My Prime TNT Progress Updates

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Dennis L's Comment
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P.S. regarding the Right Weigh system calibration by drivers. I had to watch a CBT video about Right Weigh during my Orientation training that explained how to do this.

I’m a pragmatist. I just don’t see this calibration effort happening in the real world. It sounds good on paper in a sales pitch, however.

The point of Right Weigh is to give the driver a quick look at tandem weight while still at the shipper. If it is obviously too heavy, can ask the shipper to adjust the load weight before departing. This can save time and a little fuel from having to CAT scale and then return to a shipper for load adjustments.

It might be worthwhile to calibrate Right Weigh if I was going to be using the same trailer over and over for a series of live loads. However, we have been doing a lot of Drop & Hooks lately. No way wasting time and effort to calibrate.

I also suspect there are drivers who just don’t care or who are a little lazy.

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.

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”

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

P.S. regarding the Right Weigh system calibration by drivers. I had to watch a CBT video about Right Weigh during my Orientation training that explained how to do this.

I’m a pragmatist. I just don’t see this calibration effort happening in the real world. It sounds good on paper in a sales pitch, however.

The point of Right Weigh is to give the driver a quick look at tandem weight while still at the shipper. If it is obviously too heavy, can ask the shipper to adjust the load weight before departing. This can save time and a little fuel from having to CAT scale and then return to a shipper for load adjustments.

It might be worthwhile to calibrate Right Weigh if I was going to be using the same trailer over and over for a series of live loads. However, we have been doing a lot of Drop & Hooks lately. No way wasting time and effort to calibrate.

I also suspect there are drivers who just don’t care or who are a little lazy.

I don't know about van trailers but the calibration on the flatbed trailers is very very easy.

If I'm already on the CAT scale, I simply set my brakes and get out to calibrate the trailer Right Weigh guage, which takes about 2 minutes.

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.

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”

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

It’s the same. Frankly we have only CAT scaled once. My trainer doesn’t seem to be concerned about it

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”

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

03/30/22

We completed our live unload at Walmart DC in Mankato, MN early yesterday morning on my shift. It was my first Walmart DC “on my own”. Went fine.

Our next load assignment came in and took us to Mason City, IA for our 01 Loc D&H. I handled this, too. We changed out drivers when our loaded trailer was ready to grab. This load is going to North East, MD. We will do a D&H early this evening. Total dispatched miles is 1,175 which should get on this weeks payroll report.

This week will be 5,029 miles. Which brings my 3 weeks payroll miles total to 13,342.

Friday will be my actual 3 weeks completed on the truck, so could reach 15k by then.

We are on same route that we drove to NJ a week ago through PA and MD mountains. Very scenic route. I drove the mountains last time. Robert gets to do it this afternoon. I’ll sightsee for a bit.

Robert decided to CAT scale this current load. I asked him what his rule of thumb was to decide when to CAT scale. He said whenever the freight weight is >36k lbs (combined weight >70k).

In this case the weights were all legal with our tandem in the 12th hole (he likes to run in that hole).

He then showed me how to use the macro to report the scale ticket weights and how to submit the invoice for reimbursement.

We only used a CAT scale one other time on a load of paper rolls that was >78k. He wanted to verify the customer scale weights.

On lighter loads we have used customer scales without checking it with a CAT scale. So I’m not sure how fast and true his rule is applied, but it makes sense.

As a L/O he is not reimbursed by Prime for the cost, but he can deduct it as a business expense on his LLC tax returns.

A company driver would get reimbursed via payroll.

Similar issue for Robert on cost of load locks. He has to buy them and then often loses them on D&H loads. He writes off the expense on his taxes.

Prime does have their preferred style load lock available at our Terminals for drivers. However, drivers frequently buy an older style load lock on the road that are cheaper.

The newer style load locks have a mechanism that allows them to flex with the sides of the trailer to maintain firm contact. The older style load locks are fixed in length when latched, so is possible for them to slide down if lose contact with trailer wall.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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".

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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”

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

PS. The Wednesday cutoff time is 16:00 CDT for complete loads to count

We won’t make that time so this load will be a start for next week.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Way to go on the miles. 👍

As for weighing: I've not heard of weigh right. But scaling, we scale everything over 30,000. I've been near 80,000 gvw a couple of times. I actually prefer hauling heavier. I feel like I have more control, if that makes sense. I came across 322 in State college PA with a heavy load the other the day; that was a new and edgy experience. 😬 Not to mention very scenic.

Keep on trucking, Dennis.

PS. The Wednesday cutoff time is 16:00 CDT for complete loads to count

We won’t make that time so this load will be a start for next week.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

03/31/22

Been a busy day with some new lessons learned.

After Robert dropped off our load yesterday evening, we were given a short haul from the same customer to a food distribution company 81 miles away in New Windsor, MD. Robert picked up the new trailer and parked after his shift.

I got up for my shift and drove to the new 90 Loc customer to handle the early morning live unload. Had to wait parked on side of nearby highway for a couple hours until our dock was ready.

I learned some lessons here about getting turned around. Also had a tight space to work with for the docking back, but got it done. It took me twice as long as it should have because I’m still very cautious about my blindside trailer rear end, doing several GOALs. I had more space to work with than it appears in the mirrors. So I finally “went for it” and got it lined up.

This is the first load that had a damage claim. Apparently the load was short 3 cases and 1 case was damaged & rejected. So, Robert showed me how to file a claim with our Claims Dept. We were told to dispose of the damaged cargo, so we are. A case of frozen fully cooked sausages. Gave some away to other drivers & yard dog. Putting some in our frig.

0190378001648773803.jpg

We were offered another short haul of ice cream for today from Laurel, MD to York, PA, but fortunately not able to meet the schedule because of slow unloading.

We are now on a load assignment from Newark, NJ to Aetna, OH. I drove to Newark for first time. Now off duty until my 10-hr break ends at 03:00 CDT. Still waiting to be loaded. I will end up making the delivery in the morning to beat our 07:30 appointment time.

Saw NYC skyline through the haze today for first time from the ground. I’ve flown past it several times traveling for work overseas. Very impressive. I have no desire to visit NYC. Prime has a trailer drop yard in New Jersey. Local day cab drivers make the deliveries into the City.

I also spoke with my FM for first time today. He seems OK. Asked me how the training is going.

With this current load I’ll be at 14,136 miles. So just about halfway through TNT.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Fm:

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.

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.

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

Dennis says:

A company driver would get reimbursed via payroll.

If you end up going company, download the CAT Scale app and add your Comdata card as the payment method.

When you scale you just have to enter in your truck number, trailer number, and trip number and it's automatically billed to the Comdata card and you don't have to worry about submitting receipts for reimbursement.

Same thing applies for fueling, if you register the Comdata card with the three major truck stop apps you can do all your fueling through the app.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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”

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Chief Brody.

04/01/22

I drove the last 253 miles to our D&H in Etna, OH this morning. Unfortunately there were no empty Prime trailers on site.

Consequently we have been sitting here waiting since ~10:00 EDT for one of two loaded Prime trailers to be emptied this afternoon. May get one after 14:30 EDT.

Our next load picks up only 6 miles away today and goes to Salt Lake City for delivery on Monday morning. Total dispatched trip miles will be 1,675.

This next load will bring my TNT miles to 15,812. So, halfway after 3.4 weeks.

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

Finally on the way to Salt Lake City about 17:00 EDT with Robert driving his shift.

Our FM will arrange for us to drop this trailer at Prime’s SLC terminal on Sunday. He will have a pre-plan load assignment ready for us.

The empty trailer that we finally grabbed at last Loc 90 had two old load locks in it. So I grabbed them and put them in the rack on back of the cab. What goes around comes around.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Fm:

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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