Choosing Between Companies/CDL Training Programs

Topic 29871 | Page 1

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Christopher R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all,

Thanks mostly to the High Road training program, I passed my knowledge test yesterday! (I still have to get my DOT medical card and "proof of domicile" before I can get my actual permit, but once those are done it's a done deal) Now I have to decide on what company to go with. I'm definitely wanting to go through a paid CDL training program, and I know there are tons of options. The two companies that I've been in contact with the most are TMC and Prime.

So, a few questions: What are your thoughts on those two programs in particular? Any others that you highly recommend? What types of things do you think are most important in deciding on a company/training program? Any other general things I should be considering/thinking about?

Thanks,

-Chris

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum and welcome to trucking.

If you are considering TMC and Prime, I assume that you would go flatbed with Prime.

I am flatbed at Prime and have been solo for over 7 months. My PSD training at Prime was good. The TNT phase was not that great, but even if your trainer is not the best, you will be doing the job in TNT phase. The TNT phase is pretty brutal, because you are team driving, but even after 7 months solo, it seems a lifetime ago.

As a flatbedder, no amount of training will prepare you for every situation. I have run loads that Turtle, one of the moderators here, never ran in his three years at Prime. You will learn enough basics in TNT to be able to secure most loads. Plus, there are resources you can tap for those odd loads. There is a Facebook flatbedders' forum where you can get an immediate response to almost any question.

In my experience, Prime is a good company. Equipment is top notch and they maintain their equipment. When coming through inbound at one of the terminals, it's not uncommon for the mechanics to be swapping out tires on the trailer when you walk back from going to the bathroom.

If you have any specific questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Rob.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

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.

CajunWon's Comment
member avatar

From my research, both offer top notch cdl training. I suggest to select the company first, then the DOT medical exam. Prime scheduled this exam with a drug test, then got me into class about a week later.

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.

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.

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