Prime Time Driving

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Joseph L.'s Comment
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Wanted to try and do a diaries entry for my training. Maybe it will help other, I think it will help me focus and process as I take this leap.

So back story. July 8th, my second kid was born. Ezra is the youngest with his older brother Everett about to turn four.

Quickly we went from holding in there to Health Insurance increase, dippers, formula, ext. My son starting school. Ext. Money was getting tight again. We new it was coming but with the pandemic option are limited.

Wife wants to be moved into a permit home by the time Everett starts kindergarten, so I start looking again, we had floated the CDL idea before. My brother in law makes good money working for a utility company. But they key to those job OTR experience. So this time I dived in looked for schools, companies and that train you ext. I found these forums which are full of wonderful and helpful people.

I applied for jobs with Prime Inc, Swift and CFI in November. Spoke to recruiter and quickly narrowed it down to Prime Inc. better rates and gaurntees 700 a week as long as I am available to haul during my training. Sounds great.

About that time I was able to get some appointments set up that had been on hold do to covid earliest appointment was end of November.

Slowed plans down but gave me plenty of study time. So I spent a time on the Highroad. Love that program even told my new recruiter they should recommend it.

Aboub29 days before my planned start date I reapply with Prime. Get a new recruiter (turnover) everything is still good to go get my date for the first hurtle. My DOT physical, read on these forums of people having problems so I was worried. Few years ago had a short scare with high blood pressure (or near high blood pressure, few points below the bad levels) . Passed the physical.

Spent two weeks try to get ahold of the DMV as my original recruiter had warned of appointment being needed finally just showed up only to find DMV is purposely ignoring phone calls. get the information on cost...had to renew my non commercial license. Since it had less then six months to go. So 130 or so for everything. Put PTO in for next pay day and went for my permit.

Honestly this is where I hit my first snag. I passed everything but my tanker. I was confused I did not remember half those questions from the Tanker section. Checking Highroad and my state cdl manual. Brought up nothing.

I looked up practice tests online. And sure enough I found the same question I just failed. So I did some searching through my manuals pdf. Found my question in other sections. Frustrating but a easy fix. I showed up the next day and passed my tanker 100 percent on questions answered.

Called the recruiter. Got my official day set, jan 4th. The day before my oldest birthday. 😞. Called my current job HR requesting a leave of absence. Figured safest option. Sadly it was denied. They expected me to use PTO which was no longer front loaded but earned through the year. So submitted my two weeks, they say if I need to come back I'm cleared to. Safety net is nice but I don't plan on needing it.

Through out the wife and I have made plans for taking care of the kids. Video chat via Facebook when possible, ext. I've been doing little things like recording myself reading my son's books. So he can still feel like I'm reading to him. Trying in general to prepare everyone for what's next.

So hear I sit 3 days until my last day of work, 6 days before we celebrate my son's birthday (doing it early) 7 days before I leave for Pittson to start orientation

4 days for drug test, but that's a bob issue for me. This was written out on my phone, so my apologies for any grammar or spelling mistakes I missed

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.
Dave W.'s Comment
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Congratulations and good luck!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations and good luck!

Same FROM US~!! Major Kudos~!!

Please clue us in, into what's a BOB issue... that's my late ex's name.. just wondering, haha!

~ Anne ~

Old School's Comment
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Anne, I'm pretty sure he meant "non issue." The "b" and the "n" are way to close to each other on the keyboard! smile.gif

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Anne, I'm pretty sure he meant "non issue." The "b" and the "n" are way to close to each other on the keyboard! smile.gif

Ahhhh!!! Thanks, O/S .. I was really wracking my brain ... everytime I think there's something I know, that 'I don't know' .. I wait for one of y'all to educate me!!

Makes sense now.. SMH.. boy do I feel stupid.. asked hubby on the return from work and he said something uncouth .. so you fixed it for me, O/S~!!

Carry on, Joseph .. sooooo sorry!

ps: If this helps, my husband had to 'get legal' .. in 2003. He drove Vactor/Rollofs prior to the rules/regs set forth at that time. Had to go to school for the 160 in '03. Did OTR with USX, Transport America, then teams with FX/LH . . . until he landed a 'regional' with an O/O .. that's better 'left unsaid,' tbh~~!

Our daughter was born in 2000, our son in 2004. Talk about little ones, and preparing the wife person for this 'quantum leap' as it is.. it's tough.. ON EVERYONE. Happy early b'day to your youngest; our 'youngest' turns 17 on the 28th of January! Can't say it's been an 'easy life' .. but sure has worked well, providing for the family. Old School ... share your blog~!

~ Anne ~

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.

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the confusion. My phone keyboard hates me honestly. I've lost count of the number of o that turned to p. N to b or m. Or the number of sentences with b instead of a space that I've had to rewrite.

Thank. My wife is very independent and feels she'll do fine, I'm the one more likely to have problems with the seperation.

double-quotes-start.png

Anne, I'm pretty sure he meant "non issue." The "b" and the "n" are way to close to each other on the keyboard! smile.gif

double-quotes-end.png

Ahhhh!!! Thanks, O/S .. I was really wracking my brain ... everytime I think there's something I know, that 'I don't know' .. I wait for one of y'all to educate me!!

Makes sense now.. SMH.. boy do I feel stupid.. asked hubby on the return from work and he said something uncouth .. so you fixed it for me, O/S~!!

Carry on, Joseph .. sooooo sorry!

ps: If this helps, my husband had to 'get legal' .. in 2003. He drove Vactor/Rollofs prior to the rules/regs set forth at that time. Had to go to school for the 160 in '03. Did OTR with USX, Transport America, then teams with FX/LH . . . until he landed a 'regional' with an O/O .. that's better 'left unsaid,' tbh~~!

Our daughter was born in 2000, our son in 2004. Talk about little ones, and preparing the wife person for this 'quantum leap' as it is.. it's tough.. ON EVERYONE. Happy early b'day to your youngest; our 'youngest' turns 17 on the 28th of January! Can't say it's been an 'easy life' .. but sure has worked well, providing for the family. Old School ... share your blog~!

~ Anne ~

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.

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

A tearful goodbye, and a rather fun 5 hour trip from pittsburgh to Pittson, I am officially here and ready to start orientation

Probably would have gotten here faster, but the ice and snow had traffic doing 40 down I80 and 81 and I99.

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Had a hard time sleeping. General nervousness before a new job. Standard day off orientation CBTs, filling out paperwork, asking questions. Ended up working through breakfast and lunch and just finished the CBT. So decided to go get my free meal.

I had not decided on division until I was asked at orientation and went Flatbed. Right now, just waiting around for a chance to use the simulator, not much to report as a first dau

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Day two is over. We went out to the yard, and watched a pre trip inspection on tractor. To give us some context, then went back inside to sit for awhile. I spent my time studying me pretrip material, memorizing information, ext.

In the afternoon we went in to do our simulator tests. That was both nerve wracking and fun. I did near perfect on the clear and snowy highway sections. But managed to clip a bridge because I missed the height sign in the city.

Luckily that was apart of the practice runs. Sat down and passed my simulator test on the first try, now just got to wait to get my clearance, and I can move out to the training pad and hopefully meet my trainer.

Appalachained's Comment
member avatar

Any updates?

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