Prime Training Diary- Pittston PA

Topic 30286 | Page 1

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Brian P.'s Comment
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My name is Brian, I am 31 years of age. I am currently writing this from the hotel Prime provided, located in Pittston PA. For now I feel that Prime has been very accommodating with overall everything including me being a day late to orientation, I'll tell that story after the introduction. I was a chef beforehand but even before corona it was hard to make ends meet. I had watched many trucking/nomadic videos on youtube and after having done my own research I decided to become a driver. I don't have kids and the only people back home are my parents so I figured this would be an excellent opportunity for me because nothing is holding me back. That said I'm still a bit home sick and like many have said before me, I wish I could be there at all times to protect my loved ones, but a man has to earn and provide.

So before I tell the story of why I was a day late I want to state that I have no prior experience driving a truck, not even a pickup with a trailer. I am truly a greenhorn. I have nobody helping me or any info outside of what I read online or watched on YouTube. I know some people said they have known a trainer or two and were able to get some information early which helped tremendously. I have none of this, only the drive to succeed, so much so I've created my own diary to keep my head straight, and help those that are in a similar situation to myself.

So let's begin....

Day -1 This was a day before I was scheduled for orientation, a Sunday. I didn't want to take the bus that Prime provided because it was a 16 hour drive, so i decided to take my own car. I got 4 new tires put on by Pep Boys, they had the better deal that day. I left at about 1pm and the drive was about 8 hours from North Carolina. I'm familiar with the drive because I'm originally from NY. I packed all my stuff, looked over the car for any problems, said my final goodbyes and was on my way. About the time I hit the Virgin border, 2 hours into the trip my car started vibrating, I pulled into a gas station and noticed my front driver side tire had grown bubbles in the side wall. I called Pep Boys roadside assistance and got a tow which wouldn't be able to come and get me for another few hours (about 8:45 at night). Since it was Sunday the closest Pep Boys which was located an hour away in Petersburg VA was already closed. I was desperate not to miss orientation or pay for an unnecessary hotel room, so I began looking for any emergency tire place that could help me, I found one and I took a long shot and asked Pep Boys if they could take me to that shop (I already knew the answer but hey it was worth a try). Of course the answer was no, I've already been sitting out in 90+ degree weather for a few hours so I got frustrated about the entire situation and hung up. At about 8:45, the scheduled pick up time came around and nobody showed up so I called roadside assistance again, the agent told me the prior agent I hung up on assumed I was taking it to the other shop and canceled the request on his own accord, I did not say anything about wanting to cancel it, only that I was curious and wanted to see if they could tow me to the emergency tire shop. So I had to reinstate the service. The agent calls me back and says they found somebody to tow me but it would take them an hour to get to me. I didn't get picked up until 11:15. While waiting, a truck driver that was parked at the gas station came over and asked why I was there for so long, I told him my story. He looked at the tire and said it was a tire defect, that the inside belt was ruined and that's what caused the bubbles and vibrations. I forgot to mention I called Primes weekend emergency line and told the recruiter what happened as soon as I stopped at the gas station. So at about midnight I finally get to the Pep Boys and purchase a hotel room for the night, right across the street. First thing in the morning, on Monday, I told them to give me a new tire, about 2 hours later I'm on my way to PA, still a 6 hour drive. I made it to the orientation hotel and let the recruiter know that the hotel threw out my application packet because I didn't show up on time. My new orientation date is in two days, Wednesday. But they want me to come in tomorrow, Tuesday to complete CBT's. I'm still excited to be here, just mentally exhausted.

Cheers, Brian

PS any Prime trainers on here willing to train me? I'd be more comfortable requesting somebody that getting a completely random person.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian P.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 2, 06/08/2021

Woke up at 5am grabbed a shower, there's only one shuttle and about 40 students, they all ran to get in first like the only seat on an packed train. They printed me off an application, I had a misdemeanor dropped years ago, I didn't include that because it was dropped, so I assumed it was fine They didn't bring it up in the initial backround check, everything else is perfectly clean. Grabbed a bacon egg and cheese from the cafeteria after I looked around, found the "gift shop" I'd like to get some Prime merchandise, but I assume I'll get some eventually. They want me to stay for the pre trip class and have an official orientation tomorrow. I'll update more later if something happens, still early in the day.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Good GOLLY, Brian !!!

What a START into this industry/profession, eh?!?!? Murphy literally beat your BUTT, hahaha! (Murphy's law euphemism, btw ...)

Our resident/moderator/Prime trainer, is Kearsey. Her handle on here (and on her Y/T channel) is Truckin Along with Kearsey.

I believe she has some contact information in her profile, but you can also look here:

Truckin Along with Kearsey

Another forum member, RealDiehl comes to mind....He's a trainer for Prime, as well:

RealDiehl

Man, I sure wish you the BEST in your plight/future/training!! What a start~! At least you got all the 'crap' outta the way, haha!

~ Anne ~

Brian P.'s Comment
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Wednesday 06/09/2021

Today I aced my simulator test, got a 91 when other students were getting 60s, not to brag but I felt good about it. I officially got cleared as well, so I finally can get with a trainer, met a guy and we became pretty friendly with each other. As we were talkin he got a call from his trainer and that he would meet up with him in 15 minutes, wow that happened fast. I was waiting for the shuttle to take me to the training pad so they could tell me who my trainer is going to be. My friends trainer showed up and was nice enough to take us both to the training pad, he even trained me free when he didn't have to. He's a great guy guy very knowledgeable, I hoped I got somebody like him, I felt I was in good hands. We learned mostly backing, well my friend did I really just watched so he wouldn't step on my potential trainers toes. Towards the end of the training session my friends trainer recieved an email from the boss man, it said that we were both to train on his truck, I guess somebody took notice and thought we worked well together. I'm not sure how this will work out because we both have to travel 17 hours one way to Springfield, MO to recieve our company credit card, and I need to do a sleep apnea test. Here's another hurdle, our trainer has home time scheduled for two weeks from today, so he wants us to be ready to test by then. Overall, I'm confidant, I'll just take it a day at a time. For tonight I'm just going to study the pretrip for a while so I can have a heads up for tomorrow. Our trainer wants to start early and do some training pad time as well as some urban driving, we'll see how that goes.

Cheers, Brian

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Melissa J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Brian! What a rough start! Getting all the bad luck out of the way early I see! 😉 Your beginning story seems so much like my own, except my kids are adults now, and not married...so I don't have anything holding me back. I don't have family that are truckers, and never had experience pulling trailers. I'm still doing my research and studying for the permit, so I'll be really looking forward to your updates! You've got this!

good-luck-2.gif

Brian P.'s Comment
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Thank you Anne for the kind words, I looked into both the trainers but I'm actually happy with the one I ended up with, I feel extremely lucky about that

Thank you as well Melissa, overall i feel this has be an excellent experience despite the rough start , I'm sure you will feel the same. Have you put any thought into what company you would like to train at?

Brian P.'s Comment
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Thursday 06/10/2021

Today me and my training buddy went straight to the training pad at around 7am. We practiced backing maneuvers for about 2 hours, it's kinda frustrating trying to remember all the key points when this is like the second time sitting in a truck. You're still getting used to all the new sounds and checking all the mirrors, while getting used to the pressure you need to apply to the break and throttle lol. Our next task was to drive around the area, we hit highways, tight Pennsylvania streets, of course all during midday traffic. It was stressful but not so bad overall, you're just creating new muscle memories and that takes time and repetition. After, we went back to the training pad and backed up more, but we were so burnt out we weren't any good, in fact I though it was counter productive. Tomorrow we have our first actual load, and we have to drive through the Bronx to Long Island, that's going to be quite the adventure in a truck. 5 am tomorrow then guys, see you then.

Brian P.'s Comment
member avatar

Monday 6/14/2021

Haven't really updated, been catching up on sleep, we've been busy everyday. On Friday we had a load to the northern part of the Bronx, our load was three Bobcats and we were delivering to a rental place. We were on the road at 5am and got there roughly some time after 8am. Unfortunately, the rental place could not accept the load because they didn't have a way to get the equipment off the flatbed. We waited three hours so they could figure something out, neither the customer or our dispatch had any idea what we should do as we were sitting on a busy street in New York. In the end we just left feeling defeated. Saturday we practiced backing and we managed to get the truck where it needed to go. Eventually the power steering fluid got so hot the truck was impossible to turn so we stopped for the day and studied pre trip. Sunday and Monday I've been in the hotel studying pretrip and dealing with more Pep Boys disappointments. I walked outside Sunday morning to find my tire was flat I brought it into Pep Boys and they found my valve stem was broken. They replaced it and told me I could pick it up. They called me a lyft at about 3pm but nobody ever came so I called Pep Boys back but nobody ever answered the phone 🤦‍♂️. I finally went and retrieved my car this morning, I'm hoping I never have to go there again. Ever. I took a nap trying to catch up on my sleep and started studying pretrip again. Life is beginning to stabilize again and it feels good.

Ps I'm tired of eating out every night, a home-cooked meal sounds great right about now. Wish I had a crock pot or something.

Talk to you guys later, Brian

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Monday 6/14/2021

Haven't really updated, been catching up on sleep, we've been busy everyday. On Friday we had a load to the northern part of the Bronx, our load was three Bobcats and we were delivering to a rental place. We were on the road at 5am and got there roughly some time after 8am. Unfortunately, the rental place could not accept the load because they didn't have a way to get the equipment off the flatbed. We waited three hours so they could figure something out, neither the customer or our dispatch had any idea what we should do as we were sitting on a busy street in New York. In the end we just left feeling defeated. Saturday we practiced backing and we managed to get the truck where it needed to go. Eventually the power steering fluid got so hot the truck was impossible to turn so we stopped for the day and studied pre trip. Sunday and Monday I've been in the hotel studying pretrip and dealing with more Pep Boys disappointments. I walked outside Sunday morning to find my tire was flat I brought it into Pep Boys and they found my valve stem was broken. They replaced it and told me I could pick it up. They called me a lyft at about 3pm but nobody ever came so I called Pep Boys back but nobody ever answered the phone 🤦‍♂️. I finally went and retrieved my car this morning, I'm hoping I never have to go there again. Ever. I took a nap trying to catch up on my sleep and started studying pretrip again. Life is beginning to stabilize again and it feels good.

Ps I'm tired of eating out every night, a home-cooked meal sounds great right about now. Wish I had a crock pot or something.

Talk to you guys later, Brian

Still following, Brian!

It's always 'something,' right? The world/life of 'trucking;' been 'married' to it for 20 years myself!

Wishing you well, always look forward to your updates, too!

re: Home Cooked meals . . . have you considered 'Uber Eats' for now??? If you are anywhere near a 'Mom & Pop' restaurant, it's not unheard of; happens a LOT here in Ohio, tbh! Yet, a Crock Pot sure would BE more frugal; I hear you.

Best wishes; keep on keeping on!

~ Anne ~

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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