Calling For Prime Trainers

Topic 9186 | Page 1

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Sam C.'s Comment
member avatar

I really dont want to be sitting here for weeks so Im calling out all prime trainers to help me out here. I plan on having everything done by thurs/fri. Whose in town and who wants to train? Smoker/non-smoker doesnt matter, just ready to get the career going.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I really dont want to be sitting here for weeks so Im calling out all prime trainers to help me out here. I plan on having everything done by thurs/fri. Whose in town and who wants to train? Smoker/non-smoker doesnt matter, just ready to get the career going.

Is it looking like there's going to be a pretty long wait or are you just trying to get out ahead of it?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sam C.'s Comment
member avatar

Both. I met a few more guys yesterday who are on there second week here so I'm just trying to get a jump start. They say it's a popularity contest on who the trainers pick so I might as well put my name out there early ☺

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Them calling it a popularity contest is exactly why they're still there. They're making excuses because they weren't drafted in Round 1.

Every single day there are students passing their exams and as a result, the instructor becomes available if they aren't going to do the TNT phase with them. But what are these students doing? They're sitting around at Campus Inn instead of spending time on the pad talking with instructors.

They're lazy and expect the instructor to come to them. That's not happening and they're still not realizing it. Not only that but there are about a dozen instructors every week attending the classes to become a certified instructor. Those drivers are spending the majority of the week at Prime East. But what are these students who need an instructor doing? They're not getting a shuttle there, instead, they're wasting their time at the Campus Inn.

We instructors can see right through their BS. Yes, Prime is short on instructors, but they're definitely not short on students who are slackers.

Instructors want a hard working student who will listen and ready to learn. They are watching you, so portrait yourself as being exactly what they are looking for. It's sort of like an NFL draft, the best player gets picked before the rest.

I personally walked around the SIM Lab examining the students who were on the simulator. No one knew I was an instructor looking for a student. I highlighted a few people and talked to them all without revealing who I was. I wanted to talk to them being on the same level so that I knew they weren't just kissing ass because I was an instructor. You don't know who you're talking to, the instructors do "go prospecting" so be fantastic to everyone you speak to.

It's not a popularity contest though.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I'm speaking largely out of ignorance here, because I don't have detailed info on how Prime works, but the idea of a courtship phase between a student and an instructor always sort of puzzled me. It seems like it can be a positive thing in that students and instructors have a better chance of starting off on the same page together by having some sort of control in picking each other - i.e. being a good fit personality-wise, which can be conducive to learning. If two people are going to spend a large amount of time together, you'd like to think they can get along well, and the student and instructor are both sincere in their respective roles.

But I wonder if an "arranged marriage" might be more efficient to get students matched up with trainers in a more expedited manner. So that I can have my curiosity scratched, and more importantly, as perhaps a learning tool for those hovering around the forum interested in Prime, can somebody explain how this whole courtship system works? Are trainers / trainees ever just assigned, or does Prime always step back and let trainers / trainees pick each other?

If students have passed a certain amount of hurdles and are technically eligible to start training, and are waiting on an instructor because they might be 'lazy' or instructors don't really want to pick them up, why aren't they just sent packing by the company? Why have them taking up space? Especially if there's an instructor shortage? Is Prime just allowing them to be weeded out naturally?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime doesn't assign you a student, they let you choose your own student. So it's really up to the student to advertise themselves as best as they could.

However, Prime does try to encourage instructors to take priority students (priority meaning students from the previous weeks). But they don't ever automatically assign you a student. And I'm thankful for that, if I'm going to be spending weeks with someone I want to pick who it will be. I can bet that Prime will lose most of their instructors if they start doing that arranged marriage system you spoke of.

Prime does send them home eventually after the third week I believe. I don't know if this is just a way to naturally weed some folks out or not but that's just how it goes.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the insight Daniel. I was wondering if there were checks and balances in place. I could see a courtship style training pairing have some abuses.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I wasn't drafted in the first round and I did everything Daniel B just suggested. I was OK with that. There were 20 priority students ahead of us the first week. Plus, I only wanted to train with a flatbed driver since I knew that was what I wanted to do, and there were only a handful of PSD trainers who were flatbed. I knew it limited me, and in hindsight I could have learned what I needed to get my CDL by doing PSD with a reefer driver, but I have no regrets.

The nice thing is students can decline an instructor too. There were only three I met the first week I really wanted to train with, but by the time I buttonholed them, they already had students, and all of them were priority students. One of them called me the next week and said his buddy was coming to Springfield to look for a student and recommended me to him. That's who I trained with and it worked out great. I still talk to him a few times a week.

I was interviewed by three others the first week. Thankfully, they weren't interested in me, so I never had to tell them no. I felt pretty sure that all three were lease ops just looking to find someone they could make some money off of. One guy had just been in an accident while his student was driving and was waiting for medical clearance since he was injured in the accident. He claimed that his seatbelt came unbuckled during the accident lol. I heard later from a couple of other students that he made remarks to them like, "Once you're in my truck, I own your ass." They turned him down and waited too.

The second was his buddy. Birds of a feather etc. I saw the student he ended up taking at the terminal a couple weeks later when I was testing out. She had requested a new trainer because of his antics.

The third was a guy with a very strange vibe who I saw in the terminal almost every time I went there looking for a new student. He didn't like me either, so there's that. Maybe I had the strange vibe.

In short, I was interviewing them too, but I had no financial pressure to get going so I felt no desperation. There were seven of us left over from the first week. We all got instructors by Thursday of the second week. I keep in touch with two of them and they're both still driving and doing well.

For students at Prime, my advice is don't worry so much about finding someone immediately but rather finding someone you can learn from. I think most students find a trainer by the end of the second week at the latest, like I did, since you do get the first look when instructors come in that second week. It helps a lot of you can get some savings built up for any random bills that come due, but that's another topic.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

That's some great information there Bud! It's just as important for the student to make sure that he will get along with his instructor. If you look like you know what you're doing and it's obvious that you really want this job then you'll get an instructor eventually. But don't sell yourself short on a good instructor just so you can leave a few days earlier.

David C.'s Comment
member avatar

I've heard horror stories about people being here for weeks. For me, I won't get discouraged or negative. I quit my job and rode two days on that darn Greyhound to be negative. Somebody will want me, I hope...lol

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