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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:
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 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.
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.
Generally, PAM only hires east of the Mississippi River.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Yes, lodging is included in your tuition.
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.
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.
This depends upon your state of residence and the state in which you will be attending training.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Typically, CDL training lasts 3-4 weeks.
This varies from student to student. Average time during each session is 45 minutes to an hour until the student is comfortable.
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.
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.
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.
It is a combination of days and performance. Typically, this averages around 17 days.
During the OTR training phase, student drivers are paid $350/week.
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.
No, each training truck only has 1 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.
Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.
Qualifications are all performance based and the best of the best are able to move into Driver Mentor positions within the 1st year.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Starting CPM is $.44 split, 3-12 months is $.46 CPM split
Starting CPM is $.30 and 3-12 months is $.35 CPM
This depends upon performance. 1st year drivers can earn up to $60,000 by driving Team OTR.
This depends upon driver performance. 1st year drivers can earn up to $50,000 by taking advantage of Team HazMat driving opportunities.
Yes. A fuel bonus is offered as part of PAM’s Mission MPG program. Read more about it here: PAM’s Mission MPG program
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.
After 60 days of employment.
This depends and rates vary, but average cost of medical for an individual is around $25/weekly and family is around $65/weekly.
Based on years of service.
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.
Yes, with PAM company restrictions which are subject to change.
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.
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.
Yes, there could be NYC driving. All loads are forced dispatch, but driver experience will be taken into account.
Yes, PAM’s loads are primarily forced dispatch.
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.
You can expect about 90% of the freight to be drop and hook.
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.
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.
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.
International, Freightliner and some Peterbilts are being introduced.
Yes. PAM Transport runs electronic logs.
62 MPH on cruise control and 64 by foot.
Some PAM trucks do have APU units.