New to Prime INC - What to expect (Springfield edition)

Discussion in 'Prime' started by silenteagle, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    Welcome to the thread that I hope will explain what you are going to experience when you arrive at our facilities in Springfield Missouri. Most of you will be riding the dog (Greyhound) from wherever you are to our terminal. Make sure you have the phone number for the Prime shuttle. They will come get you from the bus station and drop you off at The Campus Inn (Prime's hotel and training facility).

    When you arrive at the hotel you will check in and receive a room.The hotel DOES NOT COST YOU ANYTHING WHILE IN TRAINING. If it is late, or just after a meal has ended, they will give you a boxed lunch that has a sandwich and some other goodies. (If you have high BP due to sodium, don't eat the ham sandwich) If you are starting from scratch (no CDL) you will be sharing a room with someone. Others with a CDL that are just transferring from another carrier will probably be given a room to yourself, but don't expect it. (availability drives this) Look around, get your bearings and get yourself situated in the room. There are a few restaurants nearby, and a WalMart just a block away. (Go to the front of the hotel, look left, and start walking toward the Culvers restaurant, Wally world is just past this place.) There is an Applby's by the WalMart, but let me remind you, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WHILE YOU ARE IN ORIENTATION! You will find yourself on the curb in front of the Oasis, paying your own way home.

    Meal Card: If you arrive early in the day you will probably get a meal card from the cafeteria. If you arrive late, you will get it at breakfast or lunch the next day. This card is your food for the week. It does not buy you everything you want, as each meal has a price limit that will get you the main meal and a drink. You will have to pay the difference if you want more than the basic meal.

    Money: I would recommend bringing $200 with you. $100 will be the fee Prime charges you, $50 for your CDL permit, and $50 spending cash because sometimes the meal just doesn't fill you up, or you need that soda and candy bar just to stay awake. You shouldn't need more than that.

    You should be given a packet with a bunch of application questions and stuff to fill out. Make sure you fill it out as soon as you can. You will need it completed on day one. It will be used for your background interview. The packet will be a repeat of most of the information you provided to the recruiter. DO NOT LIE OR TRY TO HIDE ANYTHING! All trucking companies must investigate every applicants work, driving, and criminal history. EX: If you have a misdemeanor for peeing in public, tell them.

    Day one of orientation is hectic and confusing, so get a good night sleep.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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  2. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    Orientation for new drivers will be different than people with their CDL. Lets focus on new drivers:

    On day one make sure you wake up early and eat breakfast before 6:45 AM. Your orientation will probably start around 7 or 7:30. I am not going to post the whole process in detail, as it changes. Just be prepared with a pen and the packet of paperwork you were given at check-in, completed as best as you can. During the day there will be some confusing moments as they split the new drivers and the CDL holders, PAY ATTENTION. If you don't know what's coming next, start asking people questions. It's better to look dumb beforehand in front of a few people than to look foolish in front of everyone while you are walking in late and confused.

    There are two events on day one that you will be involved in that could determine whether you stay in orientation or go home. The first event is the Physical. The physical not only includes the Urinalysis, but also includes a sugar test (for diabetes) and a review of your medical history. If you have any medical issues, it is best to have them reviewed by your doctor at home before coming to Prime (or other carriers for that matter) and have the doctor's fax number. These issues will have to be signed off by your doctor on a 4 page statement, and the health people will also want a copy of the doctor's notes from your doctor's visit. Have this lined up before coming to ensure a smooth Physical process. When the doctor asks about your history, the nurse will ask you for the fax number if there is anything that needs signed off. Make sure that the doctor can receive that paperwork and follow up the fax with a phone call to the doctor's office to make sure they received it and understand that you need it back the same day. :: If you are tested positive for drugs you will be sent home. If you have been taking a medication that disqualifies you, you will have to go home for 30 days and bring back a doctor's certification that you can function without that medication. (a lot of meds for pain and depression might fit this category)

    Next will be the interview. You will sit down with someone that will go through your whole application. They will have your criminal background as well as your driving history. They should also have your work history including all of the paperwork from your previous employers. BE HONEST. They are not there to judge you, but to ensure that Prime is not hiring someone with a sketchy background, or someone that cannot be honest. If you get caught up in a lie, they will probably send you home. While you are with the interviewer you will pay your $100 fee.


    The packet will be a repeat of most of the information you provided to the recruiter. DO NOT LIE OR TRY TO HIDE ANYTHING! All trucking companies must investigate every applicants work, driving, and criminal history. EX: If you have a misdemeanor for peeing in public, tell them.

    If you have your CDL permit, you are ahead of the game as far as orientation. For those of you without a permit, study study study. Get your CDL study guide from your state, or look for one online if you can. If you have a smart phone or laptop/tablet you can also go to www.cristcdl.com to take some practice tests. They are very close to the Missouri CDL written tests. I have taken them all, and can say that most questions I saw on the written tests were similar to the website's questions/answers. You will be required to take the following written tests for the Class A CDL:
    General Knowledge*, Air Brakes*, Combination*
    I suggest you try to get your Tanker, doubles/triples if you can. Don't get HAZMAT unless you are a Missouri Resident. This is a more complicated endorsement that I will post about later.
    If you have your CDL permit you will get to go to the Sim Lab early and get things done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
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  3. winkstem

    winkstem Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for the info. I leave on dec 9th for orientation. I already have my cdl -a. Its just been awhile since i drove. WHEN DID YOU GO THROUGH ORIENTATION?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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  4. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    Once you get past day one life does get a little easier for those of you with your CDL permit. If you didn't come with one, the heat's still on. Get ready to take the CDL written tests. They work with you if you fail your first tests. I have seen some people trying to pass the tests as late as Friday, but most people are sent home at that point. Study study study.

    You will need $50 to get your Missouri CDL permit. Once you pass your CDL written tests the shuttle will take a group of you downtown to get your picture taken, blood drawn (just kidding) and get your new Missouri CDL Permit. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR REGULAR LICENSE, YOU NEED IT to drive with your CDL permit.

    Once you get your permit, are cleared by the medical team and the background check is good, you are now ready to get your ID card. This is done over at the Milleneum building, the jewel of Prime INC. The food is better, and it is the terminal where everything else happens. Once you get your ID card the cadre can start working with you on the maneuvering pad where you learn how to do the Pre-trip inspection and possibly get to do a little maneuvering in a real truck with a real trailer. Those of you who are still waiting for medical clearance or to pass your written tests will NOT be able to go with your classmates.

    After you make it through the orientation process and you get your ID Card, there will be $200 available to borrow each friday. (4 weeks max) You get this by using your ID card as an ATM card either in a machine or at Wal Mart. Your pin was set up when you made the call after getting your ID card at driver line up. Each time you take that $200 you are adding the amount to the total that you will have to pay back. This will be paid back once you get your CDL and become an employee. it is taken out of your paychecks at $25 per week. REMEMBER, when you come back to do the CDL hands on tests you will need around $100 to go get your CDL at the DMV.

    Wednesday and Thursday are mostly classes on employment requirements such as Sexual Harassment and other gov't required classes. You will also have classes that will prepare you to become an employee. Thursday or Friday will be the days that you will probably be assigned a PSD instructor. More on that next...

    One thing I want you to know: YOU ARE BEING INTERVIEWED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE ORIENTATION AND TRAINING PROCESS so I would suggest that you DON'T wear t-shirts with cuss words on it, raggedy clothes, or have your underwear/buttcrack showing. I would suggest that you also conduct yourself as if your mom/grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle is watching and grading you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  5. Backwater13

    Backwater13 Light Load Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to write this up. I will be following this thread as I am anticipating arriving there around the second week of January.

    Could you discuss or correct my assumptions (assuming all of the following apply presently) about the introductory fee of $100, the CDL permit fee of $50 (although I'm studying right now to get my CDL permit prior to attending), and all other fees that may be required to be paid during orientation like fees for the sleep apnea test, urine test and physical. I'm trying to get a handle on how much cash I need to budget for up front expenses during orientation along with other monies to avoid having to go into debt with the $200 allowance.

    Were you comfortable with all of the paperwork you were asked to sign as it relates to contractual obligations?

    Thanks,

    Bill

    EDIT: If you would not mind, could you disclose your position with PRIME inc? Are you a recruiter, trainer, employee driver, L/O or some other association with the company? Thank you kindly.

    EDIT: I'm getting dropped off by family. I'm thinking about bringing a cooler to stock up with perishables food items to supplement the meal card. I will need ice. Do the ice machines typically run low and how far would I have to haul some ice from say...Wal Mart? Or will this be overkill? I've read that depending upon how long it takes for a trainer to become available, I could be there for two weeks at the hotel room (two weeks seems to be the max).
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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  6. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    Prime Student Driver Program: PSD - a program for new drivers not holding a CDL, or who have not had driving time in a long time. This program will consist of going with a trained instructor to learn the most basic tasks needed to pass the CDL hands on test. This includes the Pre-trip, backing, and on road driving in city and highway environments. You will spend between 2 and 5 weeks out on the road with your PSD instructor running freight. Yes, they still have to do their trucking job, but they have agreed to take you along and teach/mentor you on the basics of driving.
    1: you are a guest in their house. The truck driver lives in their truck and as a guest you should offer up the utmost consideration to them and their home. Each driver has his/her own rules for their truck. They should at a minimum make sure that you have the top bunk to sleep in and store your gear. You should ensure that you have 7-10 days of clothes as well as cold weather gear as needed. You will also need a sleeping bag and a pillow or two. Make sure that they are clean and don't stink.
    2: You are NOT an employee yet. Your job during the PSD phase is to learn the basics about driving, practice your pre-trip and driving and maneuvering until you dream about it. Please don't put yourself in a dangerous position where you may have to go home because of an injury. Enter and exit the truck using three points of contact at all times. Use gloves when handling stuff. Keep your eye on the pie, and that pie is passing your CDL hands on evaluations.
    3: You are still being interviewed, so take a shower. Brush your teeth. Shave. Your PSD Instructor should be able to provide showers for you at the truckstops. They get a shower credit at most truckstops with every 50 gallons of fuel. Team showers don't mean that you shower with him/her, but that you get two showers for one shower credit. You should not have to buy a shower, but you may end up at a shipper/receiver where you have to wait an extra day to get a shower. Once a week you should be able to find 2 hours to wash your clothes. Dirty clothes in the truck start to stink after a week. Make sure you have a laundry bag. Buy your detergent and stuff at Walmart, or you will pay $4 for a little tiny box of powder for one wash. Stay with your wash, or someone might like your clothes better than you...
    4: Listen to your PSD instructor. Ask questions. You are here to learn. Your PSD might tell you to wait on some subjects such as the Quallcom and paperwork. Leave that stuff for TnT. You are overloaded enough to learn what you need to pass your CDL. Know who your Fleet manager is and talk to him once a week. Tell him how you are progressing, and don't be afraid to talk to him if you and your PSD are having issues or differences of opinion. Big flags are: Instructor driving on your log, Instructor sleeping while you drive, denying you shower time, asking you for money.
    Some requirements: You are supposed to spend 4 hours on the training pad going over the pre-trip and getting to know the truck/trailer before you depart SpriMo. You are also supposed to spend 2 hours one on one with your PSD instructor learning how to shift and maneuver the truck and trailer before you depart as well. You are required to drive at least 75 hours before you come back to Springfield to test. While you are out, YOU are responsible for writing down all of your hours driving, as well as any backing and maneuvering training you might get to do in the truckstops and at the shippers or receivers. When you get back to SpriMo, make sure that you can do all of the maneuvers before testing, and make sure that you know the road test routes. Passing with first time Go's will get you a nice bonus, and a bonus received on your first day of employment is a pretty big deal.
     
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  7. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    I am a PSD Instructor, TnT trainer, and an Ace lease operator (I am buying my truck) You can read some more about me at http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/prime/158953-class-starting-25-oct-11-a.html. <-- I started here.

    I will be addressing your questions as I go into more detail. I am trying not to let this thread get too many pages, as people don't want to start at the beginning. I hope someone with CPAP experience can address this, or I can copy some of the info from other posts.
     
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  8. winkstem

    winkstem Bobtail Member

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    whats the purpose of signing a 1 yr contract? AFTER WEEKS OF TALKING WITH MY RECRUITER , I JUST NOW HEARD THIS YESTERDAY. IM ALSO TRYING TO GET MY UPFRONT EXPENSES UNDERSTOOD.
     
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  9. Backwater13

    Backwater13 Light Load Member

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    Thank you. I'm reading your thread now and thanks for posting. Very impressed with quite a few of the PRIME drivers I've read about on this forum. I will hold off on future questions to alleviate the post count as mentioned. Permission to shoot you a PM in the future?
     
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  10. silenteagle

    silenteagle Road Train Member

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    RE: The one year contract... You are getting the following:
    1. Free hotel stay anytime you are not on a truck during the training process
    2. Free food for a week during your orientation, after you pass your CDL, and during your upgrade week.
    3. A loan up to $800 during your PSD phase. No Interest, paid back at $25 per week.
    4. About $4000 worth of CDL instruction. Yes, you would have to pay around that much if you went to a CDL school. You would have to sit around with 10-20 others waiting hours to drive a truck for 15 minutes.
    5. You are getting a $600 a week GUARANTEED paycheck during the TnT training portion. That's about 6-8 weeks at that pay.

    All they ask is that you drive for 1 year. Either way, company or lease. Leave before 6 months and you owe $3600, leave after 6 months and it's $1800 or something like that.

    You could go elsewhere, but make sure you know how much it's gonna cost ya.
     
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