My Prime Orientation / PSD Experience

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Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 16 - 02/15/22; Day 4 OTR PSD

Up at 07:30. Trainer decided we would sleep in an extra 2.5 hrs.

Turned out this was a Drop & Hook (D&H). Trainer received call at 23:30 prior night that our trailer was ready. Our pick up window was Midnight to 14:40 of the 15th.

Trainer did the crawl back into the yard and we hooked up our trailer. Crawled back out and parked by side of road.

I then did my full PTI routine focusing again on the In Cab. Getting smoother. Trainer gives me a new hint each time of what to avoid doing on Exam day.

I start driving at 09:10 CST. The first leg is to our first scheduled fuel stop & 3rd day shower. About 116 miles in 2 hrs at Minooka, IL.

Start driving again at 13:23 to our next scheduled fuel stop a couple miles east of Toledo, OH is ~270 miles. Arrived at 18:07 CST. Total miles to day 386.

Decided to drive on and stopped for our 10 hr break after 70 miles at a travel plaza a few miles before our I-90 jct.

Total miles today was 456 in 8.25 hrs drive time. We are 10 miles shy of halfway to our delivery tomorrow night at 23:20 EST.

Driving Lessons Learned Today: 1. Go slowly thru toll gates and don’t hug right. I bumped the passenger side mirror causing it to fold in. No damage. Didn’t even see what I hit because was looking left & down. I had gone through 2 or 3 toll gates today fine before the last one.

My trainer is very laid back. He doesn’t get made or yell. He told me “I’m not mad at you” and patted me on the shoulder. Just take a deep breath and let it go.

Backing 1. Successfully backed into spot at the Petro for shower break.

Best Sight of the Day 1. Eastbound on I-80 in middle of nowhere in IL, a woman was standing on an overpass holding a US Flag and waving to the eastbound truckers! I waved back.

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 17 - 02/16/22; Day 5 OTR PSD

We got up at 07:30 CST and were ready to roll at 08:33 after my PTI.

Drove a total of 471 miles today to Fultonville, NY stopped at 18:00 CST at a TA. We are 4 miles from our delivery and cannot deliver before 22:20 CST.

My trainer will drive from here to the Walmart DC for a live unload.

Driving Lessons Today: 1. No “rolling Texas stops”. 2. Drove in high gusty crosswinds today. Keep grip on steering wheel to be ready for a gust, slow down.

Backing today: 1. First 45 alley dock into parking at the TA. Still getting a lot of help from trainer. Will ask to try the next back set-up on my own, with him intervening to keep me out of hitting anything.

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 18 -02/17/22; Day 6 OTR PSD

Arrived at customer gate at 23:00 CST. Docked at 23:33 for live unload. Pager rings at 01:37 CST that paperwork is ready.

Trainer drives back to same TA to park at 02:25 CST for long sleep break.

Depart at 12:30 CST w/ trainer driving to next customer ~79 miles away for a D&H to pick up a load of yogurt going to South Portland, ME ~381 miles.

Paperwork had incorrect trailer number, sorted out by comparing the seal number. Had Receiver to correct it.

I start driving at 16:02 CST. It is getting dark and raining on curvy mountain valley two lane Hwy. stop after 91 miles for short break. Continue on but I need to stop again at 20:14 CST due to sleepiness behind wheel. I did not sleep well earlier in day.

Trainer takes over and gets us to schedulers fuel stop at 00:00 CST near Bow, NH.

Day 19 - 02/18/22; Day 7 OTR PSD

Trainer stops at 01:15 CST at travel plaza on I-95 about 23 miles from our customer. We wait for ~1 hr to time our arrival during delivery window of 02:30-04:30 CST. I crawl into SB for 45 mins nap.

Arrived customer at 02:45 CST. Told to park and wait till called. Both of us get in SB. Called at 03:35 CST that ready for our live unload. Bumped dock at 03:50 CST. Back in SB until called at 05:57 CST that paperwork is ready.

Trainer drove back to same TA to park for sleep break at 06:53 CST.

Trainer starts driving again at 14:44 CST to our next customer ~82 miles away to D&H to pick up a load of paper going to La Crosse, WI.

Arrived at customer at 16:08 CST. Completed the D&H. Some lessons here about weight distribution, sliding tandems and verifying customer scale with a CAT scale. We are loaded to ~79k lbs.

Total distance to customer in La Crosse, WI is 1,452 miles to be delivered by 11:00 on 02/21/22.

Trainer drove 8 miles to CAT scale. Had to deal with an icy incline truck entrance loosing traction. Observed how he handled it.

I start driving at 17:56 CST w/ 1,448 miles to go. We stopped at 22:45 CST after 287 miles for the night in Connecticut. Trainer is sleepy this time.

Off to bed.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 20 - 02/19/22; Day 8 OTR PSD

Woke up this morning about 06:45 CST freezing. It is 17F outside. The engine idle shutdown last night. I was still up when it happened and didn’t restart the engine. So this time my fault. Our first night out a week ago the same thing happened after we both were in SB.

Anyway, waiting another hour for my 10-hr to complete to reset my clocks for the day. Giving me a chance to catch up on a few things.

Backing into truck stop parking is challenging for me so far, not always seeing the set-up right away. I have to think about it for a few seconds. I think my trainer is becoming a little frustrated based on little comments, but he is still laid back about it. I’m grateful to be getting some real world practice with a very experienced trainer. However, when we return to Springfield in a week, I need 2-3 days on the pad to learn the backing maneuvers that I need to do to pass the CDL exam.

Today’s focus is safe driving. We don’t have a scheduled fuel stop until Sandusky, OH which is likely on Sunday. This is day 4 w/o a shower. Maybe he will surprise me later today with a shower stop. He doesn’t share anything about the trip plan with me unless I ask specific questions. It’s basically “follow the GPS”.

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.

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.

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.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar
Today’s focus is safe driving. We don’t have a scheduled fuel stop until Sandusky, OH which is likely on Sunday. This is day 4 w/o a shower. Maybe he will surprise me later today with a shower stop. He doesn’t share anything about the trip plan with me unless I ask specific questions. It’s basically “follow the GPS”.

'Regular' Sandusky, or 'Upper Sandusky?' Yeah, two different towns, and 'upper' is actually 'lower,' hahaha!

Tom fuels at both, often. He won't be up yonder until Monday, though. Dang!!

There's awesome truck stops at BOTH Sanduskies, just so ya know, tho!!!!

Be safe, get a shower, still following!!

~ Anne ~

ps: Dude Wipes are really 'good stuff' ... take it from a woman! I bought some...just to see. They didn't have those when Tom was OTR , so .. I bought the 'baby wipes' that smelled like fresh diapers. I could at least smell CLEAN when Tom got home, haha!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 20 wrap up

My trainer and I had a good talk about the driving test before setting out today. He pointed out a few little things that I need to watch to avoid on test day. Overall I think he is satisfied with my driving.

I was on drive line today for 7 hrs 21 mins for only 341 miles. 46 mph avg. I’ve been averaging 55 to 60 mph.

Today was slower due to a traffic slowdown to a creep on long upgrade caused by an accident at top of the grade. There had been snow flurries and even a squall whiteout that passed through.

In stop & go had trouble spinning, so locked the differentials. Allowed the gap in front to increase such that creeping along at 2 mph engine idle speed did not need to stop.

I was also going slower today with the mountain driving on down grades and curves. I felt that was my safe speed today.

My 7-days mileage is 2,553 + 341 today for total 2,894 in 8 days.

I did a straight line back set-up tonight and got it in the parking space. Not pretty, but did it.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 21 - 02/20/22; Day 9 OTR PSD

Awoke in Mill Hall, PA at 04:15 CST. It is 17F, chilly.

Start driving at 05:30 CST. Stop at 07:03 CST for a short bio break. The “low fuel warning” starts coming on. Down to 1/8th tank (~25 gals), so can’t make the remaining 268 miles to scheduled fuel stop in Upper Sandusky, OH.

Request a new fuel stop solution and told to stop 18 miles ahead at the Punxsutawney, PA exit. Didn’t see “Phil” because it’s too dang cold! A second fuel stop in Plymouth, IN.

Drove on. Crossing the Allegheny River was impressive.

On I-80W in Ohio a young boy was at the back window of an old motorhome holding up a small handwritten sign to passing vehicles. The motorhome was in middle lane, we are in right lane. He put it up for us, but I couldn’t read it because too small.

A car pulled up behind the motorhome and the kid puts up the sign again. However there was a highway patrol in the left lane who saw it. He put his lights on and pulled the motorhome over. The kid ducked down quick when those lights came on.

Don’t know if the kid was calling for help or just pulling a prank.

Drove for total of 396 miles in 7 hrs. Stopped at 12:50 CST. Taking an 11 hours break until 00:00 CST tonight, then finish off the remaining 473 miles (~8.6 hrs drive) to our customer in La Crosse, WI. Our delivery window is 10:00-11:00 CST on Monday.

Hard to believe it has been 3 weeks today since driving to Springfield. The last 9 days are starting to blur together. Will likely head back to Springfield next weekend, then start backing training on the pad at night.

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 22 - 02/21/22; Day 10 OTR PSD

Today was a lesson in trip planning and time management.

We were to get up at 23:15 CST to be ready to start driving at 00:00. My trainer’s alarm went off at 00:15, an hour later than I think he intended.

I started driving at 00:48 CST, 48 minutes later than planned.

Lesson Learned: I am going to set my own alarm clock on CST, since our clocks run on CST. This is second time something like this has happened while in EST zone. I think his alarm is in his phone.

The 473 miles to La Crosse, WI took 10 hrs. I think I had guessed 8.6 hrs in previous post. If we had departed at 00:00 as planned, we would have arrived at 10:00, rather than 10:45. We beat our appointment time by 15 mins, but 1 hr would be better. The receiver told me that he takes us whenever we arrive.

The scheduled fuel stop in Plymouth, IN seemed out of the way to my novice mind. Maybe Prime gets best fuel discount there vs truck stops on I-80. We were on I-80W, then directed south near South Bend to Plymouth, then back north to I-80W. There was a lot of slower speeds in this route. The fueling itself took 20 mins.

Then it was apparent that I would require a DOT 30 mins break and we could not afford 30 mins. So we stopped to swap drivers, which took ~20 mins.

Plus I was driving 62 mph when I could. My trainer drove 65 mph, when he took over.

When we did arrive at 10:45 CST another Prime truck had just beat us there. So we waited for him to be live unloaded. We bumped the dock at 11:15 and unload finished at 11:31. These paper guys are fast.

Trainer drove to a nearby truck stop to wait for our next load assignment. Finally at 13:45 CST it comes in. Will be picking up in Wisconsin tomorrow morning and hauling to Georgia to deliver on 02/24/22. He wants to get this one there earlier, if we can.

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.

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 22 continues

Our next load is going from Appleton, WI to Forest Park, GA (Atlanta suburb). We live load pickup in the morning tomorrow and deliver on 02/24/22 (Thursday).

We are driving to Appleton today and park for the night nearby customer to have fresh clocks in the morning. I think my trainer wants to push this load harder to arrive in GA earlier than 24th. Will see.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 23 -02/22/22; Day 10 OTR PSD

Trainer decided yesterday to stay parked where we were and sleep. Plan to depart ~02:30 today.

That apparently worked out better for our clocks. I set my alarm for 01:30 and my trainer for 02:15. I was ready to drive when my trainer got up at 02:24.

Started driving at 02:39 CST. Stopped at 06:22 CST after 175 miles, close to our customer. Can’t arrive until 07:00 earliest.

I sweep out the trailer while waiting. Trainer’s rechargeable leaf blower battery is shot.

It is 12F, -6 WC in Appleton this morning with light snow flurries.

Trainer drove to our customer (Nestle) arriving at guard gate at 07:13. Finished check-in at 07:17 and bumped our dock at 07:25.

Live load from 07:28 to 08:38. Not bad. Reefer set at -10F.

Finishing paperwork and ready to depart for Atlanta at 09:01.

Driving Lessons today: 1. Rookie Mistake - missed a stay to left “exit” to I-94 off of I-90. I was confused by the GPS and night driving unfamiliar highway with reduced visibility. Cost was 4 extra miles and ~6 minutes. Not a big deal.

2. Winter driving at night on Wisconsin state hwy 21E was stressful. Visibility was poor due to freezing mist on windshield, two lane highway difficult to see lines due to snow on highway. Highway not salted. I slowed down to 47 mph avg below the 55 mph limit, especially on curves.

3. Drove through several Small towns (25 mph). A few still have Christmas decorations up on main streets. Very pretty.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.
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