My Prime Upgrade / First Month Solo Experience

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Dennis L's Comment
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My journey with Prime Inc has been documented in two prior training diaries.

My Prime Orientation/PSD Experience

My Prime TNT Progress Updates

I completed my TNT company driver in training phase on 04/27/22 when I was approved to upgrade to my own solo truck. My name was placed on the list for truck assignment with Success Leasing (a Prime company). I was told that it could be 1 - 4 weeks depending upon truck availability and how many people ahead of me on the list.

I started up to 7 days off at home on 04/29/22.

I received a call on morning of 05/02/22 from my TNT FM (fleet manager) that I had been assigned a truck! Only took 5 days. I don’t know what model truck yet.

The FM told me to take my days off to be well rested. Give him a call a couple days ahead of when I want to travel to the Springfield, MO terminal to start my Upgrade process. He will schedule me into the required classes at Campus Inn. I will be assigned a new FM during Upgrade who handles Company drivers.

Prime will want me to stay out at least 3 weeks for my first solo run. I’m planning to run 4 weeks with 4 days off.

In the meantime, I’m collecting the items that I want to have on my truck to get started. I’m also finishing up my wife’s “Honey Do” list.

My plan is to drive my personal vehicle to Springfield and leave it in the secure parking area while I’m OTR. I’ll leave my truck at the terminal during my days off. The commute from my home is 6 hours (308 miles).

More to come as this next phase of my journey unfolds.

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.

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Awesome news!

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Thanks G-Town.

I’m actually rather happy that I don’t have to get back on my trainer’s truck again to team drive while waiting for a truck assignment. I texted Robert the news this morning and thanked him again for the PSD/TNT training. He is a very good trainer irregardless of his lifestyle on the truck.

He told me thanks for letting him know as he was heading to his home in Houston for a few days off. What a shock and good for him. He should go home to spend some time with his spouse. He runs for 4-6 months at a time, then taking only 4 days off at home.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how smoothly my journey with Prime has gone so far. I keep hearing stories about how back in February PSD students were waiting for trainers after Prime lost ~50% of its PSD trainers at 02/07/22 with the ELDT law. Then later in March/April the word was that there was a big backlog of ~200 new CDL holders waiting for TNT trainers. Then the new truck shortage was delaying people upgrading following TNT.

In my case, I was blessed to be assigned an OTR PSD trainer right away to get through PSD in 4.5 weeks (01/30-03/03/22). After a week off at home I was able to continue with the same trainer for TNT that lasted 7 weeks (03/11-04/28/22). Then I was only on the truck assignment list for 5 days. I should complete the Upgrade process during the week of May 9th, then hit the road.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

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.

Ryan F.'s Comment
member avatar

Happy to hear you got a truck man, definitely excited to follow along!

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Yay, Mr. Dennis!

You probably figured, I'm following!

Glad you got the 'links' attached; I sure would've done it 'for' ya! ;)

Best going forward, man.

Congrats on the upgrade!!

0344824001651619529.jpg

~ Anne ~ (& Tom!!)

ps: Will await pix, as permissible!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

05/04/22

Just confirmed that I will start my Upgrade classes on Monday morning at 07:00 CDT at Campus Inn Simulator Lab classroom.

I will drive to Springfield on Sunday to check into the Campus Inn.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats man. Keep us posted! Especially when you get handed the keys to your truck. Hammer down.

Guy B.'s Comment
member avatar

Could you keep your truck at home or nearby for hometime? Be nice to save the additional 300 miles driving home.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

I could. I need to discuss the options with my FM once I’m assigned an FM next week to make an informed decision.

For now what I’m going to do works for me.

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.
Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

05/08/22

I’m in Springfield ready to start my Upgrade classes on Monday morning at Campus Inn training facility.

Prime has me staying at the Lamplighter Inn North this time (about a block from Campus Inn).

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