatar

Tuesday, September 8

I arrived one day early around noon. Campus Inn is located directly south of Holiday Inn. I went to check in and found that I needed to go to the computer lab and set up my account which would allow Prime to access my driving record before I did anything else. I had ridden to Springfield with my sister-in-law and her husband who live in southwest Missouri. I told them I had paperwork to complete before I could unload my things from their car. It probably took me 30 to 45 minutes to set up my account with FMCSA so Prime could request my driving record including alcohol events. Thankfully, at that point the dolly at the hotel was still available for me to unload my belongings from the car. By that time it had begun raining rather hard. I texted my sister-in-law and asked them to pull up to the door. Once I had unloaded my things and taken them back inside, I was informed that my room was not yet ready.

I decided to go for a walk through the building to see if I could get my bearings on where everything is located. I walked down the hall between the front lobby and the computer room. I noticed to my right that there was a hallway that just lead to an exterior door. When I got to the entrance to the computer room, I turned left and went to the end of the hall and it seemed that I had reached the end of the building. I knew there were rooms where people stay but I had decided at this point that access to them was only from outside the building I was in. Eventually, I decided to go through the building again and when I got to the hallway that just lead to the outside, I decided to go that way. There I discovered that the hallway actually turned left and lead to the offices Prime uses to process people.

I checked my account with FCMSA throughout the day to see if Prime had requested my record. It was not until about 8 PM that I finally received notice that they had made the request. You have to login and grant access for them to see your record. If you do not have a query from the company when you first register your account, be sure to check regularly throughout the day so you can grant access when it is requested.

I had not eaten that day except for some mixed nuts my wife had sent with me. I had eaten extremely well the day before since my brother-in-law is an expert chef who has worked in the restaurant within Bass Pro Shop in Springfield. I went to the café for lunch and picked up a chicken salad. It was not a very large container but they packed it in tightly so there was plenty within the container. I actually got into the café just before the lunch time had ended so I was also eligible to come back for supper. For supper I only chose three vegetables. They tell you when you finish how much credit you have left. If you want anything else you have to get it before you leave the line. Once you leave, any available extra credit for that meal is lost.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Wednesday, September 9

I forgot to mention something from yesterday. Once I finally got to my room I took a shower. Then I went outside to practice my pre-trip on the practice truck. I saw a lot of newer trucks from current drivers in the parking lot, but I did not see what appeared to be a practice truck. As I walked back toward the building I saw a lady who works here and I asked her about it. She said they do not have a practice truck anymore. I asked the Sim lab instructor about it and he said they sold it.

I was in the cafeteria by 0600 Wednesday morning for breakfast after getting up at 0445. I had three scrambled eggs, three pieces of bacon, and a biscuit with gravy all within the allotted $5.75. Each table still has only one chair so I did not see the point in staying there and went to my room to eat. I went over my paperwork for a third time and got into the classroom by 0715. As I sat in class I was wondering if the other fellows in there were just really early like me or perhaps if they were left over from a previous group. I also wondered whether to make a comment to the group about the poison placard on the speakers podium. I decided against making such a comment. They have signs throughout the room saying there is to be no food, drinks, or cell phones in class. Despite that, several in the room were using their phones.

At 0730 a lady came in to discuss meal plans. I got my card, put my name on it, and began making notes on the back as she instructed. Then another lady came in and said, “Who is not supposed to be here?!” I said my class starts at eight so she said for me to get out of there and come back at eight! The lady who gave me a meal card took it back from me. I guess punctuality means being on time, but not a minute early. It seems that it would be fairly easy to adjust the paperwork to say, “Be on time, but don’t enter the classroom early, or no more than 10 minutes early.”

I am listening to other students talking to each other and wondering if some of them are going to be content riding in a truck by themselves. One self-termed “former instructor” was talking about pre-trip and leaving off key terminology. He also has all of the other trucking company names and what they “stand for.” Future terminal rat? At 8:30 we finally were allowed to go into the classroom. I know things are very hectic since everyone was pushed back a couple of days due to the holiday on Monday. The lady in charge of our orientation process allowed the cafeteria representative to come back. She brought back my partially completed meal card and I was able to finish that process. We were Instructed to fill out a safety protocol sheet and put it facedown on the table and grab a green book. The green book appears to be full of federal regulations related to substance use while driving a commercial vehicle. Next, at 9:30 someone came in to go over our green packet we received when we checked into the hotel. One of the things he covered was the importance of not trying to hook up with someone during PSD. He said people regularly get sent home for failing to abide by this instruction. He even mentioned someone who tried to get a date with a highway patrol lady who was there to help with testing. It’s difficult to believe the actions of some people.

The primary lady came back in and emphasized the importance of working on computer based training videos. She said that if someone completes them too quickly (as in, not watching all of the videos) they will be required to redo all of them. She also said that cell phones were not strictly banned from class. She emphasized that the most important things for the day included finishing orientation process, completing computer based training, and being present on time for Simulator lab. She also said that if we had a computer or tablet in our room we could take a picture of the web address on the top left corner of the computer monitors. Then we could login and work from our room using that address.

Continued . . .

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.

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.
Uncle Rake's Comment
member avatar

Continued from above . . .

At 1010 I am in an office waiting for my file review. It is interesting and somewhat surprising that no one has mentioned pre-trip preparation yet. The process of orientation reminds me of being in processing at Boot Camp where I would constantly see groups waiting in areas where I had not been. Then an in an hour or two, I find myself in that group. While waiting for file review they don’t call people by name, but just ask for “next person,” so those waiting move up as chairs ahead of them are vacated. File review finished about 1100. She scanned my DOT physical information, went through my packet very quickly, and scanned my fuel receipts for the trip to Springfield and emailed them to my recruiter. She also gave me a green zippered pouch with additional instructional material, including the pre-trip checklist.

I got my phone and took a picture of the web address for the computer based training. I was able to login and watch the videos on my iPad in the room. At times it was a little difficult to get the videos to start but I was able to watch all of them and complete the quizzes that followed some of them. I started the CBTs a little after 1100 and finished at 1930 last night. I did take a 30 minute break for dinner and to talk to my wife. The Pulse driver app shows that I completed 35 modules. It seemed like there were quite a few but I did not remember it being that many.

It has been quite a day up to this point but I have Sim lab at 2115. I decide not to take a nap because I do not want to take a chance on missing class. When I went to the lab I was thinking it would be electronic instruction and I did not take any writing materials with me. As it turned out, this instructor did more teaching than anyone else today. Thankfully, a student gave me a couple pieces of paper to take notes. The most important thing to remember is to put on the seatbelt first. When the evaluation time comes, 20 points are deducted from the beginning if the truck starts before the seatbelt is fastened. I went through the first simulation three times and felt pretty comfortable each time although it did get better as I progressed. The class started at 2115 and we began driving on the simulator at 2245. I finally got to bed about 2340.

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.
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