Starting With Prime Dec. 1st

Topic 6304 | Page 2

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Leedoshuffler's Comment
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Good question Scott. After I did the online driver application with Prime I waited about 5-6 days to hear from a recruiter. I eventually had to pick up the phone and call Prime's recruiting dept. directly. When I got in touch with them they had already assigned a recruiter to me. I guess they were busy or had lots of applicants because they weren't falling over themselves to contact me. Once I contacted the recruiter the vetting process took about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. Once I cleared employment verification with the recruiter we set my orientation start date out about 10 days. So from start to finish it'll take about 2-4 weeks depending on how fast you can supply needed info to your recruiter.

Scooter Mcnulty's Comment
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Wow, that's longer than I expected. But it's good to know. I was looking to start in January after the holidays and after I finish a temp assignment I'm working right now.

Pepper's Comment
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Thanks for keeping up with what is going on!

I have made a commitment to post what is going on with me since I started posting. I find it frustrating when someone starts a diary on here and then never comes back. Good on you for keeping up with us! I am really glad that Prime is treating you right. They were my first choice, but my lack of recent work history knocked me out of the running with them.

I am so proud of you!

Pepper

Chance H.'s Comment
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Matt to answer your question as I start with Prime Monday morning I actually did kind of the same thing the original author did here. I applied online and then called the recruiting department directly after about 48 hours. Then it was like 3 days before I heard from them again and at that point my Recruiter Tiffany called me back and I had to give them a bit more information then it was probably another week before I heard anything at which point I received an email stating I had been approved I called Tiffany and played phone tag for a few days eventually hearing back from her about 4 days later and confirmed my start date. So all in all it took me right at 3 weeks.

Leedoshuffler's Comment
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I'm into the first week of my initial CDL training with Prime. My instructor and I have already run down to Laredo Texas and dropped our first load. I managed to drive about 600 miles of the 849 mile trip. I can tell you driving thru Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio is quite a different experience in a loaded Semi then a four wheeler. Afterwards we headed up to San Antonio so my instructor could get some time with his parents. During our stay in San Antonio I got in some pre-trip inspection and backing training. After about a day and half we've picked up another load headed to the Southeast. My instructor said that I should have about half my required driving hours by the end of today's shift and I'm only in the first week. So far my biggest challenge is slowing down and downshifting. It's a lot more difficult to get the timing of downshifting. Also the task of backing a 53' trailer is easier said then done. I'm not giving up though. Practice makes perfect and I managed to find a trainer who believes in putting his students in the driver seat.

Safe driving everyone.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Leedoshuffler's Comment
member avatar

My first week of being on the road is almost at an end. I was having a pretty decent week until Wed. evening. Already I've experienced the gambit of emotions; elation, satisfaction, frustration, boredom and complete disappointment. On Wednesday evening I was 4 hours into a 9 hour driving stretch, feeling more confident, doing a good job of lane and speed control. My instructor had me pull into a rest stop so I could practice the process of slowing down and downshifting. The rest area was completely full and the last truck parking spot I past by was near an angled part of the lot and the truck in it wasn't quite all the way into the spot. I kept moving the truck and trailer over towards the left hand curb and away from the ends of the parked trailers. I learned a hard lesson about going very slowly thru tight spots and continually checking "BOTH " mirrors. I managed to clip the right side of our trailer on the back left corner of the last parked trailer. The other trailer only suffered some paint smearing, but our trailer received some serious damage to the frame and several cross members. We've been sitting for almost two days now awaiting repairs on the trailer. Meanwhile, because of me our load is going to be late and we're sitting idle. On a positive note my instructor, the company and even the driver I hit were all supportive. They all reassured me that things like this happen and to take it all in stride and learn the lessons. To all you rookies out there. Go very slow in parking lots and tight spaces and constantly Check both your mirrors to make sure your trailer is clearing and tracking properly. I plan on making it thru the rest of my training without hitting anything else. Hopefully I'll be able to look back on this and laugh, but right now it's just a bitter lesson.

Take care all and safe driving.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Leedoshuffler's Comment
member avatar

After four days of sitting and having a shady wrecker service make a circus of a load transfer we finally were able to get our damaged trailer repaired enough to make the trip back to our main terminal. I continued making a few rookie mistakes along the way. It was my fifth day of actual driving. Just taking the truck and trailer down the road continues to fluctuate between ease and complete stress. While making our way back to our main terminal we had two GPS's talking at me. Even though my instructor told me to ignore one of them I mistakenly ignored the wrong one putting us on a route that would take longer, involving more traffic lights and some mid-level downgrades best reserved for a little more experience. On the bright side the multiple traffic lights allowed me a lot of practice at slowing and downshifting properly. I was estatic when I was able to do so right and frustrated when I didnt. Also I was able to drive part of the way thru the area with quite a few downgrades. This allowed me to gain some experience at climbing uphill and using the right gears to allow the engine to slow us going down hill. Thankfully my instructor took over before the serious winding downgrades came up. It's been quite the roller coaster ride. One moment feeling a bit more comfortable driving the next feeling like the biggest idiot in the world. I know it's only my second week and I should cut myself some slack but it's hard to do some times. Especially when I'm sitting there watching my instructor effortlessly do what I struggle to do. I have to remind myself that he's been around and driving large trucks for over 20 years. Today we went out to the practice pad to work on backing. Then came rookie mistake #3. We had to pull out from under a messed up trailer. I dropped the landing gear, pulled the release latch on the fifth wheel then stupidly forgot to unhook the glad hands. Yep, you guessed it. One torn service air line later our day was done. My instructor had to take his rig over to get the line repaired. No backing practice today. Another mistake made. Another lesson learned. Only good thing is that I rarely make the same mistake twice. Hopefully my instructor won't drop me and I can quit making mistakes that cost him money.

Until next time. Be safe out there.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Leedoshuffler's Comment
member avatar

I'm at the end of my first two weeks being out on the road with my CDL instructor. Things have been going a little smoother this week. First, I have managed not to hit anything this week. Yay! Second we have made our first load delivery and already picked up our second one for delivery. I am putting in quite a few more miles then previously and getting more backing practice in as well as more stop and go driving. Downshifting is still a bit about and miss for me but I am definitely getting better. I am still trying to figure out my instructor though. He's a hard person to read. Half the time I think he either doesn't like me or really doesn't want to train. He's very stoic generally but I can tell when he's upset at me. On the bright side he's generally patient and doesn't yell at me. I have found out that after passing my CDL test for my permenent license I'm going to have to find a new trainer for my second phase of training. My imetric for has decided to only take on students for the initial phase I of training. I'm learning what is involved running in a reefer division (Lot of all night driving and day sleeping) and I'm debating on going flatbed.

Until next time!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Leedoshuffler's Comment
member avatar

After about 5 weeks we finally headed back to Prime's HQ for my CDL testing. We came into the terminal a few days early to get some backing practice done. My biggest gripe about the training at Prime was the limited backing practice I got out on the road with my CDL trainer. In 5 weeks I had only 3 dedicated training sessions for backing and 5 chances to actually back into a parking spot or dock. Back at the terminal our first backing practice session went so bad my trainer got three kinds of ****ed at me and started yelling about me getting my head out of my ass or I'd fail. He was under the impression that we had plenty of backing on the road and I should've had it all down - NOT. I also didn't appreciate his ****ed off demeanor towards me. My trainer decided to delay my CDL testing by one day and focus on backing. I decided not to pay attention to his ****y attitude and just focus on getting better at the backing. Over the next three days we put in over 20 hours of backing. I backed so much I had to elevate, ice and medicate my left knee every night. It paid off though. When test day came I got a perfect score on my pre-trip, only 2 points on my backing and missed a trifecta pass on day one when I didn't quite get all my trailer in a turn lane during the road test. I managed to get a passing score on the road test the next day. Now I've got my CDL license and I'm officially a Prime employee. Now I'm heading out for a week of home time before getting back on the road with my 2nd phase trainer. It was a tremendous relief to finally pass my CDL test and get my license. Now I've got my second phase of training to get thru before I get my own truck but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Until next time! Be safe out there folks!

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.

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.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Back at the terminal our first backing practice session went so bad my trainer got three kinds of ****ed at me and started yelling about me getting my head out of my ass or I'd fail. He was under the impression that we had plenty of backing on the road and I should've had it all down - NOT. I also didn't appreciate his ****ed off demeanor towards me.

Until next time! Be safe out there folks!

Hi leedoshuffler,

We heard about you during PSD training at the campus. Also about your instructor, it must of been tough keeping in check. I am just beginning my instructor phase tomorrow after pad time. Congrats and Good Luck.

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.

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.
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