My Update With Prime Inc.

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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Its been just about a month and a half with Prime.

So far its been a blast!

My 4th paycheck with Prime and I already beat my highest paycheck that I got from Central. It only took 4 weeks! And at Central, those giant paychecks only happened when I got my Safety Bonus, On-Time Bonus, and miles all on the same paycheck. However, my 4th paycheck at Prime was only miles with no bonuses and I still beat it. My paycheck was 1,400$ (to satisfy your curiosity).

My truck has been performing relatively well. Have needed some repairs done here and there. I'm enjoying the free truck wash every 2 weeks with Prime. I come home with a beautiful and clean truck! That never happened when I was with Central because we never ever got a wash.

The miles have been between 2400-3100. I'm definitely running hard considering I drive at 54mph.

My DM is outstanding. I mean, A+++! He keeps me busy, does things for me when I need them. Gets me to a terminal for repairs when I need it. I have no complaints about him. In fact, I'm close to saying hes the best I've ever had. I've done many favors for him and hes done many favors for me. He has told me that I'm very easy to work with. So we definitely get along great! In fact, every time I approach him in person he always recognized me which is pretty cool.

I'm loving having an APU and an inverter for free! I cannot believe I survived for an entire year without an APU or inverter. I can make smoothies with a blender, I can heat my water, and I can cook my eggs without worrying about the trucks batteries frying. I can also charge my laptop when I'm not driving.

Honestly, I feel like I'm being spoiled.

My paychecks are absolutely taking a #2 on my paychecks from Central. I mean, my bad Prime paychecks are as much as my amazing Central paychecks.

I've signed my truck up for the shop three times now. And every single time I'v taken into the shop within 30 minutes. There's never any wait and the mechanics seem to know what they're doing.

There is a huge difference between driving the LW's and the Fullsize trucks.

With the LW truck, I fuel about once every other day instead of every day. In fact, I made it 1,020 miles before I had to fuel again. I posted the picture on my FB.)

However, mountains grades are much, much more difficult. I carry a heck of a lot more in my trailer. Which means, more weight behind me pushing me down. There's really no other way to take a 5% or 6% grade than in a low gear when you're fully loaded. Chances are you'll probably burn your brakes because you'll need to stomp on them every half a second if you're in a high gear. I feel like a Honda Civic hauling a giant boat that weighs 4 times more than me and is 10 times bigger than me. Downgrades are definitely significantly more dangerous.

I'm half way to qualifying to be a TNT trainer. So far I've met the fuel requirements every single week and have no late deliveries. Guy DeCou get ready!

Another thing I wanted to mention is that the space inside the LW's is way underestimated. I fit everything I need into my truck and I still have plenty of room. Nothing is on the floor. People say it has very little room in it but I don't agree. You have two giant cabinets above your bed and if you remove the seat, you have even more surface to play with! I have zero complaints about it being small inside.

So there's my first update with Prime. I don't regret going to Central, but so far, Prime has been everything that Central wishes it was. I'm very happy here and I honestly cannot think of anything that can be improved. Amazing company. And best of all, no more annoying messages on the QC trying to convince me to lease a truck. Never even had a single message about leasing a truck from Prime. Nor have I experienced any pressure about leasing a truck from any of the staff.

So here's to Winter almost being over!!!! (raises glass) dancing-dog.gif

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.

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.

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 14ยข 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.

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.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel I am so happy for you. It is so nice to hear someone that is so happy with a disision they made. That being said, i have a few questions. What made you go to Prime? Do they hire newbies? I have no need for home time but have to ask, hows the hometime? I believe, just like most say on here, that the reason they treat you so well is because you have the attitude that you are there for them. I wish you all the luck in the world! Please keep telling us about your experience its a pleasure hearing the good things. Be safe.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the positive 'review' of your new company. Prime is a company I've considered after I finish with my private schooling - yes I know they offer their school as well, doesn't fit my current family needs. They have a terminal in Pittston, PA - ever been there?

Again, can't thank you enough for the positive posting. You seem to have a great attitude. I don't see anything wrong with sharing about bad experiences, but the trucking forums are full of negativity and selfish complainers. Having a bad experience doesn't mean it needs to be negative. I'm glad things have been going well for you. I look forward to sharing about my experiences with my first company as well. Prime seems like a great company to work for!

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel I am so happy for you. It is so nice to hear someone that is so happy with a disision they made. That being said, i have a few questions. What made you go to Prime? Do they hire newbies? I have no need for home time but have to ask, hows the hometime? I believe, just like most say on here, that the reason they treat you so well is because you have the attitude that you are there for them. I wish you all the luck in the world! Please keep telling us about your experience its a pleasure hearing the good things. Be safe.

Well, I had a little over a year of OTR experience. I wasn't quite done with the open road. Things are still interesting here for me and I don't want to go local or regional just yet. So the fact that I was looking for an OTR job eliminated many companies from my list.

The beauty of having a year of safe driving (no accidents) is that pretty much every company wants you - badly. Wherever I applied, the recruiter was aggressively trying to get me to sign on with the company. Of all the companies I applied to, none rejected me. That is why we say get a year of safe driving experience and your opportunities will multiply tremendously!

My top priorities for my new company were as follows:

1. Pay.

2. The chance to become a trainer without having to lease a truck.

3. Equipment.

4. Leave me alone about leasing!

5. APU and/or inverter for my comfort please.

Of course there are other priorities but these were my top 4.

Pay. No one pays better than Prime. No one can even come close to .435 CPM.

Prime also fit #2 perfectly. I could become a trainer as a company driver. Plus they have two different types of trainers so with enough experience, I could pick and choose what fits me better.

#3 Didn't do me much because every major carrier has amazing equipment. But I will say that Prime's trailers really tempted me. Nothing beats those military trailers! And the trailers are always so clean and well maintained. It was definitely a plus.

#4 Was pretty huge honestly. Central Refrigerated pushes the lease harder than Mike Tysons punch in his prime. Everyday there's a stupid message on the QC and the terminals are flooded with posters about how great their lease program is and how much you'll make if you lease. Its nothing but a scam, and it annoyed the hell out of me. You may be kind of puzzled about why this is so important to me but go through an entire year of that annoyance and you'll soon grow bitter also.

#5 wasn't a must have. But it was definitely another huge plus. I can't tell you how inconvenient it is to stop driving, plug my laptop into the outlet and have my batteries dead within 30 minutes. There were times when I couldn't be on my laptop because my truck wouldn't hold the charge anymore. And I went through the summer without an APU. It was hell! I remember Arizona in the summer time. The interior of my truck was 105 degrees. No joke. Yes, I could idle - but my idle % was at the maximum and if I idled anymore I would be paying for it. So the fact that I know have an APU to keep my batteries powered up and also the APU is an a/c when the truck isn't moving is also a nice, convenient bonus. The inverter is nice too. And its free, most companies charge for the installation of the inverter. I know Central charged you for the inverter and for the installation, heard the total was like 400 bucks from a few drivers but cannot confirm it.

So all in all, Prime fit my needs perfectly and seemed like a cut above the rest.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

My apologies, I forgot to include that Prime does in fact run a company sponsored school. So they do provide training to drivers with no CDL.

@ Bill, yeah man. I'm not trying to bash. I'm just comparing the two positives and negatives. And yes, we have a terminal in Pittston, I've never been there though. Haven't gone that far yet!

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.

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.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Fingers Crossed Daniel, I start orientation on the 10th of March...smile.gif

Free Spirit ( AKA #Hashta's Comment
member avatar

Jeff is almost finished and he is really happy about his decision to go with Prime. He has had two great trainers also, which is a huge plus!!

I'm heading out next week to go test out for my permit, and lining up all of my necessary paperwork.

I'M READY TO GET OUT OF HERE & GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel it is just so nice to hear someone who has found the perfect job for them. Thanks you give us all hope :)

Roadkill please keep us up to date on your training. I was going to go to a school around the house but after reading several things here and talking to some drivers it seems that I may just go with a company school. I am very interested in Prime and would love to hear what you think as you go thru. I dont retire from the AF until May so I have some time, although it is coming up fast. Daniel is experianced so I am just curious on your thoughts as a newbie. It never fun being the FNG. Thanks and good luck!

TheShadow's Comment
member avatar

Keep rolling Daniel!!!

R. Picante's Comment
member avatar

Prime has been nothing but great for me. I've already got the call to come back to lease but I'm going to stay company. After we drop this load in Wash state I'm going to be routed back to Springfield to become solo.. I had the same trainer for both phases of training and he has reward me so far with an older gas (I have to updated wit new maps) a CB Radio and the big map book. He bout new gas with weather n traffic updates and CB with weather channel and new map book with bigger picture of the map. So I got lucky. And he also got me the little trucks top book and a seat organizer all as rewards for doing so well at trip playing and how to strap my loads and also don't have to spend much money when I get started on my own. It's been great I can't wait to get back and become solo. This is my first truck company and best job I've ever had!! My friends are jealous of the money I have and how I've been changing just about everything in my life. And becoming debt free as well. Best decision I ever made!!!!

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