Western Express 3-4 Weeks Training Sufficient?

Topic 30483 | Page 6

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Chief Brody's Comment
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Damn voice-to-text.

Flatbed is a lot cooler to pick that.

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Seriously, Garrett . . . I agree, as does my other half. It just wasn't for us.. we liked tanks better, back in the day.

Flatbedders are a 'breed' of their own; the camaraderie still exists; and he's (we've) noticed that fact... even HERE!

WHAT'S HOLDING YOU BACK?

SweetLew just left 12 years driving in the Army, and went Prime C'seat TNT...flatbed!! If the price of the 'tools' are spooking you.... quit thinking on that!

Just my 2 cents, as always! If I were you, I'd go skateboarding!!

Less wait times, better scheduling, idk... on and on and on.

Again, just me.

~ Anne ~

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No, the tools isn't holding me back anymore. I suppose what's holding me back is:

I think refer might just be the better start for a rookie. Brett has an article on here where he says dry van or refer is definitely the better way in over flatbed for rookies... just more simplicity, less dangerous & less stress on top of an already very stressful experience. Its his opinion of course, but it makes sense and I agree with it.

Plus, for Prime, refer drivers get more miles on average and see a little more of the country apparently. From what I've gathered, at Prime all the divisions make about the same at the end of the day...so that means more hard work and stress doing flatbed for just a bit more if not the same I'd make doing refer.

Also, if the economy crashes hard soon- that would have a pretty dramatic effect on flatbed work, but not so much at all on refer. *Has the increase in the prices of building materials lately and these mysterious "product shortages" already had an effect on flatbed work, by chance?

I would be starting out in flatbed moving into the slow season for that division.

What's interesting though is that I'm definitely feeling "pulled" toward flatbed for some reason, despite how logic is telling me to go refer. Like its a gut feeling/intuition thing. Maybe its just that flatbed sounds more exciting and stimulating whereas refer sounds pretty boring. I've always done better at jobs that were exciting, dynamic and non-routine. Routine and complacency destroys me. Its that quality that inadvertently led me down the path to become a chef- something I NEVER thought I'd become. Just the thought of having an office cubicle job has always depressed the s*** out of me.

Most of your reasoning is not based on reality.

In theory, flatbed would get fewer miles because of the securement. However, and if Kearsey jumps in, she can verify this, but, on average, you spend a lot longer waiting at the shipper and receiver with reefer than it does to take me even my longest securement.

As far as busy or slow season, if you look at the DAT load boards flatbed ALWAYS has more loads per available track in any other division. And it completely went off the charts during the covid pandemic. So, while there is a supposed Slow season in the winterhave never slowed down in the past year at all in any way shape or form.

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.

Garrett J.'s Comment
member avatar

Most of your reasoning is not based on reality.

In theory, flatbed would get fewer miles because of the securement. However, and if Kearsey jumps in, she can verify this, but, on average, you spend a lot longer waiting at the shipper and receiver with reefer than it does to take me even my longest securement.

As far as busy or slow season, if you look at the DAT load boards flatbed ALWAYS has more loads per available track in any other division. And it completely went off the charts during the covid pandemic. So, while there is a supposed Slow season in the winterhave never slowed down in the past year at all in any way shape or form.

Good to know... interesting too. Thanks for that Chief.

Hey, on a really unrelated note... this scary scenario just popped into my head: driving for 10 hours in almost total silence.

For the vast majority of TNT , you're driving while your trainer's back there sleeping- then you trade, correct? So since one person is always sleeping (or trying to) the driver cant play music/podcasts/audiobooks/whatever though the speakers. Can you listen with your headset?

I'm a musician and music is a pretty big deal for me. Not being able to listen to anything while driving for about 10 hours sounds pretty unpleasant.

Not asking Chief in particular, asking anybody. Didn't want to start a brand new topic for such an insignificant topic, so I figured I'd just ask here.

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.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm a musician as well. It's always weird for me personally driving with headphones on. Makes me feel sperated from the environment somehow. I also usually mute my music when in traffic and intense road situations like construction zones. Idk, I personally can't concentrate as well with up loud and I like to hear and feel what my motor and Jake's are doing.

I also keep feeling a strange pull to at least try flatbeds. I'm nowhere near enough experience though yet.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

You need to be careful with earbuds while driving. Many states, for certain ILL, oulaw the use of "headset receivers" defined as inputs to both ears simultaneously while driving. Your blueparrot etc are ok because only one ear is affected.

Would that trooper know? Probably not. Only if you get in a wreck and they do a forensic reconstruction of what was going on with your electronic device at the time and leading up to impact.

Garrett J.'s Comment
member avatar

I also keep feeling a strange pull to at least try flatbeds. I'm nowhere near enough experience though yet.

Are experienced drivers saying you want to get decent experience in dry van or refer before trying flatbed? Or is that just your personal feeling? Or a combination of both?

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.
Andrey's Comment
member avatar

The original question was about training, whether 3-4 weeks is enough. Needless to say that everybody's different, so I am speaking only from my personal experience. I was trained at Roehl for three weeks with an OTR driver, and then another three days with a local guy in Gary, IN. After this training I had an evaluation: a road test and a 45 backing into a hole. Everything went smooth, and I felt confident. I am not saying that I got everything, which is impossible for a human :-) but I was definitely ready to keep learning in a solo mode.

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.

Garrett J.'s Comment
member avatar

Most of your reasoning is not based on reality.

In theory, flatbed would get fewer miles because of the securement. However, and if Kearsey jumps in, she can verify this, but, on average, you spend a lot longer waiting at the shipper and receiver with reefer than it does to take me even my longest securement.

As far as busy or slow season, if you look at the DAT load boards flatbed ALWAYS has more loads per available track in any other division. And it completely went off the charts during the covid pandemic. So, while there is a supposed Slow season in the winterhave never slowed down in the past year at all in any way shape or form.

Hey Chief... would you say you averaged about 5000 miles a week during your flatbed training?

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.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

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Most of your reasoning is not based on reality.

In theory, flatbed would get fewer miles because of the securement. However, and if Kearsey jumps in, she can verify this, but, on average, you spend a lot longer waiting at the shipper and receiver with reefer than it does to take me even my longest securement.

As far as busy or slow season, if you look at the DAT load boards flatbed ALWAYS has more loads per available track in any other division. And it completely went off the charts during the covid pandemic. So, while there is a supposed Slow season in the winterhave never slowed down in the past year at all in any way shape or form.

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Hey Chief... would you say you averaged about 5000 miles a week during your flatbed training?

Yes. Some weeks were only four thousand miles but the other weeks were close to six thousand miles or even over 6,000 miles.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

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I also keep feeling a strange pull to at least try flatbeds. I'm nowhere near enough experience though yet.

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Are experienced drivers saying you want to get decent experience in dry van or refer before trying flatbed? Or is that just your personal feeling? Or a combination of both?

With me its just personal feeling, Im usually pretty critical on myself and cautious. I want to feel confident in dry van before I try something else.

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.
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