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Truck Driving Questions & Information


How much does Prime pay?

OTR Solo Company Drivers:

  • Refrigerator division: 44 cents per mile
    • Earn an additional 5 cents per mile if you drive an ECO Featherweight tractor
    • Earn an additional 5 cents per mile for any loads picked up and delivered in the Northeast region
  • Flatbed division: 46 cents per mile
  • Tanker division: 51 cents per mile

Company Driver Team Pay:

  • Refrigerated = .52 cpm split
  • Flatbed = .50 cpm split
  • Tanker = .53 cpm split
  • Team Bonus = Earn 22 additional cents per mile for all miles above 3,000 per week

Independent Contractors:

  • Refrigerator division: Prime pays 72% of the actual rate it bills the shipper.
  • Flatbed division: Prime pays 72% of the actual rate it bills the shipper.
  • Tanker: Prime pays 71% of the actual rate it bills the shipper.

*Dedicated and intermodal driving divisions pay rates vary. Contact a recruiter for more details.

How much are trainees paid?

Prime provides a loan to all students of $200 per week during the first phase of training with the CDL permit (which is paid back to Prime once you start getting paid in $25 increments until the full amount is paid back). Once trainees obtain the Class A CDL, they are paid a guarantee of $700 per week for the remainder of training. This guarantee is paid as long as the student is available to drive.

How often will I be paid?

Prime drivers are paid weekly based on the previous week’s work.

What does Prime pay for loading/unloading lumpers?

The driver is paid to unload the freight, but a driver may use that money to hire a lumper if he/she wishes to. The scale for payment is as follows:

  • $2.50 per thousand lbs
  • 3 cents per piece
  • The amount we bill the customer OR
  • $60 minimum

You may be reimbursed $20 for using a pallet jack and allowed up to $35 to assist in unloading (when loads are not floor-loaded).

Does Prime pay contractors for highway and bridge tolls?

Yes. Prime pays 100% to the contractor of what it invoices to the customer for all driving divisions. If Prime does not collect from the customers, Prime pays contractors 28% of the actual expense for highway and bridge tolls in the Refrigerated and Flatbed Divisions. In the Tanker Division, Prime pays contractors 30% of highway and bridge tolls if it does not collect from the customers.

Does Prime offer stop-pay?

Yes. In Refrigerated and Flatbed Divisions, contractors are paid 72% of the revenue billed to the customer for stops made, and in the Tanker Division, contractors are paid 71% of the revenue billed to the customer for stops made. For the Intermodal Division, rates are evaluated frequently.

Does Prime pay a sign-on bonus?

No. Success Leasing pays a $300 leasing bonus when you lease a truck from Prime, which is treated as start-up capital for the driver.

Does Prime pay a referral bonus to associates?

Yes. Prime pays a referral bonus plus a residual income that is paid as long as both parties are drivers at Prime (this can add up to a lot of money over the years). Prime’s referral bonus is subject to change. For full details, contact a recruiter.

How it works:

  • Earn $100 when referred driver hauls the first load
  • Earn $500 when referred driver stays 6 months
  • Earn ¼ cpm on every mile referred driver runs after 6 months
  • Earn $1,000 when 3 referred drivers stay 6 months
Does Prime provide direct deposit?

Yes. Direct deposit is available. You can also have your earnings loaded to your ComData card.

Does Prime offer a fuel savings systems?

Yes. Prime’s innovative “Fuel Surcharge” program protects you – the independent contractor- from fuel market fluctuations. Fuel surcharge is based on Prime’s fuel cost minus $1.20 divided by 6 mpg to come up with the weekly amount paid in fuel surcharge. The fuel surcharge is paid for all authorized dispatch miles.


Is there a minimum age to become a truck driver?

Yes. You must be at least 21 to apply.

Do I have to have my commercial driver's license (CDL) before applying?

No. If you need to obtain your CDL, check out our Prime Student Driver Program.

How much experience do I need in order to join Prime as a driver associate?

Prime has opportunities for both experienced and non-experienced drivers. If you need to obtain your CDL, check out our Prime Student Driver Program. If you already have your CDL, Prime offers many opportunities in our refrigerated, flatbed, tanker, and intermodal divisions including over-the-road, regional, and dedicated options.

Drivers with a minimum of 6 months OTR (over-the-road) experience in the contiguous 48 states will be eligible to start as a company or lease driver after a 3-day orientation. If you have less than 6 months of OTR experience, you will be required to complete training before you can upgrade into your own truck.

Does Prime have a training program?

Yes. Prime has training programs for new and experienced drivers. All CDL training is based in Springfield, MO or Salt Lake City, UT. It provides the trainee driver real-world experience and a 1-to-1 training ratio. Prime also has numerous advanced programs for experienced drivers.


What is Prime's home policy?

As an OTR company driver, you will be out three to four weeks at a time, earning one day off for each week out. As an independent contractor, you can go home when you want. However, the most profitable remain out three to four weeks at a time. Home time may vary based on division. Contact a recruiter for more information. Company and lease drivers are able to take their truck home.

What is Prime's rider policy?

Prime has a passenger and pet policy. For the passenger policy, contact your fleet manager. The number of passengers is limited by available restraint systems in the truck; other conditions and factors (such as age, etc.) may also come into play. For company drivers, there are further restrictions.

Do I need a haz-mat endorsement?

It is not required, but it is preferred for experienced drivers.

Does Prime provide Internet access to driver associates?

Prime provides free wifi throughout most company terminals and training centers.

Does Prime offer solo and team opportunities?

Prime offers both solo and team opportunities. The option is up to you as the driver.

Does Prime have terminals and drop yards?

Yes, Prime has terminals in the following locations:

  • Altus, Oklahoma
  • Decatur, Indiana
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Miami, Florida
  • Oxnard, California
  • Pierson, Florida
  • Pittston, Pennsylvania
  • Reed City, Michigan
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Wilsonville, Oregon

Prime also utilizes several large drop yards around the US.


How long is the lease term?

On a brand new truck, three to four years, depending on division. There are leases of varying lengths on used trucks (the length of the lease is determined by the amount of time left in the Prime network — there could be just a few months remaining or it could be almost the full life of the truck still remaining).

None of the trucks available for lease and in service are over 4 years old in any division.

What kind of trucks do you have?

Freightliner, International, and Peterbilts are available depending on inventory.

What type of engines and accessories do Prime tractors have?

Prime’s fleet of tractors have the following engines:

  • Freightliner=DD15
  • Peterbilt=MX
  • International=Maxxforce

The majority of Prime’s tractors have 10-speed transmissions, top-grade interior, heated mirrors, pre-wired for refrigerators, and come equipped with a 1500 watt inverter and APU.

How much are the truck payments?

All payments will include physical damage insurance, Qualcomm, and other safety equipment if equipped. Each truck payment will vary based on the specification and age of equipment. As the truck ages, the payment will drop slightly.

  • Tanker: Starting at $915 per week
  • Flatbed: Starting at $898 per week
  • Refrigerated: Starting at $984 per week
How much is the trailer rental?

There is no trailer rental charge. Prime owns the trailers used by both company and lease operators.

What happens if I need to terminate the lease?

You just return the equipment to Success Leasing. There are no penalties or fees. Your unused tire reserve is refunded. Your credit record is not affected. You are responsible for getting the truck back up to spec and paying for anything that is outstanding on your account.

How does the purchase program work?

Prime offers a lease purchase option for new and used trucks. There is no credit check needed, but there is money down required to pursue this option. Contact Success Leasing for more information.


What day does the 3-week period begin on?

The 3-week period begins on the first day of the driver’s scheduled orientation. If there are delay issues, the extra days will NOT be paid and will use up part of the 3-week period.

If drivers bring their own truck, are they qualified for the Start Right program?

No, drivers must drive a Prime lease truck to be qualified.

Will home time be counted?

Yes, it consumes part of the 3 weeks (if within that time period). Home time will NOT pay the Start Right pay.

When will drivers get paid the Start Right pay?

Independent contractors will be paid on the settlement week they sign their contracts to begin leasing. Company drivers will be paid on the day they begin as a company driver.

Is this money on top of the revenue/wages that drivers would normally earn?

No, this program reviews drivers’ revenue and expenses during the 3-week period to make sure that the drivers receive at least the guaranteed minimum pay for that time. If drivers’ gross earning fall under the guaranteed minimum pay, then the Start Right pay will compensate them to meet the guaranteed pay.

What happens if the driver does not continue working with Prime?

If the driver is a company driver, nothing will happen. If the driver is an independent contractor, Prime will recapture 50% of the compensation given to the driver to meet the guaranteed minimum pay.

Are B1 and C drivers qualified for the Start Right program?

No, they must be lead seat A at the time they start with Prime.

Are return drivers qualified for the Start Right program?

Return drivers are qualified for the Start Right program if they have been gone from Prime for 12 months or more.



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