Finished PSD On To TNT

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Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well after almost 6 wks on the road I finally made it back to Springfield Mo. I have to be honest I didn't know if I my instructor had set me up for success coming back in the yard last week, he pretty much gave up training me by week 3 and by the time I got back I felt certain I would not pass any of the skills tests. As soon as we got back I made it clear to the head of instruction I didn't get the proper training on the road and if I tested I would probably fail. He said he would have my driving skills evaluated and let me know where I was.

My instructor set some time up at the pad to practice backing maneuvers and didn't know points of reference on the course to teach me properly. So he watched me struggle for 2 days on the pad without landing an alley or parallel the 4 hours we were out there. Then goes and puts me on the board to test out the next morning. i passed the pre trip and failed the backing ( strike 1 for me ). My instructor then put me on the board the next day to test and of course the same result ( strike 2 ).

Then something strange happened before I was to try for the 3rd time. A friend from class came up to me and asked if I had heard about my trainer and another student having words with each other and I had not. About an hour after this I receive a call to go to the head of reefer drivers. After getting asked about my training and instructor he told me to get my personal stuff off the truck and comeback at 3:00pm to see what my fate was going to be. By this time I felt my career was going to be over with Prime before it really started.( this is when I asked for help last week)

At 3:00pm I went back with my bags already to go and preparing to go home when they informed me my instructor was let go from the company for threatening another student and that they were going to assign me a new trainer to figure out what to do with me. Feeling of relief was so incredible, I went to the east pad to see if one of the lot instructors would help me on my backing maneuvers and he was happy to help. He asked me what are the points of reference I was using to do my maneuvers and I said none. He explained the maneuvers and low and behold I did 5 left and right side parallels and 5 alley docks in a row. What a confidence boost for me!

The next day came and start with my new trainer he asked what I was having problems with. I explained to him I was having problems with backing and I never drove anything but rest stop to rest stop while on the road. He said great lets get a trailer and go for a drive. We picked up an empty and drove for 2 hours around Springfield. At first I was pretty bad on downshifting but quickly got in the groove, otherwise he mentioned I did awesome and he would have no problem having me drive with him sleeping in the bunk. After that he said lets go to the pad. I did all the backing maneuvers for him and after 2 hours he said I was a machine doing them. He said that I was ready and we would take Wednesday to polish my driving. Oh by the way I am going to let you test on my brand new truck.

Thursday came around and backing 0 points driving 20 points I passed, new cdl holder. I was officially hired by Prime and start my TNT this week.

i

i

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.

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.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Great !! Congrats, now for some "Real" training !

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Great !! Congrats, now for some "Real" training !

Thank you very much I am really excited to start my 30000 miles. My new TNT trainer lives 15 miles from me so we are getting a load to go home for a few days

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats.

We often talk about the "quality of training" at these "starter companies", and find it varies, dependent on the QUALITY OF TRAINER. Sadly, many of them are only in for the "extra $$'s", and could care less about passing on their skills and experience to the next generation of drivers.

Rick

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Brian, really glad to see you posting this. I almost always encourage people to "stick it out" with these trainers. I've taken some flack over this approach, but you are a testament to the fact that it will usually come out in the end.

I'll tell you something, you actually learned a lot by going through this experience. Not only did you learn about driving a truck, but you also learned a lot about yourself. This career can really throw some curves at you, and the person who is not prepared to bear up under some difficulties is just not gonna make it. Just being in that truck and having to try to figure stuff out on your own was a huge benefit to you whether you realize it or not. I think that is why you caught on to the maneuvers so quickly once you had some reference points to go by. You had already begun to get a feel for how the trailer responds to what you are doing at the wheel, and you were already exposed to quite a bit of driving and shifting work - you just needed someone to help polish up the basics that you hadn't even realized were starting to come together for you.

I don't know if any one called you when you made that plea for help, but I never even saw it until it was about three o'clock the next morning, and I assumed the dire need had passed at that point.

Congratulations man! Hang in there and keep working at it. Trust me you will look back on this whole ordeal one day and realize just how much you gained from going through it.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats.

We often talk about the "quality of training" at these "starter companies", and find it varies, dependent on the QUALITY OF TRAINER. Sadly, many of them are only in for the "extra $$'s", and could care less about passing on their skills and experience to the next generation of drivers.

Rick

That is a fact, one thing I can say though is that prime took my concerns and helped me through them

Marcus R.'s Comment
member avatar

I just came home from Prime. I was 1 of the 2 out of 130 people that passed our CDL permit the 1st day. There were no trainers all week long, the instructors told us there were only 10 coming in that week and the 'Priority Students' go with them. So was a big waiting game, after being on the pad all day long from 5am to 7pm Saturday, learning pre-trip, basic shifting, double clutching. I got a shuttle back to my room around 7pm and got my call. I jumped with excitement to interview with a trainer and headed right back over. From 8 to 1am I was driving, backing up, etc. My instructor told me to be ready at 8am, that we would grab a load at 9am and head out.

So you're up ALL day learning, excited, driving, get back to your room around 1:30am. You cant sleep obviously, you have to pack & with that much excitement riding up on you 4am came really early when your roomie had to get up to head out with his instructor. So I headed over to the Millennium bld to have breakfast and wait, wait we did...We went to the driver line to get our dispatch route and they set us out on a 1,200 mile run that had to be there by 10am the next morning...We got our truck # headed out to set route etc on Qualcom well, this was the 1st step in seeing my trainer annoyed. Dispatch had him doing a 6 drop route all over PA, he promplty went back in and told them that he cannot run that, he is a O/O lease driver and that run has to be done in teams to even get there and that he has a PSD student! Basically they told my trainer 'You have to take this' and we will 'repower' the load when you get to drop #2.

So its 9am and we have our trailer # and a mad trainer, we go out to get our load and guess what....It's not there, we head back and we hear its in the shop...We didnt get our load out till after 3:30pm and had to drive 1,200 miles that must be delivered by 10am....So he drove till all his hours were up them put me behind the wheel after 2 days of no sleep and 1st time really driving a big rig and it happens to be at 4am through Colombus OH. then on up into PA. Weather was bad, and both of us 1/2 asleep and bending / modifying DOT rules to the grey as I was told. We get to destination 1 at around 10:30am - 2hr wait for them to pull pallets, then leave stop 1 around 2am drive through Pittsburg to make another delivery 4hrs away, anyhow we finally got to sit at a Walmart lot around 10:30pm Monday night...

The rest of the runs I had to hear complaints about how weekend dispatch screws him and he should have waited for his personal dispatch to get a load, well all that was hindsight. So the next 3 days since it was never 'repowered'. He did all the driving in the 4inches + snow and ice, I did not get any drive time due to time restraints, distances, and that was his truck and he needed the money, there was no time for a student to be on a truck when that trainer was annoyed at dispatch, taking long runs over his DOT hrs, plus he was going to be going to the hospital soon....So I didnt see any way I was going to get training and I was not going to go sit in Springfield MO for 2 more weeks to possibly get someone in this poor weather that would let me drive a few hrs a day to a 10,000 mile goal.

Here I sit at home wishing I would have went with another company, 4-5 weeks out (10,000 miles) as a PSD, come back and test for a week, then you 'must' go back out TnT for 30,000 miles....It's ridiculous, to get a Class A this way.

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

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.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

I just came home from Prime. I was 1 of the 2 out of 130 people that passed our CDL permit the 1st day. There were no trainers all week long, the instructors told us there were only 10 coming in that week and the 'Priority Students' go with them. So was a big waiting game, after being on the pad all day long from 5am to 7pm Saturday, learning pre-trip, basic shifting, double clutching. I got a shuttle back to my room around 7pm and got my call. I jumped with excitement to interview with a trainer and headed right back over. From 8 to 1am I was driving, backing up, etc. My instructor told me to be ready at 8am, that we would grab a load at 9am and head out.

So you're up ALL day learning, excited, driving, get back to your room around 1:30am. You cant sleep obviously, you have to pack & with that much excitement riding up on you 4am came really early when your roomie had to get up to head out with his instructor. So I headed over to the Millennium bld to have breakfast and wait, wait we did...We went to the driver line to get our dispatch route and they set us out on a 1,200 mile run that had to be there by 10am the next morning...We got our truck # headed out to set route etc on Qualcom well, this was the 1st step in seeing my trainer annoyed. Dispatch had him doing a 6 drop route all over PA, he promplty went back in and told them that he cannot run that, he is a O/O lease driver and that run has to be done in teams to even get there and that he has a PSD student! Basically they told my trainer 'You have to take this' and we will 'repower' the load when you get to drop #2.

So its 9am and we have our trailer # and a mad trainer, we go out to get our load and guess what....It's not there, we head back and we hear its in the shop...We didnt get our load out till after 3:30pm and had to drive 1,200 miles that must be delivered by 10am....So he drove till all his hours were up them put me behind the wheel after 2 days of no sleep and 1st time really driving a big rig and it happens to be at 4am through Colombus OH. then on up into PA. Weather was bad, and both of us 1/2 asleep and bending / modifying DOT rules to the grey as I was told. We get to destination 1 at around 10:30am - 2hr wait for them to pull pallets, then leave stop 1 around 2am drive through Pittsburg to make another delivery 4hrs away, anyhow we finally got to sit at a Walmart lot around 10:30pm Monday night...

The rest of the runs I had to hear complaints about how weekend dispatch screws him and he should have waited for his personal dispatch to get a load, well all that was hindsight. So the next 3 days since it was never 'repowered'. He did all the driving in the 4inches + snow and ice, I did not get any drive time due to time restraints, distances, and that was his truck and he needed the money, there was no time for a student to be on a truck when that trainer was annoyed at dispatch, taking long runs over his DOT hrs, plus he was going to be going to the hospital soon....So I didnt see any way I was going to get training and I was not going to go sit in Springfield MO for 2 more weeks to possibly get someone in this poor weather that would let me drive a few hrs a day to a 10,000 mile goal.

Here I sit at home wishing I would have went with another company, 4-5 weeks out (10,000 miles) as a PSD, come back and test for a week, then you 'must' go back out TnT for 30,000 miles....It's ridiculous, to get a Class A this way.

That's trucking sir.... Welcome to it.... Every job out there you have to take the good with the bad... If you can hold out4 to 6 weeks till your done with training you will be on your own and making money... It's a small step to enjoy being dispatched solo...

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

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.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

It's like being a gynecologist you have to take the good with the bad lol I like that example rofl-3.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-1.gif

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks O.S.,

I remember that post you are referring to, I was just sent to the Director of Drivers and was told to remove my belongings from my instructors truck and wait till he decides my fate. I wasn't quite sure if I still be here so I really was just needing affirmation I did everything I could. Your advice is so true to stick it out, my only advice for others would be if your having problems communicating with your instructor is to find the answers yourself.

When it came right down to it, this was my CDL license on the line (not my instructor) I wasn't going to let my fate rest on anyones shoulders but my own. Going home without doing everything I could was not an option. I never want to look back and say I could of done this or that differently. So thanks again for your posts, I truly believe I earned my CDL it was not given to me. I look forward to learning more in the next phase.

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.
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