My Expierience With Prime Training As A PSD

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Chance H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all and welcome to my CDL training diary. To enlighten all of you I have never driven a semi or even considered such until about six months ago. So I will let everyone in on how I came to this conclusion and why I chose the company I did.

Back Story:

I started this research in about May looking into different companies and private schools. After much deliberation and talking to current and former drivers and also reading all of the "internet forums" as well as the posts here by guys like Daniel B I decided to go with Prime Inc out of Springfield. So here I am 29 years young with two kids. I called my recruiter Vanessa and was told she was going on vacation so I was being pushed off onto a young lady named Tiffany Pollard. After a lot of phone tag and about 3 weeks of work we confirmed my arrival into Springfield for Sunday, December 14th,

Day 1: Dec. 14th

This day was solidly spent driving to Springfield as I only reside in Tulsa and still had some last minute wrap ups to do. I arrived in Springfield around 1:45 p.m. and located the Campus Inn after a bit of a GPS mix up and it thinking for some odd reason I was going to the main Prime Campus. Upon walking into the main office I was handed a Gold packet, informed to fill it out to the best of my knowledge and do not lie. If there was something I did not know then my questions would be answered in class on Monday. I was then instructed to proceed down the hall to the Sim Lab. Truthfully I was still half asleep from the busy day I already had so I missed my turn to go to the Sim Lab but all in all it paid off as I made a needed pit stop. Once into the sim lab I was met by a nice gentleman who printed my DOT long form and instructed me to return to the front desk. Once back at the front desk I was assigned a room and met my roommate and began to spend the rest of the night studying.

Day 2: Dec 15th

If I could sum today up in one phrase it would be "Hurry Up and Wait to Play Musical Chairs". Wake up was at 4:45 a.m. this morning but didn't actually occur till 5:15 no biggie here. First class was at 7:00 and in room C4 where we met with quite a few people from Prime Corporate and Trinity Health Care and spent about 3 hours filling out our paperwork and going over Prime's personal fitness plan. After that those of us who were designated as flatbed or tanker then moved to room C2 to take an APEX physical. This physical was your typical lift and movement test to determine if you could do the minimum requirements that were required on a daily basis. It began with a range of motion test and ended with a 40/60/80 pound lift, ladder climb, and tarp lift.

Once that was completed and passed it's back to C4 to await being called to the drug screen. After we were called to the Doctor's Office for our Drug Screen/Physical this is where the game of Musical Chairs combined with Hurry up and wait begins. You are instructed to sit in chairs lined up in the office and as soon as the person in front of you moves the whole line moves.

Once you drug test, which is like any other wiz quiz in completed., then you move around the room and to the nurse's station for vitals. Couple of pieces of advice @ this point you need to have a record of ANY surgeries you have had in your lifetime from Birth till today. Also if you drink do not let them know that you drink more than 3 beers if you do then you will have to go through a lecture about how alcohol is bad and take an alcohol assessment quiz. Also if you have hurt yourself at work in any way that they paid for the treatment then you have to list that. This includes all injuries from the military as well.

Once all this is complete then you move back to the orientation office to speak with Prime Security. When they say that if you have been arrested before they will find it they are serious. The best thing you can do for yourself here is DO NOT LIE. They tell you from the start we are not looking for perfect people. Once all this is completed you find out your division assignment and then move onto either Simulators or CBTs.

Day 2-5 to come as I can update.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Day 3: Dec 16th

0600: Today started a bit later as I didn't have to be in class till 0730 so I got up at about 0600 and then first priority was breakfast which today consisted of Biscuits and Gravy with sausage and Orange Juice.

0700-0830: Log class with Lisa this class was supposed to have finished up at 0800 but with the questions we had the next instructor allowed it to run over into her time. This is where we were introduced to our paper logs and informed that per prime and for DOT purposes we are required to log 7 days of Orientation time. Luckily for most of us we arrived in Springfield on Saturday and Sunday so they allowed that to count on our logs.

0830-0915: Orientation overview and Company overview with Brook. When people tell you this company takes care of you folks don't think for one second they are lieing to you. One of this company's operating factors and rules is "Treat Others as you want to be treated". So when you hear people like Daniel and others talking about how this place is great to work for trust me they are being serious. It was also in this class when the question of well how many times to do we have to do the backing and road tests were brought up. Now keep in mind this is just an example but this is the only company I know of that would allow someone 7 times to pass the backing test. They do however have the standard 3 strike rule for the road test.

0915-1030: Downtime for CBT's or Self Study for Permit or free Time.

1030-1045: Class with Wally to Receive DOT Cards and Letters of Residency as well as plan for trip to DMV.

1100-1700: DMV Testing For Permit/Transfers. I myself was finished by 1300 so from

1300-1600: I was on downtime. Make sure that as soon as your permit is obtained and you return to the hotel you goto the Orientation Office and give Brooke and the orientation staff a copy.

1600-1900: CBT's and Simulators unless both are done then from 1300 on was downtime for you.

I will update more as I have time keep in mind that based upon the speed of things and what time you get to the DMV your times could vary.

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.

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.

Midwest Morgan's Comment
member avatar

This is awesomely helpful! Thank you!

Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
member avatar

May be a silly question, but what is a PSD?

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.
Chance H.'s Comment
member avatar

Midwest you are very welcome sorry I haven't had time to update. Ralph PSD stands for Prime Student Driver. It basically means that you have no cdl and no driving experience. So that being said here we go I'm going to cram alot into this post.

Day 4: Dec 17th 0700: Today started a bit later again as we didn't have to be in class till 0800. Again priority 1 this morning was breakfast. Today this again was biscuts and gravy hey we have free food might as well use it right?

0800-0845: Roll call with Ms. Brook and for those who have permits it was off to Pre Trip with Ray for those of us such as myself that had failed one section or the other *for me it was Combination due to lack of attention to questions* it would be off to testing with the Highway Patrol.

0845-1445: For those of you who did not pass your permit test you will be testing with the Highway Patrol here. Ms. Brook makes a good suggestion here if you don't pass the test the first time walk away go back to your room and study some more and then come back and take it. Once you pass that test then move on to the next. If you fail this one repeat the last steps over until you have passed or failed all fourr. This for me was done by

0900 and out of the DMV by 1100. Once you return to the Campus Inn with your permit please insure that Brook or any one in the orientation office receives a copy of your Permit. You will NOT receive your badge if you do not have your Permit, work history, medical, and drug screen cleared. After all this was completed I was on down time till 1600.

1600-1700: We were supposed to do simulators here but due to personal reasons they were cancelled until Thursday.

1700-End Of Night: Downtime to study/eat/ relax/ laundry etc

Day 5: Dec 18th

0700: Today started later than normal again as class again was not until 0800. Again breakfast was first priority.

0800-0900: Health Insurance Class this class is MANDATORY for all PSD students. This is where you will find out about the benefits offered by Prime as a company.

0900: Brief Roll call with Brook we were supposed to have a 1045 meeting but due to other obligations Brook canceled this and we were instead moved to the 1245 meeting. For those of you needing a sleep study from here you will go have that reviewed. *FYI we lost 3 people this day due to sleep study so folks this is not something Prime plays with* . For me it was downtime till 1245 which I used to make sure that everything was cleared for the 1245 badge print.

1245-1400: Roll call with Brook and then off to the orientation office to have our purple badges printed. Folks this is where you find out if you passed what could be considered Phase 1 of training. I will be honest with you the real only ways to be sent home during Phase 1 is Medical, Lieing about your background, Not passing your Permit Test, Pure stupidity *Alcohol*, Dirty Drug Screen, or pure decision to not continue with the program. For me I had down time from 1300-1430

1430: Shuttle to the Millennium Building for a 1530 meeting with Stan, Brook, Sip, and a few trainers.

1530-1800: Welcome to Phase 2/ what to expect on the road meeting. This meeting is where any question you could possibly dream of for what life on the road will be like will be answered. So folks if you have a road life question try to either catch a driver on downtime or ask it here.

1800- End of Night: Downtime.

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.

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.
Chance H.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 6: Dec 19th

0700: Today is the day my Roommate left with his trainer after a week long waiting period to obtain a trainer. Again today started later as our class was not set to meet until 0800.

0800: We were supposed to have a SMITH class today but due to room constraints that class was moved to tomorrow at 0800 so from here till 0900 ish was downtime again.

0900: Meeting with Ms. Brook to do a quick roll call and advise of next meeting at 1045.

1045: Meeting and roll call with Ms Brook here is where we received our Driver Codes as well as our training Binders for OTR. Also we received our schedules for the next 2 weeks should we be here. Meeting dismissed with advised to be at the Millenium Training pad by 1300

1215-1245: Shuttle to Millenium training pad for Pretrip/Backing with Ray.

1300-1500: Pretrip and Backing with Ray. Folks it's wintertime so dress warm for this.

1500-End Of Night: Downtime. We had 3-4 people leave or arrange to leave with their trainers today. Hoping for more to leave or arrange to leave tomorrow into Sunday. I will update again as I get time. If you have any questions you can pm me.

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.

Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Chance. i was guessing it would mean something like that as I really don't like making assumptions. :)

Chance H.'s Comment
member avatar

Ralph you're welcome some abbreviations do have odd meanings so all questions are welcome questions.

Day 7: Dec 20th

0700: Wake Up time as class doesn't start till late again. Once again take care of priority one with breakfast.

0800-0930: SMITH defensive driving class. Folks I'll tell you now do not take your phones into this course and do not talk during it. They are very serious about this course. Also come prepared with your pen and paper for notes etc in this class.

0930-1000: Short meeting and Roll call with Brooke and plan for rest of day announced. Also told that numerous trainers were coming in to take us out over the Christmas Break. However, if we did not have a trainer by Weds we were free to go home and be back here on Thursday.

1000-1215: Downtime to eat etc. with a shuttle ride at 1215 to the Millenium building training pad.

1215-1545: Pretrip class. We spent the first couple of hours in the class room watching a pretrip video and then moved onto the Pad for hands on training with Stan. Also within this time myself and couple of others got calls from PSD instructors.

1545-End Of Night: Downtime for laundry/meeting Instructor etc.

Day 8: Dec 21st

0600: Today started early as my PSD Instructor called me early to let me know that he had made it into the terminal and was ready to meet. So I got around and headed to the millenium building.

0700-1200: Extensive Upshifting/Downshifting training with my PSD instructor. We were going to do trailer time and some backing but due to time constraints we were unable to.

1200-End of night: Downtime. Received my driver pin and got assigned to my Instructor's truck. Finished Laundry and tied up loose ends to prepare to ship out tomorrow afternoon.

From here on out updates will come as I get time as I head out on the road tomorrow.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Greg S.'s Comment
member avatar

Chance, Thanks for all of the updates. I will be there to start on the 5th and so all of this is great info. good luck on your new adventure and look forward to hearing more from you as you progress through the program.

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar

What kind of surgery record do you need? I had my tonsils removed about 10 years ago,don't even remember where it was done. Anyone know how to obtain medical records? I rarely have a need to visit a doctor. Thanks.

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