Hey There And A Couple Of Questions.....

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Craig C.'s Comment
member avatar

I just found this website a few days ago as I'm looking to get into driving. Work in my area has slowed up to a crawl with few prospects and I need to keep the roof over the heads of my wife and dogs. I have been looking in the classified ads in towns around me and truck driving jobs are the most prevalent. My younger brother has been driving OTR for the last three years, says most companies are looking for drivers and has steered me in this direction.

I have been researching with the help of this site and with some advice from my brother, am looking at getting into the training program at Prime Inc if they will have me. Seems like a pretty good company to work for and my brother says they treat their drivers well. He has even spoke to a few company drivers out on the road and they say the same thing.

A bit about me. I suppose I'm a bit older than most of those looking to get into driving at 53. I come from a 25 year career in commercial and residential construction and had my own company from 2006 until 2011. I'm in good shape for my age and my wife says I still act like I'm in my thirties. I have a clean driving and criminal record. I think the last time I got a ticket was back in the late 80's and no accidents.

So I guess my two big questions are, is my age going to be any detriment to being considered for a job as a trainee and is Prime as decent of a company as I have been led to believe?

Any comments or words of advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks for this great website.

Craig

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Your age is only slightly higher than average, and will do nothing but help in this case. It certainly won't hurt. Trucking companies will trip all over each other to get to an applicant like you. That being said don't be surprised if you have to be the one calling to follow up on applications the recruiters are known for being too busy to return calls quickly.

Welcome to the forum. And be ready for a big change. I went from being unemployed with no good leads for over a year to having every company I applied to trying to get me to join their team. It was a nice change.

Woody

Craig C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the welcome, Woody. Your comments are reassuring. I know it will be a big change and I will have several more conversations with my wife about her being cool with this and me not being around for weeks at a time. I think that will be the biggest change she will have to get use to.

Bart's Comment
member avatar

Hey Craig welcome 53 is right in their ballpark. I'm 56 with a similar backstory. I was amazed at how welcome I was in this industry. I guess usgrey beards still have something to contribute. As long as the family is good with it you should be good to go. When I started they said I better have an understanding wife. I replied my wife understands that I better get a job PDQ.

Stay positive. There is a lot of adversity in the beginning but things get better quickly. Good luck Bart

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Craig !! Welcome to TT !!! We are so glad you found us...cuz we are here to help the folks just getting into trucking...theres a ton of questions that people need to get answered, and more things that they have to decide on !!! Now that you have done some research. and have kinda decided on a company...you need to do a few things...APPLY...but don't sell yourself short....apply at more than one...apply a ALOT...then you have choices...and in trucking, you will be glad of any and all choices they give you. Prime is a great company, but have a learning style that is different than any other in the industry. So to prepare yourself to SHINE in the classroom, and show them that you came PREPARED...get started on the High Road...ASAP. Its tough...but so is trucking. If you can get thru all of it you can, it will get you your cdl permit info, endorsements info, and everything you need to know BEFORE you go to any cdl school. Why is that important ??? All cdl schools are INTENSE...but Prime is the most intense by far. AND the trainers PICK their students...so don't you want the trainers fighting over you, cuz you came to school with alot of extra knowledge ?? Don't you want to show the instructor that you are above the regular students ?? Yup...standing out in class is a good thing, when it comes to cdl school.... So again. WELCOME.....now get to studying.....I even have a link for you !!! High Road Training Program

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.

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.

John P.'s Comment
member avatar

I just found this website a few days ago as I'm looking to get into driving. Work in my area has slowed up to a crawl with few prospects and I need to keep the roof over the heads of my wife and dogs. I have been looking in the classified ads in towns around me and truck driving jobs are the most prevalent. My younger brother has been driving OTR for the last three years, says most companies are looking for drivers and has steered me in this direction.

I have been researching with the help of this site and with some advice from my brother, am looking at getting into a training program with Prime if they will have me. Seems like a pretty good company to work for and my brother says they treat their drivers well. He has even spoke to a few company drivers out on the road and they say the same thing.

A bit about me. I suppose I'm a bit older than most of those looking to get into driving at 53. I come from a 25 year career in commercial and residential construction and had my own company from 2006 until 2011. I'm in good shape for my age and my wife says I still act like I'm in my thirties. I have a clean driving and criminal record. I think the last time I got a ticket was back in the late 80's and no accidents.

So I guess my two big questions are, is my age going to be any detriment to being considered for a job as a trainee and is Prime as decent of a company as I have been led to believe?

Any comments or words of advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks for this great website.

Craig

Welcome Craig! There are alot of us older guys getting into this industry. I'm sure you will do very well! Good Luck!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks for the warm welcome and it's good to know that I'm not over the hill for this industry.

Another question. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure 10 years ago and have been on medication for it. It is now well regulated, in the normal range and isn't an issue anymore. Will this present a problem?

Ray F. (aka. Mongo)'s Comment
member avatar

Craig welcome to TT. As long as you are fourth coming with everything and can pass the dot physical. You will be fine. You have a few years on me. But I was 46 when I started a few months ago. As far as prime is concerned if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to answer them as I drive for prime and just completed the psd and tnt phases. And upgraded to solo two weeks ago. So far prime has been great.

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.

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.

Craig C.'s Comment
member avatar

WOW!!! That was quick! A lady from Prime contacted me today and is interested in having me in their training program. It is a good feeling that someone is interested in what you can offer. I talked to her about the few issues I have and she said that is not a problem just get the documentation from your doctor. Then I'm set.

If everything pans out, I'm suppose to be in Springfield, MO. for orientation on the 16th of this month. I'm pretty stoked and even more so when a steady paycheck starts showing up again even though I know that won't be for a while. At least the prospect is out there.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

WOW!!! That was quick! A lady from Prime contacted me today and is interested in having me in their training program. It is a good feeling that someone is interested in what you can offer. I talked to her about the few issues I have and she said that is not a problem just get the documentation from your doctor. Then I'm set.

If everything pans out, I'm suppose to be in Springfield, MO. for orientation on the 16th of this month. I'm pretty stoked and even more so when a steady paycheck starts showing up again even though I know that won't be for a while. At least the prospect is out there.

Congrats, make sure to study before you get there. They aren't gonna baby sit you and hold your hand to make sure you pass the Written.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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