My Prime Orientation / PSD Experience

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Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 25 continues

We bumped the dock at our shipper at 15:52 EST for a live load.

Plan now is to shutdown after loading for at least 8 hours until my trainer gets his hours back.

We are hoping to be ready to drive at 01:30 EST to make our 07:30 EST delivery in Hickory, NC. The 289 miles should take 5+ hrs barring any unforeseen road issues.

I know that my eLogs are all messed up after my trainer called the Logs Dept for a clarification. They are supposed to mirror my trainer’s Logs, which they don’t the way he has been logging me. I had started to say something early in our time together, but decided to hold my tongue. Oh well, will see if Logs Dept say anything to me or just to him.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 26 - 02/25/22; Day 13 OTR PSD

I started driving at 00:30 CST as planned. I drove until 03:20 CST to our scheduled fuel stop; 162 miles.

I’m still having trouble with drowsiness during these early morning nighttime drives. It seems to set in after ~1.5 hrs.

My trainer took over driving the remaining 127 miles at 03:51 CST. He arrived at our customer, MDI, in Hickory, NC at 06:04 CST. Our scheduled appointment was 06:30 CST, so all good.

We bump the dock for a live unload at 06:44 CST. The Lumpers get started at 08:40 CST.

We will go park at nearby Love’s after finishing here to shutdown for break and wait for next load assignment that should be routing us towards Springfield, MO.

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

Excellent rolling diary, Dennis! Lots of progress, KUDOS.

I’m still having trouble with drowsiness during these early morning nighttime drives. It seems to set in after ~1.5 hrs.

^^^ Have you tried chewing gum, preferably minty or cinnamon style? Life Savers wintergreens work, too. Secrets from my guy!

Wishing the best, always!

~ Anne ~

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Ms Anne, thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try it.

Day 26 continues

The live unload ends at 10:10 CST. We then go park onsite to finish up paperwork. Plus our next load assignment comes in, so all new plan for rest of the day.

Our next load is a D&H pick up in Siler City, NC about 136 miles away this afternoon going to Joplin, MO for delivery on the 27th.

I start driving at 11:03 CST. We make a bio & food stop from 11:35-11:56 CST.

Continue on to get a trailer washout at Moxville, NC at 12:40-12:56 CST.

Drive on to Siler City arrive at customer at 14:27 CST. My trainer has me take care of checking in at Receiving. Instructed to drive to their trailer drop lot a few miles away to drop the trailer and Bobtail back to a parking area outside the plant until called that loaded trailer is ready.

At the drop lot, my trainer decided to guide me through a blindside back. There was a trailer on my blindside and clear on sight side.

The old security guard at the lot asked me “Why are you even attempting a blindside back? No body does that.” I said “Because my trainer is here and he is telling me to do it. No way otherwise.”

The big lesson from the back was to adjust my blindside mirror as I need to throughout the back to see what I am doing. Also to GOAL as needed.

I’m still reacting too soon to my anticipation of what the trailer will do.

After that fun, we have been parked waiting for the call to hook up our loaded trailer. It is currently 16:47 CST and counting.

Trainer will decide what we do after getting our load.

My total miles today so far are 304.

Bobtail:

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

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 26 wrap up

I crawled into the bunk to rest. The call came about 20:30 that the trailer was ready. Trainer told them we would get in the morning. Taking our break here for the night.

Day 27 - 02/26/22; Day 14 OTR PSD

After a nice 12 hrs on the CPAP , we were both rested and up on Saturday morning.

There was no traffic early Saturday morning on the street that I needed to do the 3 mph crawl on for ~200 ft to the chicken processing plant entrance.

I go to the driver window at Receiving/shipping to get our Prime trailer number.

We find the trailer and my trainer has me to back under it for the coupling for my first time. Feels like a big jerk with a loud bang. Then a pull test. All good.

I get out and complete the trailer coupling process and do a quick inspection of the trailer. All good.

My trainer slides the tandems after I take care of releasing the locking pins. I watch for the hole that he wants. Sometimes the locking pins won’t engage, so have to press the release again to get them to engage. I have asked him a couple times what his trick is to do this when he is solo. No straight answer yet. I know he doesn’t like getting in & out of the truck anymore than necessary. I know that he genuinely likes to train, but I think he also likes having his helpers on board. smile.gif

I then crawl to the customer scale. We weigh just the steers first, then add the drives, then add the tandems. Can do simple subtractions to get the weights on the drives and tandems. Total weight ~76k and good on all axles.

Last step is Security guard look inside trailer. He then attaches the seal and I put on the Abloy lock.

Start driving at 07:09CST.

Stop at 12:20 CST for 30 min DOT break after 5h 11m drive line.

Start driving at 12:55 CST to our scheduled fuel stop in Nashville.

Arrive at our TA on I-24 at 17:06 CST. The plan had been to take our 10h break here, but no room at the Inn. So after fueling decide to go on down I-24W into Kentucky.

Nashville traffic at 17:00 on a Saturday night was bad. It was slowed down to a crawl in both directions. Turns out there was a NHL hockey game at Nissan Stadium, not far from the TA. Hockey fans were walking for blocks from their parking along the street we are on.

Start driving again at 17:30 with 1h 38m remaining on my 11 clock.

Stopped at 18:29 CST at a rest area just across Kentucky border with 39 min remaining on my drive clock.

Total miles today 551 in 10h 21m total drive line time, 53.25 mph avg. Two stretches of slowed down bumper to bumper traffic today.

Got out for a walk around the rest area in the cool 38F. Felt good to stretch my legs.

Highlights of my day was getting to blow the air horn 3 times. 1. A large crowd of Patriots on an I-40 overpass in light rain with their flags and waving at truckers. 2. An older lady gave us the arm pump. 3. A car full of girls heading into Nashville gave us the arm pump. We could hear them screaming after I gave them two toots of the horn.

We have about 451 miles to Joplin customer, that should take about 9 hrs total time tomorrow.

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".

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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
member avatar

Really great updates, Dennis.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Looking good Dennis. Your diary is very detailed. Keep up the good work out there. You'll be solo in no time. Tomorrow, I head out with my trainer for the first time.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 28 - 02/27/22; Day 15 OTR PSD

Up at 07:15 CST.

I start driving at 07:59 CST.

Stopped at 10:31 CST for bio & food break on US 60W just into MO.

I start driving at 11:00 CST. Dang it! Missed my 30 min DoT break by 40 seconds. Dumb Rookie mistake not to check my time status first. I won’t have enough time left to make Joplin w/o a break later.

Stopped at 13:50 CST for 30 mins DOT break.

Start driving at 14:22 CST (32 mins)

Stop at 17:04 CST at Flying J on I-49S and 32 street in Joplin to fill reefer tank (1/2 full now) prior to our D&H at customer just down 32nd street.

Drive at 17:18 to customer. Not far.

Our lucky day. We get to drop the trailer where we are parked and the Yard Dog will move it.

Find an empty Prime trailer and I back under it to couple at 17:46 CST.

Driving at 17:55 CST back to the Flying J to park for the night.

Parked at 18:22 CST after backing practice (just hasn’t fully clicked yet in my head, maybe the practice pad will be easier).

Plan is to deadhead to Springfield in the morning. I notified Campus Inn desk that I’ll be there tomorrow needing a room.

Driving Lessons Learned today: 1. Rookie mistake with missing 30 min break by 40 seconds. Just because trainer said to leave whenever I was ready, I should have checked my clock. 2. Big Mistake that would be an auto fail on driving test. Had a tight sharp right hand turn on a downslope 3 way intersection. Only a yellow flashing caution light. I did not need to stop. There was a car on opposite direction waiting and a car in the left turn lane in direction of my turn. I proceeded to make my turn, but caused the car in turn lane to move out of way- obstructing traffic. Auto Fail. The correct maneuver would be to stop with my turn signal on, motion to the driver to make his left turn opening up my path to complete a squared off turn to get my tandems around the curb.

Highlight 1. Driving across first the Ohio River and then Mississippi River on old narrow bridges not designed for large trucks. This is on US 60W near Witcliff, KY crossing into MO, just north of the two mighty rivers convergence.

My total miles driven in 16-days has been 5,519. Daily avg = 345 miles and weekly avg = 2,414 miles.

Will be on the backing pad Monday & Tuesday nights preparing to test out this week.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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".

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 29 - 02/28/22; Day 17 OTR PSD

Up at 07:30 CST. Nice sunny 38F in Joplin.

Packed my bags to get off this truck later today.

About 08:15 CST informed that we are going to pick up a live load at Butterball Turkey in Carthage, MO (~11 miles away) to relay to another Prime driver in Springfield. That is how we got our first load back on 02/12/22. My trainer worked at this Butterball plant for 20 yrs before getting into trucking.

First step was filling the reefer fuel tank.

Then checked out the Blue Beacon next door for a trailer washout. The line was very long, so trainer decided to go to the big Petro at exit 4 on I-44 to try that truck wash. We get here and line isn’t any better, so here we sit.

However, the Freedom Convoy 2022 is passing through Joplin this morning. The exit overpass here and Petro is packed with people waving flags and vehicles with flags on them ready to join the convoy.

Not in a good position to get any photos yet. Maybe on way out from the trailer washout.

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.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Day 29 continues

Finally got the trailer washout done. I drove to our customer in Carthage arrived at 12:14 CST.

Trainer had me to back into the dock for first time. Got it done. A little tense moment when I was telling my trainer that there was a canopy tent hazard in the way that the trailer was going to hit if I didn’t pull forward to make an adjustment. He kept telling me it wasn’t there because he couldn’t see it in the driver side mirror from passenger seat. I finally told him we both GOAL now. He had to admit that I was right. This guy is highly experienced, but he isn’t perfect.

I learned to apply light pressure against the dock before setting the tractor brake.

I drove 37 miles today.

Trainer is driving us to Springfield now.

The forward plan is to spend next 3 nights on backing pad and test on Thursday.

Tonight will be on Pad 1 from 19:00-21:00 and Pad 12 from 23:00-01:00.

He said that we wants me to chill out before starting pad work tonight to only focus on backing.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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