My Prime Orientation / PSD Experience

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Desert_Rat's Comment
member avatar

I'm curious at how long you took to do your pre-trip this morning. Did you go straight from the sleeper into your pre-trip process? That's the only way I can think you were ready to go when your trainer got up from the times you listed.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Desert Rat, glad you are reading this.

Typically my trainer has me do an On Duty - Post Trip Inspection at end of my drive day that is usually logged 15 mins minimum. It may actually take a little longer if I’m practicing the In Cab routine. I’m logging the way he tells me to for now, I do understand “Log what you do, do what you log”.

Before my drive shift while off duty I will do a quick walk around to ensure all lights are working and look for anything else obvious like check the release arm safety latch and air hoses, etc.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 24 - 02/23/22; Day 11 OTR PSD

I woke up at 00:00 CST, 30 minutes before my alarm, to be ready to drive by 01:30. Did my usual pre-drive routine. My trainer was up a little after 01:00.

I started driving at 01:23 CST to our scheduled fuel stop at 03:40 on I-74E near Oakwood, IL. Drove 136 miles.

Start driving again at 04:30 CST. My first DOT 30 mins break was satisfied, so my 8 hr clock reset for a second break because I still had 8 hrs 43 mins drive time on my 11 hr clock.

Stopped at 06:04 CST for a 2.5 hrs split SB break because I was getting drowsy between 05:00-06:00. The nap did the trick plus keeping the cab very cool.

Started driving again at 08:32 CST. The split SB extended my 14 hr clock from 15:27 to 17:57 CST. My available drive time was 7 hrs 8 mins and On Duty time 9 hrs 19 mins.

Drove through Nashville about 14:00 local time in heavy traffic.

Stopped for day at ~13:58 CST on I-24 between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga.

I drove 505 miles today during 9 hrs 16 mins drive line time.

We will depart again sometime after 00:14 when our 10-hr break ends.

We are ~126 miles to our customer on south side of Atlanta with a delivery window of 06:00-09:00 EST. I expect we will aim for the earliest arrival to avoid Atlanta rush hour. My trainer says there is no parking at this customer except on the street.

Driving Lessons Learned Today: 1. Stop lights on highways with 55-60 speed limits - first off I’ve hated these traffic lights in my car. Double worse in a truck. Need to anticipate the light and reduce speed early in case have to stop. Watch for brake lights on vehicles closer to the light as a clue. I was getting better, but still need to work on it.

2. My last two parking spots have been pull throughs. There is still a need to set up properly even for a pull through to get in straight.

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar
Stopped at 06:04 CST for a 2.5 hrs split SB break because I was getting drowsy between 05:00-06:00. The nap did the trick plus keeping the cab very cool.

Just so that you're aware after you do a break during the day you need to follow that up with sleeper birth at the end of the day that will add up to 10 hours total otherwise it will trigger a violation. For example you did 2.5 hour break today which extended your 14-hour clock. When you take the 10-hour break at the end of your day you need to have at least seven and a half hours of that in the sleeper berth. Otherwise it will trigger a 14-hour violation that won't even appear on your logs. It will only appear if you email them to a LEO.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Yes, that is what happened to avoid violation.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 25 - 02/24/22; Day 12 OTR PSD

Correction from yesterday post. We are ~235 miles to customer, not 126 miles. Don’t know how I came up with that. So, about a 4H drive.

I’ve had a sharp pain in my gut since getting up. Maybe something that I ate in last 24 hrs. Will see.

I start driving at 01:45 CST in heavy rain on I-24 towards Chattanooga. Maintained speed between 55-60 mph.

Ran out of the rain just north of the Monteagle decent, a 6% grade for 4 miles with max speed limit for trucks of 45 mph.

Trainer had me to pull into the brake inspection station at top of the grade to see how that works. Basically pull up slowly to the red light until it turns green.

Prior to the decent I set the cruise control at 34 mph. Allowed the speed to increase to 39 mph, when the cruise control kicked on the Jake brake. Held a constant 39 mph down the grade without having to touch the service brakes once. I like this technique, so long as road conditions permit it.

A few trucks passed us at higher speed riding their brakes.

I had to stop driving at 04:19 CST because gut pain became too distracting. I drove 129 miles to this point in 2H 35M (49.9 mph avg).

I did an On Duty - Vehicle Inspection for 18 mins before going Off Duty. I will need to be in SB by 06:37 CST and remain for at least 7 hrs to avoid a front seat violation.

My trainer started driving at 04:44 CST to finish last 106 miles. Arrived at customer (Krogers DC) at 06:40 CST (well within our window).

We’ve been sitting in a waiting area since 06:43 CST awaiting a call to come be live unloaded. It is now 07:47 CST, still waiting.

More later.

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 25 continues

Ok, I remember a driving lesson learned from yesterday that I didn’t report.

Came upon my first weigh station that was open. Usually we get the PrePass signal that stations are closed. (Side note, it is PrePass for weigh stations and E-ZPass for toll gates).

I pull in and get in the left lane with the green arrow. The right lane is marked red X. I pull forward until I see a stop sign and red light to my right with sign saying “trucks stop here”.

So I stop. After some seconds my trainer says “you can go”. I say “ what about that stop sign & light”. He says “that’s for the right lane. Rookie Mistake! Ha Ha.

Then he explains how the process works. The left lane has a couple of dynamic scales that you drive over slowly as entering the weigh station. These scales check weight on each axle sets independently.

If the DOT officer sees something not right, they will direct you to the right lane by changing the lane light colors. The right lane has a regular scale like a CAT scale to check total weight and each axle.

I may not have this explanation perfect, so apologize to you experienced drivers, if in error.

I also recall saying something a few days ago about a lack of a shower after 4 days. Our agreement had been every 2-3 days. Well, on day 6 we stayed at a truck stop with no showers. So, finally we shutdown on day 7 at a Love’s. I grabbed my shower bag and left the truck without saying anything. I paid my $15 and had a nice shower. Felt good to clean up.

When I return to the truck after giving my trainer some space for a couple hours, he says to me smiling “Do you feel human again?” I said “Yea, after 7 days baby wipes just don’t cut it”. He says “ You should say something if you need a shower” (this goes for laundry, too, because he doesn’t do any). I say “I get it. Was just wondering though what happened to our 2-3 days deal?” And I went to bed.

I was up later ready to drive, when my trainer crawls into the passenger seat. He says to me “I need to apologize to you”. I said “ About what? That shower thing?” He said “I just didn’t realize it had been that long. I don’t like being that way.” I said “Thank you for the apology, but I’m a grown man and should be able to take care of myself anyway. We’re good.”

Now, I can appreciate after 12 days of this how easy it is to lose track of time and even which day it is. I don’t fault him. He has been living on the road for 12 years staying out for 4-6 months and then only 4 days at home and back out again. He has enough clothes on board so doesn’t need to do laundry. His truck is filthy. Anyway, that is his chosen lifestyle, it won’t be mine.

Btw, he told me that I’m the only student that he has had that kept a journal. I told him that I was surprised because there is a lot to remember. I told him jokingly that is the college guy in me.

I only mention the shower episode because a training diary here just isn’t complete without one!

It is 08:40 and we are finally on our way to dock.

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.

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”

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 25 continues

So we get to the final check point. A guy comes out and tells my trainer that a door isn’t ready for us yet. Trainer shows him the phone call received. A few minutes later the days your good.

We get docked. I carry the paperwork work to Receiving office. That says you don’t have the BOL. Ok, so I go back to tell my trainer.

Trainer realized that the Security check point did not give him his paperwork. So I disconnect the trailer so he can bobtail to the check at the security gate.

Anyway, trainer back now. Security told him the BOL is at Receiving. He is going in this time (as it should be anyway). Yes, the Receiving Clerk had the BOL all along. I don’t know enough yet to ask the right questions. That comes later in TNT.

Day in the life of a truck driver.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 25 continues

We finally got released with our paperwork about 11:40 CST. We are now sitting in a long line at a Blue Beacon for washout.

Then we go pickup a load from a cold storage about 30 minutes from here at 14:30 EST heading to Hickory,NC for delivery by 07:30 EST tomorrow.

I get my clock back in less than 2 hrs, so I’ll start driving us that direction. This customer does have overnight parking on site.

After this short haul load, we will be routed back to Springfield this weekend. My trainer will work with me on the backing pad for two nights (4 hrs total), then schedule me to test out.

He told me to trust him that he wouldn’t push into anything he did think I was ready to do. I said that I do trust you and that you have given me excellent feedback and experience so far on this OTR PSD.

This next statement is not meant as a brag, just recording what he said. “Regarding learning the backing moves on the pad. As intelligent as you are and how quickly you learn, you will have no trouble learning this”.

I said “Thank you, but this is a different type of intelligence. I think a lot of gut instinct goes into backing from what I’ve observed and experienced so far. “

Now I just hope my gut pain settles down so I can drive without too much distraction.

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Good luck.

You'll be a licensed driver soon.

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