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At TruckingTruth, we've done a ton of research for you! We've contacted the company recruiters at PAM Transport and put together a fantastic review of the PAM Transport 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.
After hours of research and speaking with recruiters, I feel PAM is a very good option to obtain your CDL and begin your truck driving career. They utilize the Driver Solutions network of CDL schools which is a well established truck driving education network. It's important to note their hiring area is mainly limited to the Eastern half of Texas and east of the Mississippi.
Once you complete your training at a Driver Solutions truck driving school, you'll be eligible for immediate hire from PAM Transport. While PAM operates throughout most of the country, they offer a bit more home time than other carriers and seem to be a bit more regionalized than other carriers. This makes PAM a good choice for those who only want to be away from home about 2 weeks at a time, but probably isn't a great choice for those seeking to travel across wide areas of the country.
Of course, you should always do your own research to find the company which best suits your needs and lifestyle, but if I were just beginning my trucking career PAM would be a serious consideration.
PAM Transport (the letters stand for the company founder's initials) is an irregular route, common and contract trucking company based out of Tontitown, AR. The company began in 1980 and has grown to more than 1,800 trucks becoming one of the largest dry-van carriers in the country. PAM specializes in hauling "just in time" freight for the automotive industry and also frequently hauls air conditioner units, cosmetics, and paper.
In addition to their freight operations, PAM offers a tuition assistance program for inexperienced drivers who need to obtain their CDL drivers license. Teaming up with Driver Solutions, they will finance 100% of the schooling and pay for the majority of the tuition cost over the course of 1 year.
While PAM operates in all of the lower 48 states, the majority of their freight is in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and the Eastern half of the United States. Therefore, they generally only hire from those areas. PAM does hire from the state of Illinois, but can not train Illinois residents through Driver Solutions program due to licensing issues.
PAM Transport works with select truck driving schools across the country through the Driver Solutions 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.
If you are employed with the carrier and haven't paid tuition up-front, will make weekly payments of $45 during your first year of employment. After the end of the 1-year commitment, you will receive a rebate of $4,000, reducing the tuition for which you are responsible for to $1,995.
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 your tuition. The unpaid balance at this time is due within 30 days and then interest will begin to accrue. If you cannot pay the remaining balance immediately, then Driver Solutions will work out an acceptable monthly payment arrangement with you to repay your tuition.
You can read a lot more details about your options for PAM Transport training
The only thing students need to pay for is licensing fees, food, and transportation to the training facility.
No, you will need to have funds for basic living expenses including food.
Lodging is provided while you attend truck driving school, but you may need to share a room with at least 1 other student.
Yes, there are options to pay up front and then have no contractual obligations and a higher starting mileage pay. The up front cost of training varies based upon your location and the specific CDL school you will be attending within the Driver Solutions network, so you will need to speak with a recruiter to obtain these details.
There are other options if you choose to provide a down payment, but no down payment is necessary for enrollment. If you would like to inquire on options for a down payment, contact a recruiter as the details of the down payment plans change on a constant basis.
As long as you drive with PAM Transport for 1 year or longer, you are not obligated to pay back any of the tuition costs. If you haven't paid up front, and leave before the year is up, you will be responsible for repaying the tuition of $5,995.
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.
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 endorsements are required, but the HazMat and Tanker endorsements are highly encouraged.
Even though a passport is not required, we highly recommend obtaining one. The ability to haul freight into Canada will give you more options to make more money and run more miles. Crossing into Canada has become very streamlined and is not a complicated process like it used to be.
It's also important to obtain as many CDL endorsements as possible, especially a HazMat endorsement as PAM operates some HazMat freight. You should always keep yourself as marketable as possible for future opportunities as well. Having endorsements will only help you with those future opportunities.
As always, bring as much paperwork with you as possible including any medical records or forms which could prove past employment and help with the background investigations. Finally, be certain that your birth certificate and social security card are originals (no copy's) and are not laminated.
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.
It depends on where the student goes for training, and how many students are in the class. Usually the maximum number of students per truck is 4.
The majority of the first week is spent in the classroom. Typically classroom time is at least 40hrs long.
PAM has partnered with a company called Driver Solutions which handles the CDL training and schooling. Driver Solutions is a well known company that works with various trucking schools across the country. So the truck driving school you attend will not actually be owned by PAM, rather, it will be with a private trucking school that Driver Solutions matches you up with.
Therefore, it's hard to give an exact itinerary for the school you'll be attending as you may attend one of a number of places. But in general, all state minimum requirements will be met or exceeded and as long as you successfully complete the course, you'll be hired by PAM immediately after you obtain your CDL.
It is a combination of days and performance. Typically, this averages around 17 days.
Training pay is a set salary of $350 per week.
Usually the first few days are spent being dispatched as a solo truck, but the remainder of the time will be spent as a team truck.
No, only one student is on a training truck.
Yes, nobody is allowed to sleep in the top bunk while the truck is in motion.
During training, both the trainee and the trainer will have assigned driver managers that can be contacted in case of any conflicts.
Yes, a non-smoking trainer may be requested.
Trainers must have a minimum of 1yr of safe driving experience.
While the initial training pay is slightly lower than the industry average for training pay, this should not be a deciding factor. The difference in pay over the entire duration of your training is insignificant when you consider you'll be averaging a minimum of $30k to $40k 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.
While PAM has about the same hiring requirements in terms of a drivers background and qualifications as most companies, they have a hiring area which mainly consists of places east of the Mississippi River along with some portions of Texas and the southern United States. Due to licensing issues, they can hire drivers from the state of Illinois but can not train them through Driver Solutions.
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.
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.
This depends and rates vary, but average cost of medical for an individual is around $25/weekly and family is around $65/weekly.
Benefits kick in 60 days after employment.
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 some restrictions.
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.
Regional and dedicated positions are offered based on seniority and driver performance. A large portion of the fleet does obtain a regional or dedicated account.
PAM does occasionally run NYC freight. 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.
About 90% of the freight at PAM is 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, intermodal, and logistics services throughout the United States, most PAM truck driving jobs are dedicated runs.
PAM operates short haul, medium haul, as well as long haul freight. Initially, most drivers will begin in the OTR division hauling long haul and medium haul freight. But even in the OTR division, drivers will get home on average ever 2 to 3 weeks, which is more often than most other OTR carriers. In as little as 3 months drivers will become eligible for more regionalized and dedicated freight. It's important to note, however, that a regional or dedicated position is not guaranteed.
International, Freightliner and some Peterbilts are being introduced.
Yes, all drivers are required to use electronic logging systems.
62 MPH on cruise control and 64 by foot.
Some PAM trucks do have APU units.