PAM Vs Prime?

Topic 9312 | Page 1

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Lyynk's Comment
member avatar

Hey everybody.

New to the site and also trucking, though I have wanted to be a proffesional driver for quite some time. I am looking to get my CDL , I have checked a few companies out but I have only talked to a PAM recruiter (Steve with Driver Solutions).

PAM: 3 weeks CDL training at Career Tech, Lakeland, FL Home break. 5 days in Tontitown AR for orientation 10-15 days (from what Steve said) OTR with trainer 300/wk for each week of orientation and OTR with trainer Upgraded to "First Seat" driver and have to do a mandatory 6 months of team driving at .35cpm TEAM (.17cpm each)

Prime: NOTE: The prime information I have is strictly from their website.

4 Days to get CDL Permit, Start training to goal of a total 40k miles. OTR with trainer for 3-4 wks, 75 hours driving experience, 10k miles closer to 40k goal. Obtain CDL with HazMat endorsement Upgraded to "B2" driver and must drive 30k miles to hit 40k goal 40k goal achieved, ACE Orientation, pass skills test, get own truck at .38cpm (.43cpm ECO49 trucks)

Now, I am assuming you will be driving with a trainer as a team for the 30k

Any feedback for this newbie would be greatly appreciated.

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

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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

You are correct in the statement that you will be driving as a team for the 30K miles.

Most trainers that I know personally at Prime are very good about teaching you what you need to know during that 30K miles. Their job is to teach you how to do your job once you go solo.

They teach you about trip planning, fueling, how to use the Qualcomm , etc. From the time you start your training until you are solo is about 3 months (give or take).

If you have any questions, let me know. I will do my best to help if I can.

Ernie

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Lyynk's Comment
member avatar

You are correct in the statement that you will be driving as a team for the 30K miles.

Most trainers that I know personally at Prime are very good about teaching you what you need to know during that 30K miles. Their job is to teach you how to do your job once you go solo.

They teach you about trip planning, fueling, how to use the Qualcomm , etc. From the time you start your training until you are solo is about 3 months (give or take).

If you have any questions, let me know. I will do my best to help if I can.

Ernie

So from start of driving to 40k is roughly 3(ish) months?

Thats not bad at all if you consider the alternative. Personally after hearing so many horror stories of drivers who were forced on team driving for their first year and having the entire experience somewhat tramatizing and "ruining" their trucking career, I would really like to try and avoid that.

I hear Prime is a great company to work for, and a great place to get a start. I think I am going to try and talk to a Prime recruiter today and see what my options are as far as training. My only thing is, no income at all right now so trying to find a way to pay for food and the license itself (I believe the permit and license is a total $150 out of pocket) So should be an interesting challenge.

Also, does anyone know if I will be able to get my CDL Permit in Florida and still be able to get my CDL License with Prime? Maybe that can give me a bit of a head start.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

I'm choosing Prime because I want the longer training times. As far as the $150 goes, speak to someone at your local employment center and see if they have any sort of assistance for that. Sell something you won't need for the road or several somethings. Borrow it and repay it with the $200 weekly loans that Prime offers during PSD. Your recruiter can tell you if you should get your permit or not from Florida. I live in Oregon and was told to get mine but, your state might have a different answer. Good luck!

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.

Ricky O.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

You are correct in the statement that you will be driving as a team for the 30K miles.

Most trainers that I know personally at Prime are very good about teaching you what you need to know during that 30K miles. Their job is to teach you how to do your job once you go solo.

They teach you about trip planning, fueling, how to use the Qualcomm , etc. From the time you start your training until you are solo is about 3 months (give or take).

If you have any questions, let me know. I will do my best to help if I can.

Ernie

double-quotes-end.png

So from start of driving to 40k is roughly 3(ish) months?

Thats not bad at all if you consider the alternative. Personally after hearing so many horror stories of drivers who were forced on team driving for their first year and having the entire experience somewhat tramatizing and "ruining" their trucking career, I would really like to try and avoid that.

I hear Prime is a great company to work for, and a great place to get a start. I think I am going to try and talk to a Prime recruiter today and see what my options are as far as training. My only thing is, no income at all right now so trying to find a way to pay for food and the license itself (I believe the permit and license is a total $150 out of pocket) So should be an interesting challenge.

Also, does anyone know if I will be able to get my CDL Permit in Florida and still be able to get my CDL License with Prime? Maybe that can give me a bit of a head start.

The first 10,000 really isn't 10k. It is 75 driving hours. I just finished that part. I didn't get to 10k. By the time I got back to test out I was well over 100 hours driving. We got allot of long runs in the beginning which didn't give me much backing practice. The last week we got put on a dedicated wall-mart account which got me allot of backing. Don't know why they tell you 10k miles when only 75 hours is mentioned after orientation.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Greenhorn Trucker's Comment
member avatar

The first 10,000 really isn't 10k. It is 75 driving hours. I just finished that part. I didn't get to 10k. By the time I got back to test out I was well over 100 hours driving. We got allot of long runs in the beginning which didn't give me much backing practice. The last week we got put on a dedicated wall-mart account which got me allot of backing. Don't know why they tell you 10k miles when only 75 hours is mentioned after orientation.

I believe they say around 10k miles as that is about 75-100 hours worth of driving give or take, most likely it is whatever comes first the hours or miles. A lot has to do with how your trainer feels you are doing on the skills, this would be a good guess since if you are doing poorly the train will request that you do more than the 10K to help you learn. All this is speculation of course and I could have it completely wrong, just making an educated guess as to how most places I have contacted have done things.

Lyynk's Comment
member avatar

The first 10,000 really isn't 10k. It is 75 driving hours. I just finished that part. I didn't get to 10k. By the time I got back to test out I was well over 100 hours driving. We got allot of long runs in the beginning which didn't give me much backing practice. The last week we got put on a dedicated wall-mart account which got me allot of backing. Don't know why they tell you 10k miles when only 75 hours is mentioned after orientation.

Do you do the 75 hours of driving with your permit and then have to take a road test at the DMV , or is there some paper they give you to take to the DMV saying you did all the requirements and stuff and then they just print a new CDL out for you?

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.

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

The first 10,000 really isn't 10k. It is 75 driving hours. I just finished that part. I didn't get to 10k. By the time I got back to test out I was well over 100 hours driving. We got allot of long runs in the beginning which didn't give me much backing practice. The last week we got put on a dedicated wall-mart account which got me allot of backing. Don't know why they tell you 10k miles when only 75 hours is mentioned after orientation.

Do you do the 75 hours of driving with your permit and then have to take a road test at the DMV , or is there some paper they give you to take to the DMV saying you did all the requirements and stuff and then they just print a new CDL out for you?

You have to go back to Prime and take a test with a state certified examiner. Once you pass, you get your license temporarily transferred to MO and then have to go back to your home state to transfer it back. It seems like a lot of pain, but really is very straight forward.

Any other questions, let me know. Will help if I can.

Ernie

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.

Logan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime has a very good training program but it being all 1 on 1 is very dependant on the trainer. I had a fantastic trainer who went above and beyond teaching me the basics. I disagreed with his methods and had lots of arguments and doubts but I see now how much he was right. Unfortunately after I tested out he wanted his daughter on his truck for the summer which I knew was a possibility before I got on his truck and I got a different trainer for the TNt phase. Boy what a difference. I'm almost done now and may be leaving to go to Schneider because my fiance is pregnant ( found out after I left for prime) and I need to be able to get home every couple weeks for her. Make sure you speak up if your trainer isn't teaching you what he should. Mine this time is lazy and I end up calling my other one for advice because I don't trust him.

I'm not knocking prime for it just saying be careful who your trainer is and if you're not learning what you need to get off before it's too late. I didn't wanna be that guy who was complaining and whining and stuck it out I don't recommend that at all. Other than that they're great :) seems like good loads some have too much time on them but they will work and try to get you off it before you sit too long.

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.

Lyynk's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately Prime will not accept me due to my previous employer (non-transport related) terminated me. I guess I will continue looking. If anything I know I can go with PAM transport since they are ready to send me to CDL school and get me rolling, however I really don't want to be forced to team for 6 months.

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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