Just Another Prime Inc Endeavor

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Uncle Rake's Comment
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Really enjoying your stories as I prepare for school on the 19th

Thank you for the response, Edson. I wish you the best of success!

Uncle Rake's Comment
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Friday, October 9

Test day finally arrived. We had to be at the plaza by 830. I wanted to be there by 800 and thankfully my trainer was in agreement. We had practiced backing maneuvers Thursday night from 1900-2200. That’s a good thing, because I was going to need it. We checked in at the desk when we arrived at the plaza. I have learned that checking in is always a good idea when you are scheduled to be at the plaza. Shortly after 900 I met my examiner. He came across as a thorough, seriously minded individual who was not unfriendly. He told us to get a trailer and meet him at pad 8–easier said than done. We went to the location where the trailers are kept but all of them were taken. We saw one parked perpendicular to the others and went back to the plaza and asked someone about using it. After getting approval, we hooked up to that one and went to the prescribed location. The examiner started to look at the trailer and found that the rear doors were wired shut. He said that one would not work. He saw another trainer who was waiting for her student to be tested. He told us that he had called her and we could get her trailer. After finally acquiring a trailer we went back to our prescribed testing location.

For the pre-trip portion, he had me go through the engine compartment and then the other three required sections: the coupling area, the lights test, and the in cab inspection. When we had finished he said that I received 46 of 47 possible points. I learned then that the steering gearbox has more than one hose. I had identified the gearbox and “hose.” He said I should have said “hoses.” So don’t forget the importance of that plural word.

Next we moved to the backing tests. I completed the straight line without any issues. On performing the offset back, I heard the whistle indicating that I had backed too far to the right, incurring a two point penalty. I pulled up and backed it in without additional penalties. Then he asked me to do the right side parallel park, an exercise that had given me no difficulties during practice, once we had the correct movements. I started in the right place but got my initial angle wrong. Several times during practice I had made slight adjustments to the angle as I was backing and corrected it, ending with the trailer in the right place. This time, however, my angle was too much to overcome. First I went over the boundary to my right, incurring another two point penalty. Then I ended up on top of the pylons on the front of the box, incurring another two point penalty. I had used my first GOAL to insure my trailer tires were located correctly. When I ended up on top of the pylons, I decided I needed another look. I couldn’t see how I was going to avoid running over the pylons. The examiner told me I could not back up again until I was within the boundaries. I started to get back in the truck but then went and asked him if I could pull up and start over. He said that I could. When I got back into the truck I stopped worrying about the pylons and just pulled forward directly over them. I saw the examiner pick one up and put it back into place. By this time I was beginning to wonder if I was nearing the end of my fifteen minute time limit. I told myself there was nothing I could do about that and just to do my best. I pulled up past the starting point and backed up into the correct beginning position. This time I got my initial angle correct, backed until I saw my trailer tires on the line in my mirror, made the correct turns, and put the truck and trailer in the box. Normally, I would have used my second GOAL to verify I was completely within the boundaries. But I had no more options for getting out of the truck, and my time limit was still looming in the back of my mind. I checked the mirrors quickly, and sounded the horn. Thankfully I completed the requirements within the time limit, and ended within the boundaries. In all, I lost eight points on my parallel parking attempt. That brought my total deductions to 10, just within the 12 points allowed. My advice to others who might find themselves beginning the parallel maneuver with a bad starting angle is to use a pull-up and get your angle correct. The maneuver allows two pull-ups without penalty. Once the initial angle is correct, pull-ups are rarely needed at all for parallel parking. Thankfully, I passed, and that is the most important thing.

Continued below . . .


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Uncle Rake's Comment
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Next we got into the truck to begin the road test. We pulled out onto the street beside the practice pad and he told me I needed to increase my speed. I tried to keep my speed slightly below the posted limit. We drove down to an intersection and turned left. Just after crossing the first overpass he asked me what the weight limit on it was. I did not see any indication of the weight limit for that overpass. We drove over it later in a personal vehicle and could not see a sign then either. I don’t know if he was testing my honesty or if we just missed what we should have seen. We drove out a major section of highway and then turned off onto a two lane road. We eventually ended up on a street that looked like it could have been for a residential area but the buildings in that area were large commercial buildings. In that section he asked me to demonstrate an emergency stop. I had tried to find information online for an emergency stop in a commercial vehicle. The only instruction I found said to turn on your right turn signal, move to the side of the road, turn on four-way flashers, and set the emergency brakes. I did that and then told the examiner that if I was going to be there longer than 10 minutes I would set out my triangles. The only part I got wrong was not being completely parallel with the curb. In total, I had four points deducted on my driving test. The other two deductions were related to failure to stop behind the white line at intersections. In both cases, I remember pulling up to where I could see approaching traffic. Apparently I should have stopped behind the white line and then pulled up to check traffic. In all, I passed all three sections of my test and I am thankful that section of my training has ended.


Just before I began my test I met another student who was about to test. Afterwards, I spoke to him and found that he lives in Amarillo Texas, about 100 miles from my home. He said he had his own vehicle in Springfield and he was going home. He said I could ride with him. I checked with my trainer to see if that was an option for me. He checked with dispatch and they said that was a possibility. So I got to to come home and spend a few days with my family. I will be here until my trainer gets a load and comes to pick me up. It was great to be home. On Monday I was able to get my license transferred to Texas, and on Tuesday I was able to take care of some labs my doctor wanted me to do. But the greatest part of being home was to spend time with my family.

PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations Raif!!!


Uncle Rake's Comment
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Thank you, PackRat! I appreciate all the encouragement you have given me through the process.

I remember when I saw you in Lubbock that you told me your pseudonym is related to the amount of tools you carry. What would you say are the most important tools that you use most frequently? I am beginning to think about what I will need when I eventually have my own truck. I have a lot of tools of my own and a lot that I inherited from my father. I am sure there will be some specialized tools I will need to purchase as well.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Great job!

Uncle Rake's Comment
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Thanks, Rob.
I'm still taking notes of my days, but never seem to have enough time to edit them enough for another post. Every time we finish a load a day (or two) early, they find us another load. The nerve of some people!
Hope to get it all updated as soon as possible.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Thanks, Rob.
I'm still taking notes of my days, but never seem to have enough time to edit them enough for another post. Every time we finish a load a day (or two) early, they find us another load. The nerve of some people!
Hope to get it all updated as soon as possible.

I'm still following, too~!!!

Thanks, Raif. Best to ya~!



Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Whats up???

Uncle Rake's Comment
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It’s been a while since my last update. When this load to Washington finishes, I should have about 40,000 miles of TNT training completed. Perhaps I can finish training within the first couple weeks in January. I have had a couple close calls with the trailer, but thankfully saw the situation in time to keep from hitting anything. I keep thinking of what G-town’s trainer said about “watching your wagon.” That phrase often goes through my mind as well.
I probably spent over 100 hours reading the posts at trucking truth before starting my training. Once I got into the long days of TNT training, I guess it just took me a while to get back to taking the time to read and respond. Thank you to everyone for the wealth of wisdom provided in this site. It continues to help me in many ways.



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.

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