Questions About Prime Truck Driver Training

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John R.'s Comment
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I am moving along with my quest to get into truck driving and currently it looks like Prime is my best bet. But I still have a few questions about Prime and their training, if anyone can help with these it would be awesome.

1. Does Prime provide transportation to the school for new drivers? (from the drivers home to get to the school) 2. Do they provide transportation to the drivers home from school? If the driver passes and gets hired? If the driver does NOT pass and does not get hired? 3. How often do classes start? Are there any times of the year that they do not have classes? 4. Do they provide meals? I read that they provide meals for the first week only. How do you go about eating the rest of the time at the school? 5. How long will it be until you have some kind of cash coming in? Do you get paid after the first week out with an instructor? The second week? Do they have any ways to get cash advances that will get taken out of future paychecks? 6. If I take my written CDL test in KY or PA and get my permit will that transfer and be of use at the school? 7. Are there any upfront costs? 8. What are the bare minimums a student needs to show up with to take the classes and get his CDL? 9. What stuff would you take to school ? 10. Are there any questions that I should be asking that I am not asking?

Thanks for any help you can give me. (Still a little nervous about this whole thing, but the nervousness is being slowly but surely replaced with excitement. Thanks for all of the help so far)

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.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Hi John. Hopefully some Prime drivers will chip in for you. In the meantime, I'd suggest you call up a recruiter from Prime and ask these very questions. I understand that it's good to hear from the drivers of a company, but a lot of these questions could also be answered by a recruiter for you.

As far as stuff to take to school, we've had a few long threads here on that topic. Utilize the search bar at the top of this site - I did and came up with a couple links for you. That search bar really works well. I simply typed "what to take to school." You can do the same and come up with more links. Here's one of them:

Items To Bring On The Road

The link above will bring you to a page of links that lists items to take on the road as well as what to take to driving school.

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi john, I'm currently in training with prime so let me see if I can answer your questions

1. Yes, you will get a bus ticket to get you to campus in springfield missouri.

2. I don't know but I don't believe so. If you can't cut it your first week, I'm pretty sure you are on your own

3. Classes start every Monday. By Friday you should be with an instructor

4. Yes, your first week you have a meal ticket for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don't use it, you lose it

5. Prime will pay you $200 a week during your PSD training(phase 1). This is an advance that you pay back at 25$ a week and you don't have to use it. It's available your first friday, then every Thursday during PSD training. During TNT(phase 2) training you will make $700 a week.

6. Yes, and I recommend that you do. You will go to the DMV in springfield and transfer your permit to a missouri liscence

7. Yes. $100 for the school plus $50 for your liscence. Plus any extra you want to bring

8. Minimum qualifications are posted on their website. I can't remember them off the top of my head.

9. 6 string rythem helped you out there. It's a good article.

I hope some of that helps. Daniel B is the resident expert on Prime so he'll pick up on anything I missed.

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.

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.

John R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you both for your replies. I will be talking to a recruiter later today, but I wanted to ask people here so I could compare answers. It help in figuring out if the recruiter is handing you a line of BS. For example this site and even Primes site says you make $600 a week in training but the recruiter said $700. No big deal but it sounded like she was either lying or doesn't know her stuff. BUT then on here one of you said $700 a week. It leads me to change my view and think she does know her stuff and isn't lying. The last thing I want is to get out there and find out for whatever reason I needed something I do not have. PS I really want to thank all of you on this site for everything. I will definitely suggest going to this site for anyone who is even thinking about trucking. It is Top Notch.

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

John,

I did my training through Prime, and all the things you have been told are correct. As far as $600/$700 a week, that changed during the last part of last year. My thinking is that the recruiter was reading from an old cue card about question/answers and did not realize it. I was impressed with most everyone I came into contact with during my initial contact/training. All were professional and if they did not know an answer, said so and then found out and let me know.

As far as what to bring, just remember what you bring be prepared to sleep with. You will most likely not have any cabinet space to store your belongings. I found for me that using an old seabag/duffle bag and 1 carry on bag worked well for me.

Ernie

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Question 6: If I take my written CDL test in KY or PA and get my permit will that transfer and be of use at the school?

Be careful on this. Most states have residency requirements. After you obtain your Mo. CDL, you will be required to transfer it into your home state. Make sure you can prove some kind of residency in the state you ultimately license in. This is especially true for HazMat and TWIC.

I don't know about PA or KY, but Florida is VERY STRICT on proof of residency - and CDL's are scrutinized even more than regular Class E operators licenses.

So if your HOME is in PA (like where you keep a drivers license and file taxes from), then get your permits THERE.

Getting your permits ahead of time - just speeds the process during week 1. It's easier to transfer them, then to take all the tests (and risk failing them enough times to get sent home). DO USE the High Road Training Program to drill for your tests. If you do well on our training program here - you should BREEZE THROUGH the state exams.

Best of luck - keep us posted on your progress.

Rick

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
member avatar

I have been doing a ton of reading on different programs, including Primes. Here is my take on the $600/$700 pay question. It can be a bit confusing but looks like the pay depeends on where you do your initial training to obtain your CDL. Even now, scanning back through the page to answer this question I'm kind of confused too..... Prime Driver Career Path

So, if you go through the PSD program and get your license through Prime you become a B seat driver and get "Earn 12¢ per mile ($600 per week guaranteed)." for your last 30k of the 40k requirement.

From Primes Web Page:

Pass Final CDL Skills Test / 30,000 miles In Springfield, pass final state CDL exam. Obtain CDL with HazMat endorsement. Receive certification and begin as a “B2” company driver trainee. Earn 12¢ per mile ($600 per week guaranteed). Complete additional 30,000 miles toward total 40,000 mile goal. (10,000 miles + 30,000 miles = 40,000 miles completed)

BUT, if you get your own CDL and then come in as a B Seat you get $600/week for the first 20k miles and then $700/week for the remaining 20k miles.

From Primes Web Page:

If you have obtained a CDL from an outside school, you will go straight to our Company Driver Orientation and then train with a TNT Trainer for a total of 40,000 miles. If the truck is moving, it counts toward your requirement of total miles. You will receive $600 guaranteed minimum per week for the first 20,000 miles of training (typically 4-5 weeks) and $700 guaranteed minimum per week for the remaining 20,000 miles of training.

*Recent graduates from other schools may qualify for tuition reimbursement of $250 per month for up to 6 months.

Any-who, I hope I didn't totally jack up the facts too bad and it makes sense...

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT 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.

The Dude's Comment
member avatar

If you come in without your CDL , which you are, it is $700 per week throughout TNT , or 12 cents per mile if it is greater. It is greater if the truck runs more than 5,000 miles for the week. I am at the end of my TNT and I've exceeded the 5,000 miles and $700 minimum a few times, but we run hard.

So, you will do the phase with the PSD instructor while you have your permit for 75 hours of driving time (about 3 weeks). In this time is when the $200 per week advances are available to you. Then you will get your CDL and do the TNT phase on the pay described above for 30,000 truck miles (about 2 months).

Where the $600 per week comes from is for someone who comes in with their CDL already in hand. They skip over the phase with the PSD instructor and go straight into a 40,000 mile TNT. They make $600 per week for some period of time, then $700 per week like everyone else after that.

As far as transportation home if you don't make it through orientation, it depends on the reason. If you fail the drug test or something else that is reprehensible, you're obviously on your own. If you don't make it for a medical reason or something like that, I'm pretty sure they'll spring for the ticket.

I think you got everything else answered.

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.

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.

Ralph G. ( Arejay )'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for clarifying for us, The Dude... Seems Prime still needs to update their website. :)

Robert McD.'s Comment
member avatar

As long as as this thread is still fresh, HetzelMr said Prime starts classes every Monday. Does that mean the program starts every Monday with a new "class" or that once you're in the program classes will begin on Monday? I'm asking because after my Fellowship ends in July I would like to start training ASAP and Prime seems like my go to sponsor-school.

Thanks!

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.

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