Driver Solutions: Company-Sponsored CDL Training

PAM Transport paid CDL training truck

Introduction To Driver Solutions Paid CDL Training Review

At TruckingTruth, we've done a ton of research for you! We've contacted the company recruiters at Driver Solutions and put together a fantastic review of the Driver Solutions paid CDL training program.

We'll start you off with our opinion of their paid CDL training program and then we'll take you through all of the key features and important information you'll need to know. Some of what we'll cover:

  • Student Hiring Requirements
  • Truck Driving School Locations
  • Driver Pay During Training
  • Advantages Of Working For Driver Solutions
  • Cost Structure Of CDL Training
  • CDL Training Itinerary
  • Driver Solutions Pay And Benefits
  • Vacation Pay And Home Time

Growing Larger All The Time

In April, Paul Allen Maestri founds PAM. Operations start small with 5 used Freightliner tractors and 15 trailers. Today they operate with over 2,000 tractors and 6,000 trailers.

Driver Solutions CDL Training & Truck Driving Jobs Video

Driver Solutions Review

Driver Solutions is much different than most other companies we’ve profiled here. They are not a trucking company and they aren’t a truck driving school, either. Rather, Driver Solutions has teamed up with PAM Transport. If you don’t currently have a CDL drivers license, Driver Solutions will find a truck driving school for you to attend and have PAM sponsor your Training. That way, you are able to obtain your CDL with very few up front costs and repay the tuition over the course of one year. The tuition costs ends up being split by your sponsored company and you.

After hours of research and speaking with recruiters, I’ve found this to be an excellent option to begin your truck driving career. Not only will you obtain your CDL schooling at no up front cost, but you’ll be guaranteed a job with PAM as long as you successfully complete the course and obtain your CDL. While it’s important that you do your own research and weight all options available to you, if I were looking to start my trucking career today, this is an option I would very seriously consider.

About Driver Solutions CDL Training

For over 30 years, Driver Solutions has partnered with PAM Transport to offer company paid CDL training. This enables new drivers to attend trucking school to learn the skills needed to start a great paying truck driver job without any upfront tuition costs for training.

Driver Solutions is providing a reasonable alternative through a unique CDL training sponsorship to train new drivers for good-paying trucking opportunities. By partnering with well-respected CDL schools and nationally known trucking companies, we’re able to offer sponsored training options for qualified candidates.

You’ll need to qualify for a driving position with a network trucking company and complete the CDL training program.

Getting Hired With Driver Solutions

Driver Solutions Minimum Hiring Requirements

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • Have a valid US driver’s license.
  • Do not have a conviction for DUI (drug or alcohol related) in the past 5 years
  • Able to pass the DOT Physical and drug screen

Driver Solutions Hiring Areas

Where do you hire from and what are your no-hire zones?

Generally, PAM only hires east of the Mississippi River.

  • Pam Transport Hiring Area: PAM Transport hiring area map

Driver Solutions Facility Locations

Driver Solutions CDL Training Facilities

Where are your schools located?

Driver Solutions works with trucking schools all over the U.S. and we are continuing to form new partnerships, too. Currently we are able to help new drivers find truck driving schools in and around the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

Driver Solutions Cost

Cost Structure Of Driver Solutions

If you wish the pay for the entire tuition cost upfront, the total amount due is $5995.00. You will not be required to sign an employment contract.

The Driver Solutions company sponsored CDL training program requires no upfront tuition money from the student. As long as the driver fulfills his/her agreement with the company; only $1,995.00 will be paid back through payroll deductions during the course of one year.

In the event that you don’t go to work for the carrier or otherwise fail to complete twelve (12) consecutive months of employment with the carrier for any reason; you will owe the remaining balance of $5995.00. The unpaid balance at this time is due within 30 days and then interest will begin to accrue. If you cannot pay the full $5995.00 immediately, then Driver Solutions will work out an acceptable monthly payment arrangement with you to repay your tuition.

What are all of the up-front costs?

The only upfront costs are licensing fees and food money while at training. Licensing fees vary from state to state and will be discussed prior to training.

Will my meals be paid for?

No, students are responsible for their own basic living expenses including food. Most students typically budget around $200 for food money, but it varies on diet/preferences.

Will my room be paid for?

Yes, lodging is included in your tuition.

Can I pay for my CDL training up front and have no further obligation?

Yes, you can.

As long as you drive with the company covering your upfront tuition for 1 year or longer, you will only pay back $1,995.00 of the training costs.

TruckingTruth's Take On The Cost Of Training At Driver Solutions

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Note there is a very high penalty for not completing your contractual obligations. We always recommend you stay with your first trucking job for a minimum of 1 year, but in this case it’s especially important.

Driver Solutions Preparation For CDL Training

Items To Bring To Driver Solutions

School and Staying Organized:
  • Required documents and paperwork
  • Notebooks (1 or 2)
  • Folders for paperwork
  • Post-its and a highlighting marker
  • Calculator
  • Pens and pencils
  • Ruler
  • Work Gloves
  • Flashlight
Personal Items:
  • Minimum of 7 days of season-appropriate clothing
  • Glasses (prescription) and Sunglasses
  • Cell Phone and charger
  • Required medication

Preparation For Driver Solutions

Do I need to get my CDL permit before attending school?

This depends upon your state of residence and the state in which you will be attending training.

Do I need a US Passport?

No, you do not need a U.S. Passport. However, you will be required to provide identification at training and a U.S. Passport may be an acceptable form.

Which CDL endorsements are required or encouraged?

No advanced CDL endorsements are required through any trucking company that Driver Solutions works with, but obtaining a HazMat, tanker, and doubles / triples endorsement is highly encouraged.

TruckingTruth's View On Preparing For Driver Solutions CDL Training

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While some schools want you to obtain your CDL permit before arriving, Driver Solutions prefers if you hold off and let them help you in taking the exams to obtain your permit.

And even though you do not need to have a US Passport or any additional endorsements for the companies that Driver Solutions works with, we highly recommend you obtain a passport and all endorsements.

Driver Solutions Itinerary

Driver Solutions CDL Training Itinerary

CDL training begins in the classroom during the first week as drivers receive instructions on topics such as: cdl knowledge and permit testing, keeping accurate log books, map reading and trucker atlas trip planning and routing.

Weeks 2 and 3 are spent perfecting driving range exercises and getting some on the road experience behind the wheel. Skills covered during this portion include: right & left turns, shifting techniques, straight line backing, offset backing, parallel parking, other backing exercises

The rest of the time is spent preparing on the street for the final CDL skills test.

How long is the training overall?

Typically, CDL training lasts 3-4 weeks.

How much time on the range backing up?

This varies from student to student. Average time during each session is 45 minutes to an hour until the student is comfortable.

During the practice range phase, how many students share one truck?

This depends upon which location the student is going to for training and the number of students in class at a time. Usually the maximum number of students per truck is 4.

How much time in classroom?

The majority of the first week of CDL training is spent in the classroom. All state minimum requirements are generally exceeded, but typically classroom time is at least 40hrs long.

TruckingTruth’s View On Driver Solutions Training Itinerary

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Since Driver Solutions works with several different CDL schools, it’s difficult to give an exact itinerary for the program. However, the only schools Driver Solutions works with have been pre-approved by PAM.

In general, all state minimum requirements will be met or exceeded and the schools have a good track record of success.

On The Road Training Itinerary With Driver Solutions

Is the training period based on number of days, number of driving hours, number of miles, or some combination?

It is a combination of days and performance. Typically, this averages around 17 days.

How much will I be making when I’m on the road with a trainer?

During the OTR training phase, student drivers are paid $350/week.

Do they run your trainer and you as a "team" operations or like a solo truck?

Initially, the truck is dispatched as a solo operation. Once your assigned trainer feels you’re safe enough to drive alone, the truck will be dispatched as a team operation.

On The Road Training Policies at Driver Solutions

Is there more than one student per trainer and truck?

No, each training truck only has 1 student.

Do you have a "No sleeping in the top bunk while the truck is rolling" policy?


What is your policy for handling disputes between trainer and student?

Every driver will be assigned a Driver Manager and he/she will help handle any disputes; which may include assigning the student driver to another Mentor.

Can you get a non-smoking trainer?

Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.

What are the company’s minimum qualifications to be a trainer?

Qualifications are all performance based and the best of the best are able to move into Driver Mentor positions within the 1st year.

TruckingTruth’s View Of Driver Solutions On The Road Training

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While the initial training pay is a bit lower than the industry average, this should not be a deciding factor. The difference in pay over the duration of your training is insignificant when you consider you’ll be averaging a minimum of $45k to $60k within your first 1 to 2 years as a truck driver. Think of this portion of your your career as “Truck Driving University” and don’t worry about the initial salary. What’s important now is getting you trained and employed so you can make the real money as a solo driver.

Working For Driver Solutions

Advantages Of Working For Driver Solutions

Driver Solutions is not a truck driving company. Rather, they act as the middle man to help you obtain education at a truck driving school, obtain your CDL, then place you with PAM. Your job is guaranteed as long as you pass the course. Here are some other advantages to using Driver Solutions:

  • At Driver Solutions they take one of the most stressful life events, starting a new job, and make it easy. Our process has been proven to work over the 30+ years that we’ve been in business and we’ve been able to help over 25,000 drivers start successful driving careers.
  • It all starts with their online application, and from there they walk new drivers through the entire process of finding the best truck driving job and CDL training location based in their area. Their company-sponsored CDL training program is the absolute, best, easiest way to start a career as a truck driver.
  • You'll pay no upfront tuition costs for the CDL training program.

TruckingTruth's View On Working For Driver Solutions

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The company that Driver Solutions works with has hiring requirements which are about average for the trucking industry. The main difference is that PAM mostly hires from the eastern half of the United States.

The CDL schools are located in several different areas and they will find the best match for you based on your home area.

Driver Solutions Company Driver Pay And Benefits

Driver Solutions Company Driver Pay

How much will I be making once I'm running solo in my own truck?

Drivers will be able to choose if they would like to drive Team or Solo during the 1st 12 months. Pay will depend upon performance and mileage.

Team OTR

Starting CPM is $.44 split, 3-12 months is $.46 CPM split

Solo OTR

Starting CPM is $.30 and 3-12 months is $.35 CPM

When will I receive pay increases?

This depends upon performance. 1st year drivers can earn up to $60,000 by driving Team OTR.

PAM Transport Pay

When will I receive pay increases?

This depends upon driver performance. 1st year drivers can earn up to $50,000 by taking advantage of Team HazMat driving opportunities.

Do you offer a fuel bonus?

Yes. A fuel bonus is offered as part of PAM’s Mission MPG program. Read more about it here: PAM’s Mission MPG program

Driver Solutions Company Driver Benefits

What health insurance and benefits do you have?

PAM offers health insurance with all major standard benefits and options including life insurance and 401k retirement plans, vacation time, and optional per diem plan.

How long until you qualify for benefits?

After 60 days of employment.

What is the average cost of benefits?

This depends and rates vary, but average cost of medical for an individual is around $25/weekly and family is around $65/weekly.

What About Vacation Time?

Based on years of service.

  • 1 week after 1 year of employment
  • 2 weeks after 3 years of employment
  • 3 weeks after 10 years of employment

TruckingTruth's View On Driver Solutions Company Driver Pay

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Initially, the starting pay is a bit low.

We always stress that you should under no circumstances leave your first company before at least 1 year and especially not before your contractual tuition payment obligations are completed.

Driver Solutions Employee Policies

Pets & Travelers Policy

Do you allow pets?

Yes, with PAM company restrictions which are subject to change.

What is the company’s rider policy?

Drivers can have passengers who are 18 years old or older. Family members who are 13 years or older are also allowed. There is no insurance fee for a spouse but there is a small charge each month for other passengers.

Driver Solutions Dispatching Policies

Can a new driver run regional or dedicated right after school?

All PAM drivers start out as over-the-road. That being said, much of PAM’s business is running Dedicated freight and Dedicated lanes may be available after just 3 months.

Will there be any NYC? How soon would a new solo driver be expected to go there?

Yes, there could be NYC driving. All loads are forced dispatch, but driver experience will be taken into account.

Are you forced dispatch? Is the driver given any options for different loads?

Yes, PAM’s loads are primarily forced dispatch.

How often can I expect to be home? For how long at a time?

OTR PAM Transport drivers typically start out being on the road for 2-3 weeks at a time and back home again for 2-3 days.

What percentage of freight is drop and hook?

You can expect about 90% of the freight to be drop and hook.

Driver Solutions Company Driver Opportunities

Do you have a leasing program, and will I be persuaded or incentivized to lease?

Yes, a lease-purchase program is offered. Certain incentives may be available and new drivers may be able to take advantage of this program during the first year.

What divisions do you have? (local, dedicated, regional, tanker, flatbed, reefer)

OTR, Local, Dedicated and Regional. PAM provides dry van truckload, expedited truckload, inter-modal, and logistics services throughout the United States, most PAM truck driving jobs are dedicated runs.

TruckingTruth's View On Driver Solutions Company Driver Opportunities

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PAM offers a bit more home time than most other training companies. Drivers will earn 1 day off for each week they are out, but often times take home time after only 2 weeks vs. 3 to 4 week stretches at other companies.

There are also more regional and dedicated positions offered at these companies than others in the industry. The advantage to this is added home time and more predictable miles / pay, with the disadvantage being less travel and experiencing less of the country.

Driver Solutions Equipment

What kind of trucks do you have?

International, Freightliner and some Peterbilts are being introduced.

Do you run electronic logs?

Yes. PAM Transport runs electronic logs.

What are your trucks governed at?

62 MPH on cruise control and 64 by foot.

Do you have APU units?

Some PAM trucks do have APU units.

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