Just wanted to drop in and make my first post about Prime. I'll try to keep it short:
- Training program doesn't train students very well. Most seemed to fail at SLC.
- Trainer 1 was a nutcase, and 2 didn't teach me much.
- Without some community college CDL classes I KNOW I would have failed.
- Dead batteries on my company truck, so I tried to nope out.
Somebody convinced me to go lease instead:
- Expenses ~ $3500 a week for that truck (New model, 1st owner, didn't trust them b/c dead batteries on the other), take home pay/before taxes usually about $1700.
- Got a bad scar on my eyebrow from crank handle hitting me. Had to get 8 stitches, and asked, "...Can you still deliver the load?"
- High lease payments push you into working a lot more, so you'll burn out and fail on time delivery unless you set aside money, and when you do it's again like $3000 you gotta burn.
- After expenses, taxes, etc. it's basically company pay...
So I screwed up on time delivery a few times. I got burned out and chewed out a lot.
Here's my final load:
- 1400 miles in about 2.5 days,
- 20 minutes late to delivery. I sat for 3 hours...
- Dispatcher, "You were late to this last drop. I'm not comfortable with you pulling our freight anymore."
- Dispatcher, "Two days ago you did an 11 hour break instead of a 10. If you did 10, you could have made it."
- That was after driving 65 in the backwoods of Ohio for ~100 miles.
Those words left his mouth. He sounded as stupid as that does, and he knew it.
I'm starting to see why people choose to go Owner Operator.
Oh! I forgot. CRST driver hit me and they smacked me across the face with a $1000 deductible, AND wiped out my ENTIRE emergency fund of $3900 on the truck for "repairs." We're talking 45 minutes to change an air filter kinda stuff...
Just wanted to add something. That dispatcher would make additional rules on top of Primes.
- Prime: "Lease operators can take time off whenever."
- Dispatcher: "Yeah, I need 2 weeks notice for time off. Also we avoid 34 hour restarts like the plague."
- Their trailers have sensors. They go off from too much movement, but not once did a sensor going off affect my load. Every single time it affected my reputation though. Those things are hair triggered. Like dropping 5 MPH in less than 500 feet sets them off.
My Prime student-to-lease experience
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Well I found a dedicated route for MVT. 2,700 - 3,200 miles a week. 5-6 days on, then a 34, governed at 68. I spent too long on the road with Prime. I'll be in with this orientation during later in the week.
Hope I'm not too rusty from the time off I've been enjoying.
Edit: Forgot it's at 45 CPM. I know it's bad, but it's additional experience and keeps the lights on for awhile longer while I figure out what else to do.
Yeah. When I hopped on with Prime I didn't have a dime to my name, so I got used to settling. The chick they had at the desk was cute, but pretty good at standing up to people.Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
So you leased a 160k dollar truck, started a business and took on all risks and obligations of said business all because the truck they were going to issue you as a company driver had dead batteries? Which the would have fixed at no cost to you btw.
The service failures are on you. Trip planning and time management are skills that truck drivers must have.
Im not saying prime is the best company out there or that leasing is a good idea (pro tip: it’s not) but I would venture to say a good bit of your bad experience at prime comes directly from your decisions and actions.
#1 Nobody with any business sense would enter into an arrangement like that.
#2 They have an undercapitalized driver who they can run like a sled dog and browbeat into doing them "favors" and never going home because he's in constant fear of covering that $3500/week payment.
There is NO RISK to Prime. If you fail, they'll just repo the truck and re-lease it to the next student/sucker. Meanwhile, your credit goes from bad to worse and you've drained what little capital you managed to scrape together. No labor board to protect you from onerous/shady charges, fees etc: see you in court !!
Can you make money on these deals? Maybe, if everything goes right. But you're constantly taking on students and living out of that truck. And you're taking on WAY too much business risk for that potential reward.
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