And So It Begins…..

Topic 32570 | Page 1

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Etch's Comment
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So in 2 weeks I leave for training at Prime! Figure I would start this diary now since between now and then I’ll be on a bear hunt for a week so really I only have 7 days of boredom to deal with before I start.

A little about me- I served 8 years in the Marine Corps infantry and then did 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic. I retired this last February. Didn’t take long to realize retirement is boring and expensive. There’s only so much golf one can play. I have family that are OTR drivers and started talking to them. Didn’t take much to convince me to do this. It’s chaotic, ever-changing, and very nomadic. Right up my alley. I started this journey right here on this website. I did all my research and asked a million questions. I compared different companies and talked to different drivers and trainers. I ended up with 3 different offers to attend their training programs. Went with Prime because it more closely aligned with what I was wanting out of this career. I’m not saying one company is better than the other, nor am I saying that Prime is the best out there. I’m saying Prime was a good fit for what I was looking for. That’s why it’s so important to not only do the research, but to also know what it is you want. Got to be your own advocate. There’s more involved than just holding a steering wheel.

So anyways, get to spend the next few days packing for PSD and TNT. I intentionally chose this time of year to begin training. I wanted to get winter driving experience while also having a trainer in the truck. Being from eastern Carolina, not a whole lot of winter driving happening here. My plan is to roll right from PSD into TNT and getting my 50k miles done. I’m making preparations to not be home for at least 5 months. Now that may change, but better to plan it that way instead of planning on being home in a month.

For those who are also just starting this journey- gobble up all the information you can! I haven’t found an instructor or driver yet that wasn’t willing to answer questions or help me. I would say be careful when it comes to the YouTube videos. While there is some very good and legit information on there, there is also some bad gouge that will give you misconceptions about the job or a particular company. Be leery about the people who post videos trashing their particular company. Remember this- it doesn’t matter one bit what your last job was. If you are going to a company sponsored training program then recognize that you bring nothing to the table and be humble. I don’t say that to demean anyone or discount any past experiences. I’m saying that walking into these places acting like you already know everything isn’t going to get you very far. Let your actions speak for you. Be confident, but also be teachable.

I’ll add to this thread as my training progresses. I’m very excited about this next chapter and can’t wait to get this going. Again, to all those on here that have tolerated my questions- thank you. This forum really is an excellent source of information and I encourage anyone looking to take full advantage of it.

Etch

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

My personality and character detector gives me a reading that you are going to have as long a trucking career as you wish. Keep doing what you are doing and you will continue to see positive results unfold.

Following...

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree w Ryan. You are going to do well, you got this. It will be tough at times. Backing may bring you to tears. Then when you nail it boom! Pure satisfaction. Repeat! Prime is going to be a great fit. Great company. Following also... Hammer down!!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good luck to you Etch. And thank you for your service.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Hey Etch, time is getting close for your trip to Springfield this weekend to start Orientation on Monday morning.

Are you flying, driving or taking the Greyhound?

I’ll be in Springfield for my Orientation to rehire on December 5th. You should be with a trainer by then. If you get a local trainer that lives in Springfield I may run into you. If you get an OTR trainer like I had then you’ll be gone.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Etch! I'm glad to see you jumping in the water. Hang in there. You'll have your moments and your days where you'll question your decision, but stay the course - you'll be better for it.

Chief Brody's Comment
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Looking forward to following your journey.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Etch's Comment
member avatar

I’m flying there. No way in hell I’m sitting on a bus for 26 hours! Lol

I’ve got my trainer lined up already and it should be smooth sailing. I’m excited and ready to go!

Hey Etch, time is getting close for your trip to Springfield this weekend to start Orientation on Monday morning.

Are you flying, driving or taking the Greyhound?

I’ll be in Springfield for my Orientation to rehire on December 5th. You should be with a trainer by then. If you get a local trainer that lives in Springfield I may run into you. If you get an OTR trainer like I had then you’ll be gone.

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.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Way to go. So you have an OTR trainer that you already knew at Prime? Some people in my original class did that.

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.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

Great to hear, Etch. Training will move pretty quickly. Sometime in the spring you will be hitting the road solo. Be safe and do well.

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