Starting My New Career With Prime Inc.

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Victor J.'s Comment
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Hi, Victor. Sounds like you're off to a great start with Prime. I'm starting at Prime in about a week and a half. I'm excited and a little nervous as well.

I've been trying to learn the Pre-Trip Inspection the way Prime does it. I've been studying Daniel B's study guide on here and I asked my recruiter at Prime if she could send me Prime's Pre-Trip inspection list, which she did.

I was wondering, did you have most of this learned before you got to Orientation? I'm working hard on it, but it's a little harder for me to cement in my mind without looking at a truck physically. Also, I read from Daniel B's study guide that Prime requires you to do 3 sections (in cab, lighting, and coupling), and they will then pick a 4th section for you to do as well. Is this still how they do it?

If anyone else has answers on this as well, I would appreciate the feedback.

Thanks.

To be perfectly honest I personally studied very little pre trip until they gave me the packet at orientation.

But seeing for other students it's definitely worth studying beforehand if you can, alot of students get trainers right away and didn't have the extra few days to practice like I did. Once your on a truck with a trainer it can be hard to find time for pre trip practice.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Victor J.'s Comment
member avatar

Update for 4/23.

9am at a truck stop barely inside the west end of NC. About 180mi from the 90. After dropping off this load I'll be at just about 9700 miles already, staying on a solid track to finish my 30,000 by the end of week 7.

Had quite bad luck with my previous 2 loads, having strapped and taped them both to find 1 was overweight and needed to be reworked, and the other was barely over height and needed to be reworked. Hoping for a long weekend run after this.

Finally got to stop into the DPS office in my hometown to get my CDL paperwork taken care of, and fortunately it worked out that I got to spend the night at home, alittle mini evening off was refreshing, being on a truck 24/7 with someone else is definitely something thats hard to get used to. Looking forward to scheduled hometime in the middle of May.

Overall everything is going pretty smooth though, getting much better and more confident navigating and backing in truck stops and shippers/recievers, and starting to get the hang of load securement, although there's alot of different types loads for me to learn still.

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.

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.

Russ's Comment
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To be perfectly honest I personally studied very little pre trip until they gave me the packet at orientation.

But seeing for other students it's definitely worth studying beforehand if you can, alot of students get trainers right away and didn't have the extra few days to practice like I did. Once your on a truck with a trainer it can be hard to find time for pre trip practice.

Thanks, Victor. I'll keep studying. Sounds like your Prime journey is moving along good. Good luck and safe travels.

Victor J.'s Comment
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Quick update while getting unloaded here.

It's been business as usual since the last update, everything from driving, backing, to load securement is getting more familar, and I'm getting more confident with it. I'm just shy of 17,000 miles now. Currently getting unloaded in NJ after coming from CA on Thursday. Will have my next assignment soon.

Really looking forward to home time scheduled in 8 days, about the 3.5week point on the road the constant work and moving started to catch up with me. Definitely ready for a break and to see friends/family.

Old School's Comment
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about the 3.5week point on the road the constant work and moving started to catch up with me. Definitely ready for a break and to see friends/family.

Victor, your sentiment is probably something that most folks looking in here for information on a new trucking career cannot relate to. It is illustrative of what we teach people about this career being so totally different from any kind of job you've had before. This career is a life altering event. It is a change in lifestyle. It isn't just a change in jobs. You are probably working and moving about much more than you ever have at any job. It is a constant activity that takes over your time and life. It is nomadic, and consuming, while also feeling almost addictive. I love it. Most truckers do.

I will wager that you will thoroughly enjoy your time at home, but I bet you will start longing for that constant activity of the road while you are there. Let me know if I am not right about this.

Victor J.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

about the 3.5week point on the road the constant work and moving started to catch up with me. Definitely ready for a break and to see friends/family.

double-quotes-end.png

Victor, your sentiment is probably something that most folks looking in here for information on a new trucking career cannot relate to. It is illustrative of what we teach people about this career being so totally different from any kind of job you've had before. This career is a life altering event. It is a change in lifestyle. It isn't just a change in jobs. You are probably working and moving about much more than you ever have at any job. It is a constant activity that takes over your time and life. It is nomadic, and consuming, while also feeling almost addictive. I love it. Most truckers do.

I will wager that you will thoroughly enjoy your time at home, but I bet you will start longing for that constant activity of the road while you are there. Let me know if I am not right about this.

I think what your saying will be correct for me in the future, but unfortunately this time home I honestly was not ready to go back to the truck when it was time. I think this is mostly due to the fact I had a flurry of things to do and take care of every day while I was home, mostly stuff I didn't have adequate arrangements for when I left for training nearly 7 weeks prior. Sorry for the long wait on the reply, been rolling and focusing on learning, driving, and getting closer and closer to my upgrade date.

For a quick overall update, After my time home I've been back on the truck for about a week now, and fortunately it's looking like I'll be ready to upgrade shortly after the weekend, and should hopefully be dropped off in springfield next week. I plan to provide daily updates throughout the upgrade process, as I've been told it will be around a week of classes/waiting for a truck.

Thanks everyone who's followed along this far, despite my lack of updates since TNT started, there just hasn't been much thats new since getting on the road, just secure freight, drive, eat, call home, sleep, repeat. thats been my routine most days. Over the 6 weeks ive been on the road we've had a total of 3 days which we were stopped for a full 24hrs and had a "day off" but its kinda hard to hangout and just take a day off when you've got 2 people in 1 truck and nowhere is currently open for seating/dine in due to current(or not so current anymore) events. It kind of turns into 14 hours or so of 2 people with opposite sleep schedules trying really hard not to bother eachother or interrupt eachothers sleep.

off to bed now, early tomorrow afternoon I should be delivering our current load, which will put me right about 28,000/30,000 miles for my training, Then we'll see what kinda of load they have for us, my trainer was telling me that after talking with our dispatcher the plan is to find a load from a shipper nearby our dropoff, that sends alot of stuff down to/towards texas, which would make for a good weekend trip for us and enough mileage for us to get a load back towards springfield on monday and have completed the 30,000 miles before we get there.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the update, Victor~!

I'm glad things are still going well with you; was wondering if you'd just decided to 'STAY home' when you went home! LoL..

Things are getting real, real quick, eh?

I'll be following; best wishes forward!

~ Anne ~

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Melissa J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello! Just finished reading all your posts, really enjoyed them, and really helped me to understand what to expect soon. I'm still healing up from a cornea transplant, then going to start my career also with prime :) (if all goes well anyways!) It's been about a week since your last post, anxious to hear if you have received your own truck yet or not :) Does anyone know if all new solo drivers automatically get the lightweight freightliners now? They're so small, hoping to get into a full sized.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hello! Just finished reading all your posts, really enjoyed them, and really helped me to understand what to expect soon. I'm still healing up from a cornea transplant, then going to start my career also with prime :) (if all goes well anyways!) It's been about a week since your last post, anxious to hear if you have received your own truck yet or not :) Does anyone know if all new solo drivers automatically get the lightweight freightliners now? They're so small, hoping to get into a full sized.

Hello, Melissa, and welcome to Trucking Truth!!!

Yeah, we are waiting to hear back from Victor soon, as well, haha! There is SO much info about Prime on here, it's amazing. First off, you can go to the main 'forum' menu, and click on "Search Topics by Tags" and put in 'Prime.'

Here's the tags list: All Topics by Tags

Also you can stay here in the diaries section, and scroll. We have MANY epic Primates here! You've found the best informational (and honest!) forum possible, for sure.

Lastly, you can check out some of our own moderator, Truckin Along with Kearsey posts in this forum, and here: Truckin Along with Kearsey

She often mentions how to 'not' get stuck with a lightweight, both in her posts and videos. It's doable, it seems; by saying the 'right things,' LoL!

Check out the above, and of course, this:

Brett's book, 2nd item down, is a GREAT READ!!

Wish you well, start a thread!

~ Anne ~

ps: Victor ...... UPDATES!!!! LoLoL... (Please?!?)

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.
Victor J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, I got into the springfield yard earlier this evening(Thursday 06-02), and checked into campus not too long ago.

To recap the overall TNT training experience I want to say how lucky I think I was with how good of a trainer I got, he insisted I drive the day shift, he and I got along very well, he was very knowledgeable about every aspect of the job, He always did a great job teaching what needed to be learned, and really made sure I understood what he was teaching. Overall it was a 10/10 experience for my training with him, I've come away from it feeling quite prepared to go out on my own, having been given the knowledge and learning the proper mindset to successfully tackle the daily challenges of the job, and understanding that I haven't seen close to everything as far as loads go, but I've obtained the knowledge to figure out how to safely secure almost any load.

I start my flatbed "bootcamp" tomorrow and it continues Friday. Then I take a safety course/sim tests on saturday. Sometime within I get to do even more CBT's and get a schedule for next week as I'll have some other classes to take as well, after all that I believe I will get on a list to get assigned a truck. Talking with my current fleet manager(I will most likely get assigned a new one after upgrading) He said I should hopefully have a truck and be on the road by mid next week.

As for your question about the lightweight trucks Melissa, I am obviously quite new here and don't know for sure, but I've been told if you say the "right things" as mentioned by Anne, that you can help make sure you get into a full size truck. I also have been keeping up with some of the people I went through orientation with, and they've said without mentioning any of those "right things" they were giving a full sized truck, and were told it was simply because it was all that was available at the time. One of them even specifically asked to get into a lightweight since he wanted the pay increase for it, but was told to either take the full size since it was currently available, or it was going to be possibly multiple weeks before he'd get a lightweight. Obviously which truck they happen to have on hand for new drivers will be different everyday, and it seems like its just luck of the draw based on who I've talked to.

Very sorry if this giant wall of text that is hard to read, I'm typing this in quite a hurry as it is late and I need to get off to bed to get rest for class tomorrow. I will be back tomorrow evening with an update on how the day went.

Thanks for reading, ~Victor

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.

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 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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