Kearsey, A Couple Of Questions About Prime Inc

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The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

Sorry if this is too direct, I don't know if there's a way to do a private message here or not.

1. Is it difficult to sleep with a reefer unit? I've heard those are quite loud.

2. Will prime accept an out of state physical medical card or would they want a new driver to do a physical with them?

Thanks!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Forgive me for buttong in Pelican, but I saw this and was itching to answer someone's questions before I start driving today. smile.gif

Every reefer driver I know claims they can't sleep when they are home because the reefer isn't running. Sure, it's going to seem strange at first, but as a new driver you will be exhausted when it's time to sleep. You'll grow accustomed to the noise quickly and soon find it helps you sleep.

You will do another physical at Prime. Each time you start a new trucking job your new employer will have you do a new physical. You'll start your new job with a new medical card. It doesn't really matter that you already have a new one.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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

Sorry if this is too direct, I don't know if there's a way to do a private message here or not.

1. Is it difficult to sleep with a reefer unit? I've heard those are quite loud.

2. Will prime accept an out of state physical medical card or would they want a new driver to do a physical with them?

Thanks!

Hey, Pelican!!!

No more PM's on the site; Brett prefers most of what we discuss to remain public; it's just more info for the next person joining the forum to learn from. Makes sense, actually.

I don't have the answers, but O/S did ! As far as Kearsey, her contact info is in her profile, like so:

Email: truckingalongfun@gmail.com or check out my YouTube link!

Forgive me for buttong in Pelican, but I saw this and was itching to answer someone's questions before I start driving today. smile.gif

Every reefer driver I know claims they can't sleep when they are home because the reefer isn't running. Sure, it's going to seem strange at first, but as a new driver you will be exhausted when it's time to sleep. You'll grow accustomed to the noise quickly and soon find it helps you sleep.

You will do another physical at Prime. Each time you start a new trucking job your new employer will have you do a new physical. You'll start your new job with a new medical card. It doesn't really matter that you already have a new one.

Indeed, good sir. Precisely. When Tom pulled reefers back in the day, he had 'reverse' motion sickness (almost) sleeping at home! Missed the noise, and the gentle vibration; it drove me nuts!

And the physical, ah yes . . . Tom's card was only a few months into his 2 years; and away he went, again!! Formalities !

Be safe, guys ~

~ Anne ~

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

People make a big deal about the reefer noise but it isn't any worse than the APU that many companies have. We have APUs , I don't notice them either.

Think of it this way, during training you are team driving. There is a ton of noise and bouncing for months. Sleeping in a parked truck, even with a little rumble, will be a welcomed piece of paradise.

The DOT physical.... Prime used to do them during orientation along with an agility test for all drivers. So when Old School "at Prime" it isn't technically correct. It is more like "for/by" Prime. Now they pay for you to take the physical/drug test at an urgent care before you attend orientation. There is no longer an agility test for all drivers. I believe Flatbedders do a shorter version when they get to orientation to ensure they can lift the tarps. This seems to calm people who are concerned they won't pass a physical.

As stated, you may do physicals constantly. Mine was still valid but then I got a diagnosis for something.... So new physical needed.

Keep in mind, any failed physical cancels out your old card. So even if you have a 2 year card, but then apply to a new company, if you fail the physical.... You can no longer drive legally for the company who already employee you.

Why so concerned about the physical?

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Just to be clear regarding the DOT physical you need a DOT physical before you can get your CLP. You need your CLP before you arrive orientation at Prime

I actually got my CLP before I applied to Prime. I got my DOT physical at a CVS pharmacy.

I had to bring DOT physical "long form" with me to orientation because I had gotten my DOT physical at the CVS pharmacy rather than scheduling it with a Prime recruiter.

Prime accepted that DOT physical. I did not have to have another DOT physical.

Prime Orientation

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Pelican, most drivers are good with the reefer noise. Some may have an adjustment period when new, but get accustomed to it. As a driver who is responsible for the load, it’s reassuring to hear the reefer. It’s when you don’t hear it that something may be wrong, like the fuel ran out. Even dry van drivers have to get used to reefer noise when parked next to a reefer. And if you have a diesel APU , that is noisy too, but similar to the sweet sound of a properly operating reefer. Most of my life I’ve had trouble sleeping in noisy environments, but don’t have any problem with reefer or APU noise.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

If noise bothers your sleeping then bring ear plugs with you. I used ear plugs off and on during my Prime TNT training until I got used to the noise.

The bigger sleep deprivation issue for me was the moving bouncing rolling truck with highway noise, not the reefer or APU.

Now that Prime is reverting to 50K TNT miles instead of 30K, you will get to “enjoy” team driving for 12 weeks rather than 7 weeks.

Prime evaluates the training program every 18 months or so. They seem to flip flop the TNT miles between 30k and 50k.

I personally don’t see the advantage of 50k truck miles vs 30k for the trainee as implied by some posters, unless some people need more time to build their confidence.

The extra 4-5 weeks of team driving would have delayed the greater learning that I gained from being solo. Being solo I had to take personal responsibility for everything to be safe and on time. This includes detailed trip planning, HOS and time management, proactive communication with my Fleet Manager/dispatch, dealing with Road Assist and Claims, etc. During my TNT my trainer did most of those things and I followed orders for my driving shift.

During TNT training I was paid $900 gross per week. Driving solo I was averaging about $1,568 gross weekly. So $668 difference for 5 weeks would have cost me $3,340 gross income. Since I last drove in July, Prime has increased new driver pay by 2 CPM , so more impact now.

Prime imposed 50k TNT miles in 2020 during the pandemic slow down (Chief Brody got caught by this for his TNT). Now doing it again for the current economic slowdown that is expected to worsen in 2023.

I don’t know for a fact, but I suspect Prime does this because at least for 5 weeks or so it will slow the demand for new trucks as new drivers remain in TNT longer. I suspect Prime will also combine this with a slowdown in new PSD training and hiring.

When I went to Prime in February 2022 the economic outlook wasn’t as gloomy yet. The owner of Prime stated back then that he was looking to expand his market share with new customers (which he can pick up now as smaller companies fail). When summer rolled around he was very bullish to get after it and move freight.

It also can benefit the lease/operator trainers by keeping the same co- driver trainee on their truck longer as experience is gained helping them run more loads for revenue sharing. They don’t have to start over with a new trainee as frequently. Btw, Prime bills the lease/operator trainer the $900 weekly payroll for the trainee driver to help them earn revenue team driving.

I plan to apply to rehire with Prime after I’m medically cleared hopefully in November. I expect to be sent out with a trainer for 10k refresher miles, which I will appreciate doing before upgrading again to my own truck. I will need to refresh my safe driving skills and backing after 4 months off.

In summary I see more benefits for Prime and the trainers than I do for the driver trainees by reverting to 50k TNT miles from 30k, from my experience.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

I actually prefer to have a reefer running nearby. Drowns out all the other noise and I sleep a lot better.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

Oh I just don't want to drive seven hours to Springfield for them to fail me on my physical and say I need a sleep study for sleep apnea. I tried to sleep with one of those masks once and I just couldn't. I would stay up all night with it on.

I'm gonna start cutting back on calories so hopefully by the time I finish school (May) it won't be an issue.

If they do say oh well your neck is too big you need a CPAP then idk. Do they pay for that? I was never able to sleep with one on and I can't afford to buy one.

So we'll see. I'll just try and lose some weight in the mean time and hopefully the doc in Springfield doesn't mind. I don't have any trouble staying awake during the day. None at all. But it's all about neck size I know.

If I do fail a physical I'll be on the hook for close to $10,000 in tuition and no career to show for it so that's my motivation to get fit.

People make a big deal about the reefer noise but it isn't any worse than the APU that many companies have. We have APUs , I don't notice them either.

Think of it this way, during training you are team driving. There is a ton of noise and bouncing for months. Sleeping in a parked truck, even with a little rumble, will be a welcomed piece of paradise.

The DOT physical.... Prime used to do them during orientation along with an agility test for all drivers. So when Old School "at Prime" it isn't technically correct. It is more like "for/by" Prime. Now they pay for you to take the physical/drug test at an urgent care before you attend orientation. There is no longer an agility test for all drivers. I believe Flatbedders do a shorter version when they get to orientation to ensure they can lift the tarps. This seems to calm people who are concerned they won't pass a physical.

As stated, you may do physicals constantly. Mine was still valid but then I got a diagnosis for something.... So new physical needed.

Keep in mind, any failed physical cancels out your old card. So even if you have a 2 year card, but then apply to a new company, if you fail the physical.... You can no longer drive legally for the company who already employee you.

Why so concerned about the physical?

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

Just in case apnea does become an issue for you - Some people think CPAPs are impossible to sleep with and some think it's some sort of conspiracy theory. I will share my experience. In short, a good machine and great mask makes a huge difference and a lot of masks will work for one person but not another.

I first started using a CPAP over 15 years ago and gave up after a couple of years, it was just too hard to sleep with. The doctor told me that if I slept on my side, I would probably be okay, so I tried to do my best with that. But I did sometimes wake up with headaches and I knew the cause was oxygen deprivation. So I had another sleep study and joined this forum and read advice from folks there. I have been using a CPAP regularly for the past 4-5 years and rarely have trouble sleep with my CPAP and it's usually because I've got too much work stuff on my mind and if I wake up after 5 hours I just can't sleep anymore.

The first thing I noticed when I started using a CPAP again at how quiet my newer machine was than before. A huge difference. I also tried out several masks to find one that I liked the best. Because of a deviated septum, the ResMed P10 that is a favorite of many people did not work for me. I use the N20. Some people who are "mouth breathers" still use a nasal mask (one that does not cover their mouth) and use a small piece medical tape to tape their mouth shut. Sounds silly, but it works for them. A doctor or supplier may try to push one particular model to you but if a person researches what others use and have to say about them, give those a try. Many suppliers will supply you with a different mask at no charge if the first one does not work out.

There are times when I am tossing and turning a lot and I might remove my mask during the night, but it's not very often. If I do, sometimes I don't stay on my side and my Fitbit watch will show I had much higher fluctuations in my oxygen saturation level. Or if I even take a 30 minute nap some afternoon, same thing. It is very convincing to see the difference in my readings from when I am using my CPAP.

Oh I just don't want to drive seven hours to Springfield for them to fail me on my physical and say I need a sleep study for sleep apnea. I tried to sleep with one of those masks once and I just couldn't. I would stay up all night with it on.

I'm gonna start cutting back on calories so hopefully by the time I finish school (May) it won't be an issue.

If they do say oh well your neck is too big you need a CPAP then idk. Do they pay for that? I was never able to sleep with one on and I can't afford to buy one.

So we'll see. I'll just try and lose some weight in the mean time and hopefully the doc in Springfield doesn't mind. I don't have any trouble staying awake during the day. None at all. But it's all about neck size I know.

If I do fail a physical I'll be on the hook for close to $10,000 in tuition and no career to show for it so that's my motivation to get fit.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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