PSD/Orientation With Prime Inc., Springfield MO

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Mark M.'s Comment
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Hearing some bad stories of 40 students waiting for trainers at beginning of week, talked to a guy who has been here two weeks waiting and that he has just done PTI for 10 days, finally got on the Pad to drive.

Thats not good news

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Hey Mark, you wanted to be a truck driver. You are just now learning what it takes. This whole business is performance based. The very best thing you can do right now is to not listen to all the stories circulating among your fellow students. At Prime you guys are actually competing for trainers. Have you noticed how some people are waiting longer than others? The trainers are looking at you guys on the pad and they are picking up on who appears to be the go-getters who have great attitudes and want to be successful truckers. They are also noticing the ones who seem dispirited and uninterested. Hold your head high and act like you want to be a champion at this. You are going to be meeting trainers out there at the pad. They are looking for guys or gals who have a proclivity for success. They make money off of really great students. If they can find a new driver who can do a trifecta on their tests they get some great bonus money for training them.

Stop listening to the whining and complaining. Make yourself available. This is your big interview - Don't blow it!

Stop The Fear And Doubt - Focus On Your Own Success

Oh I have, Im not letting any of that in my brain. Im just moving forward, working hard on my pretrip and making sure to surround myself with other students who want to learn.

Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 4

8am got a class on the Qualcomm and also what is expected of us as students. 9am got a basic tire class, then a quick runover of company vs lease op. 10am we got our hands on trucks to start doing hands on pretrip, was really helpful to me! 5pm we were done and moving on to eating and relaxing

So Day 4 several people were called by there trainers and slowly our class got smaller, was good to see. I didnt get a call on Day 4, which was fine with me because I was learning really well the pretrip on the practice trucks.

Went home feeling good about my choice of not only company but career choice.

Day 5

7am Free Breakfast! 8am Driver safety meeting attended, thats why we got free breakfast. The cafeteria here is really pretty good. 9am Tour of the campus, at least the large Millenium Building, its nice here, alot of amenities. 1030am to 1130am More Pretrip practice on the pad! Lunch 1pm to 5pm More pretrip practice on the pad.

6pm was eating dinner with some other students and MY TRAINER CALLED ME! Yay!! I get to meet him saturday morning.

Several students are already going out on the road for PSD , pretty excited for everyone.

So far this has been a great experience, Ive slept in worse places, and eaten worse food and had terrible experiences with other employees.

Here alls Ive had are kind words, encouragement and pushing us forward towards what everyones goal should be. Get your CDL A and get out there on the road! Im really excited if you cant tell, I think I will really like this company and the job.

Thats it for now, will update more after I meet my trainer and see whats in store for me going ahead!

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations on being paired with your first trainer tomorrow.

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Day 3

Hearing some bad stories of 40 students waiting for trainers at beginning of week, talked to a guy who has been here two weeks waiting and that he has just done PTI for 10 days, finally got on the Pad to drive.

Thats not good news, I understand you dont have trainers but get me in a darn truck. I want to practice my backing, and parking and all that. I want a ton of practice, I want to feel as comfortable as I can. Now was he telling us the truth? Who knows. But it sounds terrible.

Day 5

7am Free Breakfast! 8am Driver safety meeting attended, thats why we got free breakfast. The cafeteria here is really pretty good. 9am Tour of the campus, at least the large Millenium Building, its nice here, alot of amenities. 1030am to 1130am More Pretrip practice on the pad! Lunch 1pm to 5pm More pretrip practice on the pad.

6pm was eating dinner with some other students and MY TRAINER CALLED ME! Yay!! I get to meet him saturday morning.

That all happened fairly quickly and smoothly. Tragedy averted! In a short two days your situation totally changed.

Hang in there - trucking is full of hurry up and wait moments, disappointments and surprises, and startling interruptions to any sort of routine.

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.

Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 6

Met trainer at 8am, he had a student testing at 10am and met him as well, seemed like a good guy. The student. The trainer also seemed really cool, was nice and gave it to us straight. Started out by saying in two weeks you will trifecta your CDL test and we will get you into TNT. That sort of confidence was nice to hear!

From 930am or so till 1430 we did pretrip training and ate lunch. Met our trainer in the cafeteria and he told us his last student trifecta'd and we could go out to either the pad or off campus to practice some backing.

FIRST TIME IN A TRUCK WAS AWESOME! I think Im going to love this job. I did ok, still getting mixed up on where my trailer is going and which way I gotta turn the wheel. I did a few perfect straight backs, one ALMOST clean Alley Dock Back.

So far I like the guy, sells us straight and seems nice My fellow trainee told our trainer that "I should do it my way, it will probably work better." Then failed horribly at doing it. Trainer was unhappy. I just stood there quietly waiting for my turn!

All in all a great day, still very excited to be here. Even more excited that I got into a truck and LOVED it!

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.

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.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

A tip my PSD trainer taught me:

When backing, put your dominant hand on the bottom of the steering wheel in the middle.

Move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go.

Having your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel if the middle also limits how much you can turn the wheel and therefore prevents oversteering while backing.

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.
Moose's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for sharing Mark. I'll be starting PSD in Salt Lake City on November 8. I'm also doing flatbed. Look forward to your posts.

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.
Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Been so busy! Sorry for not posting, been driving and all that!

Day 7

We went to the main facility and picked up a load headed for Clarksville Arkansas, then my fellow trainee drove it down. Stopped at Sams and I gave my trainer a few bucks to buy a few things, was nice. Once we unloaded we found a clean empty and I drove it back to Springfield. Pretty easy day, got some PTI training in as well. Love driving the truck so far!

Day 8

Fellow trainee did not answer a text sent to him by Trainer at 8am until noon. Text basically said we got another load leaving at noon. I was downstairs ready, had replied at 805am. Trainee said "I have nothing to wear, I turned off my phone, Im not ready to go!". Trainer just said whatever sit down and relax, dont worry about the job or training. Picked me up and we went to the caves with an empty to pickup a load at Pepsi down there, REALLY FREAKING HEAVY! 75k total weight.

Once we got the load I drove out of there and parked it at the facility, we did some pretrip and then I went home and relaxed. Actually I have my car here so I went to Target and popeyes, was a decent night off for the most part.

Before dropping me off me and trainer decided to meet at the facility at 545 am, which was a good thing because...

Day 9

Trainer picked me and fellow up at facility at 545am, hooked and inspected by 630am and left for Iowa. I drove that heavy bastage up there, it was awesome. Learned the JAKE brake, learned how to keep speed up and down hills etc. Trainer said I did really well.

DISASTER! - I miss our turn. Trainer instructs me to turn into a parking lot, he thought it was bigger and wider then it was. After redecorating some stones, curbs and decorative rocks, losing a mud flap the trainer got out of the mess. Was so stressed out, but the Trainer was like "Hey I told you to turn into that lot, thats my bad." Made me feel a little better, but really ****ed I missed the turn. Though it did make the point of not paying attention so much to the GPS.

We get unloaded, then drive 90 miles to get the trailer cleaned out. I screwed up my setup on the backup to the door, but fixed it and bam was in.

Drove 10 miles to the picked up, which was 30k pounds of eggs! We were dropping our trailer and picking up a preloaded one, and after getting an OK setup I finally hit the backing manuever, was really happy about that.

Fellow trainee drives us back to Springfield, we arrive about 2am. Rough, long day but satisfying.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Excellent update, Mark!!!

Aren't those caves awesome ?!?!?

Man, I'm surprised that your trainer even KEPT your fellow trainee AROUND, after oversleeping UNTIL NOON from 0800 planned !!!

Is this common, in Prime PSD to have two trainees? Is this fairly new? Hmmm.... maybe I missed the concept, in the past. I'm gonna have to go watch some of Truckin' Along with Kearsey's videos, to stay in the know, haha!

Sounds like you are doing awesome, man. Keep it up!!

~ Anne ~

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.
Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 9

This was a terrible day. We got to the pad around 1400 and was there till 1600. I screwed up every back I was doing, couldnt even do straightline and was getting really frustrated. I know my trainer was getting really frustrated with me. But my fellow trainee was catching more heat, talking trash about how he could do these but then not performing either.

We ended with Pre-Trip Air brake test and in cab, and I knew alot more then my fellow trainee. BUT still not good enough. My trainer said I would have failed it. I ended that day by going to get some Cracker Barrel, got it to go and my order was wrong. Was just in a bad mood all night. Fell asleep hoping the next day would be better.

Day 10

Woke up late, got almost 9 hours of sleep, was pretty happy about that. Got to the pad and we got a spot and started alley dock. I nailed it TWICE, felt so dang good!! We got a new guy for a few days who already has his CDL from Texas just needed some extra training. Great guy. We also picked up a 4th who had a trainer but not enough time with him so joined us.

We learned the steps for the parallel parking and will hopefully do it tomorrow. Hoping to continue to do well with these maneuvers.

So far really helped my confidence with the maneuvers to get one right twice in a row. Felt amazing. Now just gotta nail that pre trip and do all the maneuvers correctly in a row!

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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