Can You Go Straight To Solo Driver With 1 Year Experience?

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Chris L.'s Comment
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I'm not talking to any recruiters till I have my year in, which will be at the end of April. I don't want to be pressured to leave before I have my year in. I'm interested in Prime and everything I've read here has been about their training program. I'm hoping to skip all that and go straight to solo driver. Does anyone know if that's realistic or am I going to have to go with a trainer?

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
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Chris, with a year experience you become an A Seat driver. Meaning right after orientation you get keys to a truck and your first load. No training time spent!

I know because I went to Prime after a year. Never did any training. Orientation started Monday. I drove off with my first load on Thursday.

However, didn't you say you do local deliveries to restaurants? Or something of that nature. Sorry I'm not online as much as I used to be its hard to keep up with everybody. But anyway, I'm not positive on how they'll treat your situation since it's technically not OTR. I'd apply and see what happens. When you get an answer tell them you're not available until your year is up. I applied 4 months before my contract was up with Central. I was told that I was accepted but they cannot touch me until my contract expired. So they put my application off to the side for the duration.

So I would go ahead and apply and see what they say. Just make sure that your orientation email says Seat A driver.

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.

Chris L.'s Comment
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Thanks for the insight. I'm not local but not OTR either I am regional with a set route. I get 1400 miles a week and make 22 deliveries and one backhaul on my two routes. Delivering restaurants by hand truck, sometimes I think I put more miles on that hand truck than the truck. I'll take your advice and apply to see what they say.

I like everything I've read about Prime so far. Thanks again.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the insight. I'm not local but not OTR either I am regional with a set route. I get 1400 miles a week and make 22 deliveries and one backhaul on my two routes. Delivering restaurants by hand truck, sometimes I think I put more miles on that hand truck than the truck. I'll take your advice and apply to see what they say.

I like everything I've read about Prime so far. Thanks again.

22 deliveries?! You must be out of your mind!rofl-2.gif

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.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I didn't know what I was getting myself in to when I took the job, but I'm not one to run from a challenge. They said it was a physical job but I had no idea. I lost 3 pants sizes and I wasn't overweight to start. Anyway I'm ready for the real reason I went to truck school, to drive the truck not unload it by hand.

Thomas M.'s Comment
member avatar

I know at my company they classify 1 year as OTR. Local and Regional driving is not considered.

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.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I applied with Prime today and talked to a recruiter. I will have to go with a trainer for 4 weeks/15,000 miles making $600 a week till I go solo. I guess I can handle going with someone for a month. I applied for a flat bed job but was surprised that the pay is less than driving a LW. I really want the full size truck but the pay difference might not be worth it. Anyways I have time to think about it and check out other companies before I make my decision. Still leaning towards prime at this point.

Mark .'s Comment
member avatar

...less than driving a LW.

what is LW? thx

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

LW means Light weight truck, my biggest concern about those trucks is the small sleeper. I think the ten hour break would be fine for sleeping, but what about having a 34 hour reset. Seems small but I haven't seen the inside.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, I've got a delivery just south of Seattle. If my next load is going to take me down I5 then I'll stop at the Jubitz and you can see the inside. It's not as bad as you think. My buddy who is 400 lb and 6'7" can stand in it and he's going to be driving a LW as soon as he gets through orientation. He says it's enough room for him. But then again he did step inside my truck to see how it is.

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