My Training Experience With Prime.

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C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

The only reason I am posting this is because I need some advice. Also if there are any other truck driving companies that don’t talk down females, provide good training, and offer team opportunities let me know. I don’t want to give up yet.

With that being said I went through Prime’s cdl training in June. My husband & I started together & I managed to get my CDL but unfortunately he didn’t due to needing emergency surgery just a couple days before his test date. After a long recovery he will be going back at the end of November to complete his cdl training. After i got my cdl at the end of June i couldn’t immediately go through tnt training because he was in the hospital. I let Prime know that I will be needing an extended amount of time off for this. Fast forward to the end August I was able to return to work now that my husband was doing a lot better on his own. I attempted to look for local opportunities so I can be home just incase he needed me. A lot of companies job posting required no experience so I applied. A lot of the call backs that I received were just managers asking me why I wanted to do a “mans” job & if I think I can actually do it. I went to one interview with Pepsi & they completely wasted my time saying that this field is not suitable for a women. Too many companies talked down on me because I am not a man. Anyways, since I had no luck I decided to go back with Prime at the end of August. I went through a few days of orientation, then was on my way home to wait for a trainer. I got the call that I was matched with a trainer & we spoke over the phone. I explained to him that it had been a while since I got my cdl & when it came to being in the PSD phase I did not go out with a trainer I stayed on the pad so I had no driving experience (only the required 6 hours) & if he could have patience with me. He didn’t have a problem with it & a week later he picked me up.

So he picks me up in Reno & my(our) very first load is headed to California. I asked him a couple questions of what I should know beforehand while driving & even asked him about weigh stations. I advised him I didn’t understand the process and he just told me to follow the signs. I was hoping he would be in the passenger seat for at least a couple of hours since it was my very first run. But he was in the passenger seat for a total of 2 minutes ****il I exited the parking lot and got on the freeway) then closes the curtain & goes to bed. He said ”wake me up if you get lost. “ So I’m driving through the 80 and near the agricultural inspection. I wake him up and ask him do I have to go through because there are some people that bypass the weigh station & some that go through. But by the time he answers me it’s already too late and I went through the bypass lane. He screams at me and says “did you get the green light?!” I said what green light. He failed to explain the prepass system to me which i had asked him about. He fired back to sleep right after. I get to the agricultural check just right ahead & the officer gives me an attitude because I’m unable to find where he had the BOL. So i wake him up again & he gets up to hands it to me & says oh yeah I forgot to tell you about that.

Fast forward we get to the receivers & I face my first backing challenge. Backing during cdl training vs how it really is, is so different, so he demonstrated it to me. Our next load is headed back to the Walmart DC in Reno. He gets off the truck and makes me back. The whole time he’s yelling at me and it’s difficult for me to understand him because he is from Africa and has a thick accent. Due to him yelling at me that badly another trucker nearby gets out of his truck & tells him why is he doing all that. He says he has him on video & he shouldn’t be putting his reputation out there the company’s reputation on the line like that. The other trucker looks & winks at me because he can see how frustrated and afraid I got. I thank him then my trainer makes me go into the passenger seat so he could get us in instead.

Overall, I spent a total of 2 weeks out with this guy. During the course of it he would constantly yell at me & degrade me. There were many truckers at different truck stops that had to get out of their trucks because he yelled at me that badly and I will forever thank those people. He would get mad and constantly say “I need you to get this in one week because I need to make money off of you.” I remember 2 days before I officially got off of his truck I was at the Pilot (our flying j i forget) in Oklahoma City. I went to use the restroom and I was on the phone just venting to my husband about how I was being mistreated & that my trainer got so ****ed the night before because I asked him for help in sliding the tandems because I’ve never done it before & he talked to me about it once. I told my husband “I simply asked him if he could show me how to slide the tandems and he rolled his eyes & said “well I already told you this!” & proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t help me because his time was up & it was illegal to help me.” The lady in the next stall was hearing my conversation & when I got out she asked me “what is this trainer doing exactly, I’m a trucker along with my husband” I told her about everything that I was dealing with being with that trainer. She simply could not believe it & told me I needed to get off the truck asap & that i should speak to her husband. (Part 1 of 2)

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.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I tried to read this and tapped out about half way through. I don't buy a lot of this.

First, no hiring manager is going to describe a job as a "man's job" in this day age of everybody wanting to be a victim and looking for a "gotcha" moment. When I interviewed with Pepsi they asked "why do you want to work here" and explained that the job is very physical. They do that with everyone to avoid wasting their time.

As for your trainer, nothing about that experience says he's doing it because you're a female. That just may be the way he trains.

We have a lot of women on this forum that have trained with and currently drive for prime. Their experience is very different from yours.

C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

(Part 2 of 2) So I did & he gave me a lot of useful advice. *Another issue i forget to mention is restroom breaks. He would literally make me wait 14 hours between restroom breaks & would not pull over when I needed to go. Idk how he did it but i was lucky enough to get one restroom break a day. I couldn’t stop at rest areas or truck stops because he would be so angry with me & yell at me. When i took breaks it had to be on the side of the road which was dangerous* Anyways that load we had was to LA & i have family in Bakersfield so it was the perfect opportunity for me to ask Prime to get me off the truck and drop me off there instead of waiting several days to get routed back to reno. So later that night we get get to AZ (where he lives) & makes me go into the Prime drop yard so that he could bobtail to his home for a few hours. Well as soon as I was going to make the turn going into there he make me go far right because it was a tight turn. There was an electricity pole there so I told him i can’t go too much. He yells at me to do it so I do and end up hitting the pole with the trailer. I stop & he says keep going I said no I can just go in reverse so I don’t cause real damage to it. He tells at me to go forward so I just listend and the trailer scratches badly revealing the insulation. He makes me pull over and gets out and happily says “oh yeah you can get fired for this,” he then realizes that he is responsible for paying the damage & quickly calls dispatch to inform them that that’s how we got the trailer & I couldn’t see at night when we got it. After that i completely stay silent & I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to blow up & i needed to be the bigger person. So the next morning i contacted the fleet manager & talked about my experience with him & ask if he could just drop me off in Bakersfield since i just didn’t want to be there much longer & I advise her not to tell him anything until I’m completely off the truck. She agreed so after i got off the phone with her i told him that I will no longer be on the truck and he needed to drop me off in Bakersfield. & that i already spoke to the FM. He said well can i drop you off in vegas? & i said no i don’t have family there. He did not want to take me to my family or back home in reno. He told the FM he was just going to take me to the terminal in SLC & she angrily told him no its wherever she decides. Finally he drops me off in Bakersfield & later on i head back to reno to wait for another trainer.

I get matched with another trainer and I explained to him my whole situation and says he is not like that & he will teach me everything. Ive been with him since mid September to now currently. Everything goes good until about 3 weeks ago. I requested to get time off since i was out on the road for about 5 weeks and wanted to spend time with my husband. He says is a couple hours enough just to pass by and see him i said i at least would like a day or 2. And explains to me that it’s a waste of time & money is more important but just because he’s single and lonely doesn’t mean that i don’t have a family to see. I eventually get a few days off and by that time I complete my 30k required training miles. According to prime i an still required to be on trainers truck because they have no trucks available for me to upgrade since because I am technically now running teams my pay is still $900. When i got back on nov. 1st. Everything changed. Since he is no longer training me & were considered teams his whole attitude change. A little back track, the day after i get back on the truck on nov 2nd i wake up really sick. He made me drive up to 11 hours each day while i was dealing a cold/flu & had migraine so i couldn’t see well. He would then start driving up to 4 hours each day and claim that someone ****ed him off so he can’t drive more while I am still driving 11 hours a day while badly sick. As of today I’m still not recovered and he has me driving like crazy while he does the bare minimum. I haven’t had any time off & explained to him that I’m unable to drive like this but it is not a concern & says i won’t make it in this industry because it is all about money. & I cant be homesick either because if i want to make money i can’t take any days off. Im only making $900 weekly so Im not making enough money for the amount of time Im working. Ever since I requested time off that first time he started belittling me & treats me like a child. He gets mad that i get more than 6 hours of sleep & says “well I only get 3 & I’m good throughout the day.” (There’s way more to all of this but it’s honestly too much to type as you can see I’ve typed enough)

How does Prime Inc get away with all of this. & why are there trainers allowed to be this way.

Bobtail:

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

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.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Please do not give up due to the poor experience you had with a trainer. Prime is an excellent company that has helped many new drivers, especially females, get their career underway. Kearsey could share specifics but she's posted in the past how Prime actually employs for more women as a percentage than the industry average. Unfortunately most trainers are training for the wrong reasons.

C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

I understand its a lot & it’s difficult to go into full detail even though i explained a lot as it is. But unfortunately yes they did describe it to me that way over the phone and clearly said what i posted above. They didn’t ask me questions like that at pepsi they just explained the whole time how i will be unable to do the job & even said currently they have no females doing the job i applied to so I didn’t sound very convincing. But a lot of people have good & bad experiences so i happen to be one of those with bad experiences. I know it works out for other women & unfortunately i can’t say the same so far.

I tried to read this and tapped out about half way through. I don't buy a lot of this.

First, no hiring manager is going to describe a job as a "man's job" in this day age of everybody wanting to be a victim and looking for a "gotcha" moment. When I interviewed with Pepsi they asked "why do you want to work here" and explained that the job is very physical. They do that with everyone to avoid wasting their time.

As for your trainer, nothing about that experience says he's doing it because you're a female. That just may be the way he trains.

We have a lot of women on this forum that have trained with and currently drive for prime. Their experience is very different from yours.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m currently trying to give it another chance because I know once I’m on my own it’ll be different. But currently there are no consequences for trainers who behave like this & it continues happening. I spoke to another female in my class who had just as bad as an experience.

Please do not give up due to the poor experience you had with a trainer. Prime is an excellent company that has helped many new drivers, especially females, get their career underway. Kearsey could share specifics but she's posted in the past how Prime actually employs for more women as a percentage than the industry average. Unfortunately most trainers are training for the wrong reasons.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

You can contact me at truckingalongfun@gmail.com. I can give you the name and info of the Female driver liaison. Prime employs 1200 women at 16% of the company. You have a female fleet manager to reach out to... A female driver liaison and 2 supervisors above the fleet manager (one being the guy who set you up with the trainer).

I don't have time right now to respond.

Don't be your own worse enemy and pull that woman crap though. I don't allow it on my truck. And I have literally dozens of student who will attest to my training abilities.

Prime can't fix what they don't know about

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.
C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you i will contact you soon. My current trainer has been reported before by many other females for the same issues im currently dealing with now. The reason I know is because he told me in the beginning. At first since everything was going well i didn’t believe it and even defended him. But now that it’s happening to me I don’t understand why Prime hasn’t done anything. He brags about how he’s still here after all of it. The issues get brought up but these trainers get a slap on the wrist.

You can contact me at truckingalongfun@gmail.com. I can give you the name and info of the Female driver liaison. Prime employs 1200 women at 16% of the company. You have a female fleet manager to reach out to... A female driver liaison and 2 supervisors above the fleet manager (one being the guy who set you up with the trainer).

I don't have time right now to respond.

Don't be your own worse enemy and pull that want crap though. I don't allow it on my truck. And I have literally dozens of student who will attest to my training abilities.

Prime can't fix what they don't know about

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Did you ever consider he is lying? That is an intimidation tactic. He gets you to believe no one will listen so he can do what he is doing. And you are falling for it.

Record him either video or voice recorder. Then it is no longer he said she said. They will handle it. I have seen Prime take action in the past. They can't fix what they don't know.

However... I.meant "woman" crap. This is the most female/LGBTQ/minority friendly company I have ever worked for with the owner at the terminal on a daily basis. If you have the opportunity to come see me in Springfield, be sure to let me know you are in town.

I was trying to follow your story, but am on the backing pad right now. I am emailing you back now. Thanks

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.

C.A.'s Comment
member avatar

I’d like to think he was just talking out of his a** but he showed me the videos that were sent to the FM that the other trainees recorded, since they did record him. He’s completely in the wrong and currently has been getting away with it for several years. I haven’t contacted anyone about my current trainer yet because based on that, me stepping up & saying something is not going to make a difference. I need to start recording these situations from now on. My husband has heard everything since i usually have an airpod in and am usually on the phone with him. But yes recording is the best option. I know they value every driver regardless of gender but the way I have been treated by both trainers & there arguments beginning with “well you female drivers” this or that is if im being singled out because i am a female. I guess Im just upset on how they handled the situation with my previous trainer and with everything my current trainer has done they failed the other female trainees. Thank you I will definitely reach out when I’m in springfield.

Did you ever consider he is lying? That is an intimidation tactic. He gets you to believe no one will listen so he can do what he is doing. And you are falling for it.

Record him either video or voice recorder. Then it is no longer he said she said. They will handle it. I have seen Prime take action in the past. They can't fix what they don't know.

However... I.meant "woman" crap. This is the most female/LGBTQ/minority friendly company I have ever worked for with the owner at the terminal on a daily basis. If you have the opportunity to come see me in Springfield, be sure to let me know you are in town.

I was trying to follow your story, but am on the backing pad right now. I am emailing you back now. Thanks

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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