Prime "quick Start" Training Program

Topic 4266 | Page 1

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John T.'s Comment
member avatar

After 4 years of research I’ve finally decided to take the big step and apply to company driving schools. I may not have done it if it hadn’t been for the “Truth” about the industry found on this site. And for the fine truck driving professionals who share their experience, knowledge and insight. I started at the top of the TT company driving school page and worked my way down. It was pretty discouraging.

It seems most companies are not taking students from New Jersey. (could all of them have a blackout of this state?) I was beginning to take it personally until a recruiter told me it’s due to the very slow response from the NJ DMV in transferring licenses over from the training state once you’ve passed your CDL test.

Just one more way the Great Garden State is making this a great place to live and pay taxes. One of many reasons there is such an exodus.

But I have been approved by Prime! Seems from what I’ve seen they are the easiest. I’m sure their classes each week are huge. I asked them about the wait in NJ and of course they’ll help me through the process (but can’t imagine they have much sway). Should start 8/4.

Gotta say I am a little concerned about the pace of training program at Prime. I know that Brett speaks highly of the “real world” training process that starts right off the bat, but do you really get enough time to practice backing technics and other skills requiring repetitive practice. I like the fact that they get you out making money as quickly as possible. It just appears they’re throwing you out there without an opportunity to get a feel for driving a big rig for the first time.

I’d love to get some feedback from any of you ‘Prime-ates” who’ve gone through the training. From reading the excellent training diaries is seems like folks are happy with the program overall.

And yes, I will be hitting the High Road training program HARD starting this weekend!

Thanks to all for the good work you do and your constant encouragement. Maybe we can change the public's perception of this industry one TT member at a time.

And Brett, thanks for dropping the social media sidebar. This website is stellar and always evolving.

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.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

There are several folks on here and either have been or are in training and have really good posts about it. I'm still looking at companies but Prime is leading the pack and should have it nailed down by Aug. Put "Prime" in the forum search and that should get you to them. Good luck!

nomad girl's Comment
member avatar

Good questions! I have to wait until Monday to speak with my recruiter about my training date, but I'm going to make a list of questions to ask during the driving portion of the training. Such as, how to handle driving uphill/downhill, how to level the weights of the freight or figure if it's too heavy before leaving lot, tricks to back trailer easily and successfully, still looking for more questions to add to the list.

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

Good questions! I have to wait until Monday to speak with my recruiter about my training date, but I'm going to make a list of questions to ask during the driving portion of the training. Such as, how to handle driving uphill/downhill, how to level the weights of the freight or figure if it's too heavy before leaving lot, tricks to back trailer easily and successfully, still looking for more questions to add to the list.

These questions are great ones to ask but I can assure you the recruiter won't have a clue on what you are asking. These questions are best left to be answered when you are assigned a trainer because when you actually hear the answer and then apply it immediately you retain the information better. You can also ask when your in class.

If you ask a recruiter how to slide your tandems and how much weight is moved per hole, he'll draw up a blank! Nothing against them but their job is to recruit and I don't blame them for really not knowing even though it would be nice.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

Good questions! I have to wait until Monday to speak with my recruiter about my training date, but I'm going to make a list of questions to ask during the driving portion of the training. Such as, how to handle driving uphill/downhill, how to level the weights of the freight or figure if it's too heavy before leaving lot, tricks to back trailer easily and successfully, still looking for more questions to add to the list.

As Driver pointed out, those type of questions are what you need to ask your instructor/trainer while you are in training. By all means make a list of questions as you think of them because I will tell you that you will forget most of them by the time you get on a truck (trust me on this).

I went through Prime's training program in 2011. I was very fortunate to have some really great instructor/trainers while I was going through the program. In fact I still am friends with my instructor even today. I have been fortunate enough to have had the experience.

Ernie

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Prime is a good training program and you will go to the backing pad and the shifting pad before going straight to the road. Once you learn how to shift you can manage the rest on the road. the Trainer should help U back every time that truck backs up if it's 3 am your ass better get up and back the only way your gonna learn. Just go slow and watch every thing around you. Common sense use it. I'm in my 3rd week. Your gonna be away from home not Showering for 2-3 days. Your not going to know what day of the week it is cause they start running together. U may not remember were you where at 2 wks ago. Your gonna work weekends holidays or maybe stuck sitting the entire holiday in some remote location. That's the trucking truth. I love it every minute of it. If you like never knowing what's next Then you will love this job. It's not for the faint at heart. Man up.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi I'm finishing up my TNT Training at Prime and can say from the past 2 months it's fast paced but good training...You'll get to practice all the moves and if you're like me I think it's the best way to learn how to drive these trucks and do the job by being in a hands on full time real world environment.

Ken

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.

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

Like Ken and others said save the truck driving questions for your instructor. Prime's psd program is great. I started it in Feb. Got my cdl in Mar. And upgraded to solo the middle of may.

I still call and talk to my trainer almost every day.

I was talking with a driver for c.r. England. Yesterday. That driver had to go with 7 different instructors while in training and had not been home for 8 months. So I know prime is treating their drivers better than some other companies out there.

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.

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.
John T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the feedback on Prime and training in general. Sounds like a real good company. There's not much I haven't driven in my 62 years. Including 2 cross country MC trips. Really looking forward to my biggest challenge yet and to getting on the road full time.

nomad girl's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Good questions! I have to wait until Monday to speak with my recruiter about my training date, but I'm going to make a list of questions to ask during the driving portion of the training. Such as, how to handle driving uphill/downhill, how to level the weights of the freight or figure if it's too heavy before leaving lot, tricks to back trailer easily and successfully, still looking for more questions to add to the list.

double-quotes-end.png

As Driver pointed out, those type of questions are what you need to ask your instructor/trainer while you are in training. By all means make a list of questions as you think of them because I will tell you that you will forget most of them by the time you get on a truck (trust me on this).

I went through Prime's training program in 2011. I was very fortunate to have some really great instructor/trainers while I was going through the program. In fact I still am friends with my instructor even today. I have been fortunate enough to have had the experience.

Ernie

Not sure why you guys thought I was going to ask the recruiter these questions as this discussion was nowhere near that. I was talking about the real world training.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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