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PJ's Comment
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Thanks Rainy for that update. i had not kept up but all I see are the food grade tanks. Yes covid has changed alot of things in this world.

Iron9s's Comment
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Too bad this question wasn't asked a month from now. I hope to be driving a tanker by then.

I've asked my Fleet Manager to get the process started. She told me I would be taking a big pay cut. Which is true bc I am currently training and being a trainer pays a lot more (for me anyway) than i made driving solo reefer. Im guessing she doesn't want to lose a trainer from her fleet. She has been curiously silent in response to a follow up message I sent her. Quick to respond to other messages though. Hmmm....

Anyway, I looked at some old posts on here too. If you search "prime tanker" there are some threads with good info on there from Icecold24k.

I have close to 3 years experience overall. I dont know if I would have been comfortable starting out pulling tankers. I tend to follow the advice of the more knowledgeable people here at Truckingtruth. They have not steered me wrong yet.

Welcome to Prime’s Unicorn division. Good luck with the switch. Just a note, I started in FB and made the switch. I’ll say even though it is stressed by many people to not to start by pulling tanks, you will find that the way “you” drive a FB/reefer/box goes right out the window. The surge is real, the suggested speed limits on turns are too fast for you now, when you hit the brakes or jake expect to need more stopping distance for 48k of oil to surge you forward.

You’ll embrace sleeping at shippers/receivers/tank washes and enjoy the bankers hours we have.

You will hate pulling chocolate.

If you are company you will head out to Utah and California on occasion, but will also be parked on a sidewalk in Brooklyn pumping off.

I’ll suggest since you are transferring to do the 30 days with a tanker and not just the 2 day boot camp that will be offered to you. There is a lot to learn with pumping off/the oh **** scenarios/how to break down and rebuild a pump/the other tools you should have on your truck.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Joseph L.'s Comment
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So I requested flatbed during orientation

RealDiehl's Comment
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Welcome to Prime’s Unicorn division. Good luck with the switch. Just a note, I started in FB and made the switch. I’ll say even though it is stressed by many people to not to start by pulling tanks, you will find that the way “you” drive a FB/reefer/box goes right out the window. The surge is real, the suggested speed limits on turns are too fast for you now, when you hit the brakes or jake expect to need more stopping distance for 48k of oil to surge you forward.

You’ll embrace sleeping at shippers/receivers/tank washes and enjoy the bankers hours we have.

You will hate pulling chocolate.

If you are company you will head out to Utah and California on occasion, but will also be parked on a sidewalk in Brooklyn pumping off.

I’ll suggest since you are transferring to do the 30 days with a tanker and not just the 2 day boot camp that will be offered to you. There is a lot to learn with pumping off/the oh **** scenarios/how to break down and rebuild a pump/the other tools you should have on your truck.

If you have any questions, let me know.

....................................................................

I would prefer to go out with an experienced tanker driver for at least 10,000 miles. Brett told me that they do not have enough trainers right now. He said I should be fine with only the 2 days of boot camp. We'll see. Im not going solo if I don't feel comfortable with it. I had experience when I came to Prime. I still requested to go out with a trainer in order to learn how to pull reefers and learn Prime's macros/procedures.

Question time:

So why are chocolate loads so bad?

What is different about a tanker truck? I was told I'd have to turn in my current truck. Not a big deal since it has 260,000 miles on it (my students and i put 240,000 on it in under a year and a half) and it will probably be sold off soon anyway.

What's the place in Newark like? What is the customer code. I will take an overhead look at it on Google maps. I ask bc it seems like a place our tankers go to frequently.

What tools do you suggest I have? How often do you find it necessary to do repairs on the pump?

I'll post again if I have more ???. Answer when you can. No rush. And thanks!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Iron9s's Comment
member avatar

I would prefer to go out with an experienced tanker driver for at least 10,000 miles. Brett told me that they do not have enough trainers right now. He said I should be fine with only the 2 days of boot camp. We'll see. Im not going solo if I don't feel comfortable with it. I had experience when I came to Prime. I still requested to go out with a trainer in order to learn how to pull reefers and learn Prime's macros/procedures.

Question time:

So why are chocolate loads so bad?

What is different about a tanker truck? I was told I'd have to turn in my current truck. Not a big deal since it has 260,000 miles on it (my students and i put 240,000 on it in under a year and a half) and it will probably be sold off soon anyway.

What's the place in Newark like? What is the customer code. I will take an overhead look at it on Google maps. I ask bc it seems like a place our tankers go to frequently.

What tools do you suggest I have? How often do you find it necessary to do repairs on the pump?

I'll post again if I have more ???. Answer when you can. No rush. And thanks!

Not sure why he said you need a trainer, you don’t. There are plenty of drivers that took on people that switched from other divisions that are not trainers. I get offered to do it by my FM once every couple months. I’m not a trainer, but will be doing the training come spring. You only need to be in with a competent tanker, one that a FM can vouch for.

Chocolate is dense, and it sloshes slower than let’s say palm oil, so 48k of chocolate is 3/4 of a tank full. Since it’s so dense if you take off to quick, the chocolate surges back and can stop your momentum. Same if you are taking off up a hill and the way these autos shift, it can trick the truck to shift when it shouldn’t. Since the transmissions get their info from the load scale, if the weight of the chocolate is in the process of surging forward after the last shift, the load scale will read 15k light and the truck will skip shift. It’s a pain, but just need to remember to put it in manual mode to take off.

We have a hydraulic pack and lines that connect to the trailer to power the pump when we pump. Also we have the eco heater that keeps the product at temp. The eco heat doesn’t really heat the product, it more maintains the temp that you picked it up at. In the winter time, like now, the temp can drop 5 degrees in 24 hours. That 5 degree drop could get your load rejected if the receiver is a stickler. In the summer you almost never run it unless you are hauling some wax for a candle place. That always needs heat. Always remember to have PRIDEC work on your eco heater since you will have problems with it eventually. PRIPIT and Prime1 will “fix” it while you are there, but you’ll be back the following week for them to “fix it” again.

Newark is a fun time. You will spend many of nights at OJSK (tank wash) with other prime tanker drivers. From there you will 99% of the time be picking up from AAK (AAKPO1). You drop your dirty at OJSK, grab a clean, drop it at AAK, and then grab your loaded trailer and roll out. Sales or dispatch will QC you when your load is ready for pickup. First couple of times at Port Newark is a pain, but like anything, it gets easier. The only real hassles are the container haulers at the port by AAK drive like crap.

In the past 2 months ive rebuilt 5 pumps. Prior to that, 1 in the year prior. Remember, we share these tanks with people that will always deal with a leaky pump for the next driver to fix. I try not to screw the next guy/girl so I have no problem taking care of it. 3/4 inch iron plugs for the blowout valve on the trailer. These are designed to blowout the coolant if it gets too hot. It’s dumb and will ruin your day. This will make it so you won’t wake up in the morning, or after stopping at a rest stop to use the bathroom and find all the coolant drained out of your truck and trailer. It takes 7 gallons to refill everything so always have at least that. 3/4 inch bolts 3-4” long, the pins on the top slide go missing all the time. Sometimes drivers take them to have a spare or two, and sometimes loaders will misplace them when they load the tank. The wire seal that is up there will always break if the door slides open. Spare fittings for your intransit heat lines. Puppy pads for putting under the pump since they will drip a little, 5 gallon bucket, extra gloves, like that $10 10 pack at Home Depot with the nitrate coating. If you use the same dirty gloves you use to fuel to connect a kosher certified cleaned hose and a receiver sees your finger go in the opening and grease gets in there, they will say something and can reject the load. Few others that are slipping my mind at the moment.

Excuse the wall of text, I’m typing on my phone. Can you send pM’s on here? I’ll send you my number. If not, we can keep this thread going so the info is searchable to help others out.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Iron9s's Comment
member avatar

Also, if you join the “Prime Inc Tanker Divison” and “Prime Tanker Yankers” we post every shipper/receiver on them with a map of the layout/where we unload/parking/receiving office is. Also if there is overnight and where/if they take early/if you pump or they pump...all you need to know.

We pretty much do it so you can search by customer code and customer name.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Also, if you join the “Prime Inc Tanker Divison” and “Prime Tanker Yankers” we post every shipper/receiver on them with a map of the layout/where we unload/parking/receiving office is. Also if there is overnight and where/if they take early/if you pump or they pump...all you need to know.

We pretty much do it so you can search by customer code and customer name.

Iron9s , you should change your status to 'experienced driver,' LoL~!

I'm reading all your replies wondering 'how in the heck' could a trainee know all this stuff ?!?!? I used to ride w/the hubby when he pulled tanks, and yessir, there is a helluvalot to it~!!

Just my opinion, sir!

~ Anne ~

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

I had I think 7 or 8 months experience before being able to pull food grade tanker. Milk and some chocolate. Didn’t need any extra training. Biggest thing to remember is being a little extra cautious on ramps and turns. First few ramps I took at about 20 miles an hour. Other than that keeping in mind that when approaching a light or stop sign the surge will rock you forward. I’m in a manual so sometimes the surge can also throw shifting off a little.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

So I requested flatbed during orientation

Probably a good decision, Joseph, based on the recommendations about waiting to drive tankers until you get more experience.

There are also current (Rob D., Spaceman Spiff) and former (Turtle) Prime flatbed drivers to offer any help you might need with specific Prime flatbedding questions.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Also, if you join the “Prime Inc Tanker Divison” and “Prime Tanker Yankers” we post every shipper/receiver on them with a map of the layout/where we unload/parking/receiving office is. Also if there is overnight and where/if they take early/if you pump or they pump...all you need to know.

We pretty much do it so you can search by customer code and customer name.

That sounds really helpful. Thanks!

It is probably a good idea to keep posting my questions here on the forum. Like you said, it could be a good source of information for other drivers looking to drive tankers. Maybe a moderator could take some of the tanker-specific questions from this thread and make it its own thread if necessary.

Anyway... What is different about a truck that pulls tankers compared to a truck that pulls dry van or reefer? Does it have different gadgets inside?

I am a trainer. I'd like to train tanker drivers too eventually. Do tanker drivers get longer loads during tnt like we do in reefer? I don't think I'd like to train a student while doing a lot of short loads.

You mentioned taking your 10 hours often at shippers/receivers/tank wash places. What kind of accommodations do these places have? Bathrooms? Do they usually have enough parking spaces available?

And "bankers hours"? Were you being sarcastic, or do you you really pretty much keep to a steady schedule?

I had I think 7 or 8 months experience before being able to pull food grade tanker. Milk and some chocolate. Didn’t need any extra training. Biggest thing to remember is being a little extra cautious on ramps and turns. First few ramps I took at about 20 miles an hour. Other than that keeping in mind that when approaching a light or stop sign the surge will rock you forward. I’m in a manual so sometimes the surge can also throw shifting off a little.

Thanks for the advice. Luckily I drive an auto. I'd imagine manually shifting would be a little tricky.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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