Prime Training Series: What’s Orientation Like?

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Prime’s Training Program prepares you for a career in trucking by helping you obtain your CDL and receive hands-on experience behind the wheel. Throughout each stage of training, you will receive valuable insight from professional drivers who’ve been in your shoes.

Whether you’re thinking about applying or you already have been approved to get started with us, here’s what to expect at your first stop: orientation.

Prime student talks with a trainer.
Prime training.

Before You Begin Orientation

Before you come to Prime’s orientation, you will need to obtain a Class A CDL Learner’s Permit in your home state. You can take the permit exam at your local DMV. Connect with your Prime recruiter to schedule a DOT Physical near you, which is required before you take the permit exam. Prime covers the cost of the DOT Physical if it is scheduled through your Recruiter.

How Much Does Orientation Cost?

Prime provides lodging and three meals a day. Typically, Prime would provide bus transportation to orientation, but due to COVID-19, you will be required to travel by car (no bus or plane allowed at this time). Check with a Prime Recruiter to confirm current travel options.

The only cost to you will be a one-time $100 entry fee, plus the cost of your permit. If you agree to drive for Prime for one year, you will pay nothing else for the training program. The $100 entry fee will be reimbursed to you upon completion of the orientation process.

Private truck driving programs can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 or more. Company-sponsored CDL training saves you money. At Prime, new drivers get paid while training with their CDL in the final stage of our Prime Training Program during what is known as TNT training.

What Should You Pack?

Think about packing for Prime’s orientation like packing for a short vacation. You will need enough clothing for seven days, bedding, and toiletries. Laundry rooms will be available at your hotel or terminal.

Here’s a list of what to bring:

  • Clothing, including a jacket
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Pillow
  • Towel
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Phone charger
  • Notebook
  • Pencils

You won’t need bedding or towels during orientation. Those will be provided with the hotel accommodations. However, you will want to bring them for the next portion of your training on a truck. Keep this in mind when packing. Only bring the necessities and keep your belongings to one to two soft sided bags to save space.

When you move onto the next phase of training, you may want to add wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunglasses and a laundry bag to your packing list.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are requiring that students bring and wear their own masks. Watch this CDC video to learn how to make a mask.

Aside from clothing and classroom supplies, you will need to pack the following documentation.

  • Long form physical
  • Medical card
  • Original birth certificate (View a list of acceptable alternatives.)
  • Driver’s license
  • Voided check (To set up direct deposit option.)

What’s Orientation Like?

When you come for orientation, you will visit one of our three orientation facilities in Springfield, MO; Pittston, PA; or Salt Lake City, UT. Orientation at Prime consists of an interview and file review, computer-based training, driving simulator training, and classroom training.

Once you’ve made it to one of our orientation facilities, you will complete a handwritten application and take a preliminary driving skills test. This test, along with your file, will be reviewed by an associate on our orientation team. Your file should note previous education, employment history and past criminal violations.

Over the next few days, you will learn about hazmat handling, electronic logs, cargo claim prevention, safety and more. Your training will take place in the classroom and virtually through driving simulations.

Prime truck on Prime training pad.
Prime training pad.

What’s Next After Orientation?

Orientation is only your first stop on the road to becoming a commercial driver.

How long does it take to become a truck driver? The entire commercial driver training process at Prime Inc. takes approximately four to five months.

After Prime’s orientation, you will spend two to four weeks with a CDL instructor for one-on-one training during the CDL Instruction phase. Once you feel ready to test, you will take the CDL exam at one of our orientation facilities.

After you obtain your CDL, you will move on to the last phase: TNT training. Once you have 30,000 team miles, you will be eligible to team up with another company driver and start earning team driver pay. Once you have 50,000 team miles under your belt, you can upgrade to your own truck.

Are you ready to drive with Prime? Curious about our CDL training program?

Apply at Prime today to connect with a recruiter, or learn more about our company sponsored CDL training here.

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