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Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

Hey Brett- Tried to edit my last post to add a quick request.

Can I ask you to delete my profile so that I don't keep getting email alerts?

Thank you so much sir. Take care.

I have to say I'm terribly disappointed but not at all surprised. You came here blasting the company for having inferior equipment, inferior people, and a careless attitude toward their employees but when we asked for proof you suddenly come up with excuses why you can't prove any of it. Now you want everything deleted.

We asked you a very simple question - did the company refuse the fix the equipment? We're still waiting for an answer.

See, this is a major problem with our society today, especially on the Web. Everyone wants to spread negative information and opinions but no one wants to be held accountable for anything they say.

Did it ever cross your mind that a website named TruckingTruth would ask you to verify your claims? It must not have ever crossed your mind that you would be asked to verify your claims or you never would have posted them.

Interestingly enough, the only way you could consider any of this defamation is if what you're saying is blatantly false and you knew it. If it can be demonstrated that you were out to tarnish the company's reputation with knowingly false information then that would be considered defamation. If what you're saying is true and it can be demonstrated to be true then there's obviously nothing to worry about. With 25 years in the banking industry it seems to me you're very well aware of what defamation is and you're very well aware of what behaviors could be considered dangerous and what ones are perfectly defensible.

And boy did you do an about-face in a hurry. You went from lawyering up to going on the offensive to running in fear from the potential that they might lawyer up and come after you.

To be clear, no one is getting lawyers and going after anyone. That's ridiculous. Do you really think a company of that size is going to try to sue someone for saying their truck had safety issues on the Web? Be serious.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

Brett, You know as well as I do that businesses (as well as individuals) can- and do sue for defamation- even when it did not occur. They do this to silence people, they do this to save face. Brett, you and I are about the same age... and you are a sharp guy. You have seen this kinda thing happen, no doubt. I'm not paranoid, I'm just well aware of the world in which we live.

I understand why you asked me to post the pics - I would have done the same. And it really isn't an excuse... I honestly did have two of them loaded when I realized that this could be bad.

I have no vendetta- you saw what I said about my experience with C1. Those guys were great. I've read negative things about C1, but I can honestly say that none of the negative reviews on C1 lined up with my experience. You have to see that my review is objective.

As for Driver Solutions- just look. Google "Driver Solutions, class action lawsuit". Your other moderator can "shoot holes" all he wants but this is public record. Their business practices are less than ethical - and yes, they did misrepresent the time it takes to get a CDL. This isn't bashing... just facts.

Now, as far as "did I give them an opportunity to fix the truck or give me another one?"

Ummm..... don't know how many times I needed to explain that I went to the "go to guy" with all of the issues and was blown off, but YES! I did exactly that. He didn't do squat. And the driver manager didn't offer me another truck either...just left me a couple sarcastic voice mails.

Your websit is called TRUCKING TRUTH- that is true... and I tried to be as truthful and candid as possible. Not for me, I have nothing to gain, nor is there any benefit in being castigated on this board by people who feel emboldened because they are sitting in front of their laptops. If I were sharing this experience in person, I highly doubt any of you would respond the way you have. People are much more respectful when they are in person. This isn't bravado- but people get really prideful and puffed up when they can hide behind their computers. The truth is, if we were having this dialogue in person, you would see/ hear the sincerity in my voice, you would also see the pictures and video - without the Fear of attacks from a company with the legal resources to shut people up. I personally watched one of the largest retailers in America legally stomp all over an employee that been abused by a racist manager in one of their stores. Money is power. You know this.

Guys, I really did think that there might be folks out there who might benefit from me sharing my experience. My ONLY motivation in posting the review was to be a help.

I read a lot of stupidity about this trucking company or that company, before I signed up... and most of it was from clowns who had no work ethic, no discipline, and thought the world owed them something.

But that isn't me... so, I sincerely thought that I should post a review just so that when someone went looking for some information they might find a fair review. A review that detailed the good and the bad.

I do see that this was a mistake. And I give you my word that it won't happen again.

I have no doubt that this post will also be attacked an ridiculed... I can see that this is the environment I have stumbled into - and I'm sorry that I did. It was my mistake. Say what you will, I won't be back to read it.

I do wish you all the best. Be safe.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

Hey Brett-

As I think about the review I posted ... (which I believe was honest, fair and motivated by concern for others who are looking into PAM) I started to worry that my review very well may get me sued. I fear I gave enough detail that PAM investigators could figure out who I am, and come after me for liable or defamation.

Can I ask you to delete my post?

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

Hey Brett-

Honestly, I started to attach photos when I realized that this could get me sued. The photos and video have the truck number on them... should PAM decide to monitor this board (which I understand that they do) it wouldn't be hard for them to figure out who posted this. As I understand it PAM is a litigious company - and I really don't want to deal with that. You don't know me, so I'll understand if you chose not to believe anything I have said, but I try to live my life with honor and integrity. Not that I haven't failed- particularly as a younger man, but at this point in my life these are characteristics I pursue daily. I have no reason to lie, or make any of this up. I believe my review was fair and I gave credit for the positive aspects as well as the negative.

I guess what concerned me the most is that they would issue a truck in that kind of shape to any driver ... let alone a newbie. What if I (as a new driver) had missed these issues? Thankfully I didn't. What if I was just not a details kinda guy? Thankfully I am. What if I naively just trusted that PAM would never let me drive off in an unsafe truck? Thankfully I didn't. Or the outcome could have been really bad.

I can only assume they either never went through the truck when it came in, or that the guy(s) who did don't care a whole lot.

Guys, this isn't a job flipping burgers.... this is really serious. In my former career, most mistakes could be fixed... nobody dies.

But this isn't a game.... I don't have to tell you that in this industry laziness and apathy = death.

So, I guess PAM's lack of concern for my safety- as well as the safety of other people on the road was enough for me to realize this is not a company I want to be associated with.

I think that's a fair statement.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

Continued from original post:

While I was out with my mentor, we had a blowout (it happens), we had to p/u a trailer for a broken down PAM tractor.... met a 2 year PAM driver whose truck was really bad... his mirrors were so screwed up and poorly mounted that he basically couldn't see out of them. I received texts from other classmates saying they had bad trucks, they were broken down, etc.

My roommate got his truck assigned to him with a badly busted fender and a hole in the windshield. I have pictures of his truck. He said "This truck is so bad that I wish I had your truck!" After driving the truck for a couple days he called me and said "this truck should not be on the road". I did a little research (probably a little late at this point) and found that PAM is notorious for low pay and broken down equipment. My mistake.... should have done my homework before I proceeded. It won't happen again.

I took detailed pictures and video of the condition of my truck.... I may need these later.

So, with all of the problems I could visually see on my "ready to go" truck.... what about the things I can't see? RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!!

PAM does everything on the cheap.... including their equipment.

Guys these things will cost YOU money... they may cost you your career... worse, these things may cost you and other people thier lives!

I had a classmate and friend jump ship early and go to US Express. He has two brothers who drive for US Express and they are very happy with their choice.

So, I contacted a recruiter with US Express.... she contacted Driver Solutions to verify me... and get me released. Driver Solutions was completely uncooperative. They refused to provide US Express the necessary information. So, I called... they wanted $6000 for my training. The recruiter agreed to make payments for my training on my behalf - but she had to verify me before we could proceed.

After a little pressure on Driver Solutions (and a small good faith payment) they finally provided US Express with my records.

I did a little research and Driver Solutions has been sued (and lost) in a class action lawsuit for violations of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). As a former lender, I'm very familiar with this particular regulation. The judgment required Driver Solutions to forgive the debt of all of the claimants involved- and pay each of them $430.

I am considering contacting my attorney and providing the DOT with my video/ pictures of the truck they were about to send me out on the road with.

I am in orientation for US Express as I write this review. I'll post a review on US after having gone through their process, but so far it's been great... much more professional.

Folks, learn from my experience...

I'm not telling you not to chose PAM, but do your research and if you chose Driver Solutions/PAM .... do so with your eyes wide open.

Posted:  12 months ago

View Topic:

An honest and fair review of PAM ( including C1 and Driver Solutions)

I never drove for PAM!

Ok, so why would I review PAM if I never drove for them? That's a fair question.

First, let me say that I'm a former professional- banking/lending for over 25 years. My last position as a Commercial Credit Analyst/Lender, I held for more than 12 years. I left with two letters of recommendation and all of my annual reviews were excellent. I say this because some people like to blame a company for their own lack of work ethic. That's not me. I left banking because of the stress, I wanted to do something different, and I had always wanted to drive a truck - at least for a while.

I provide this review as both a warning and as advice to those investigating the program.

Ok, so PAM does company sponsored training, This isn't a bad deal- actually. They sent me to C1 Indianapolis. I had to get there on my own dime, but they put me up in Extended Stay America (with a roommate). It wasn't the Taj Mahal but it wasn't bad. My roommate and I had some things in common- it worked.

The school itself was very good. You will get out of it what you put into it. I got the feeling they really want to see you succeed. Range trainer - Vic (Victor) is THE MAN. He will have you backing like a pro in no time. Road trainer William is a rock star. William had me shifting that 10 speed, and handling that truck better than I thought I could. Do what they say and you will pass.

I have one negative thing to say about training- and this is really directed at Driver Solutions- not C1. Don't tell people they will get done in 3 weeks. NOBODY finishes in 3 weeks. It took me almost 4 weeks and some took all of 5 weeks. My advice- plan for 5 weeks, hope for four weeks. It SHOULD take four weeks or more! You will be driving an 80,000 lbs truck at 65 miles per hour! I'm good with 4/5 weeks - I just wished Driver Solutions would have been honest about the timeframe so I could have planned better- logistically speaking. Made some lifelong friends in school- people of different colors, races, different walks of life, and by the end you'd have thought we all grew up together- it was great.

I went home and waited on my PAM mentor. I had heard horror stories about bad experiences with mentors so I was a little nervous. After all, you are going out with a complete stranger for weeks... living in the same truck. I was home for less than a week and got picked up about 8 miles from home. My mentor Rick (Richard) was great. Professional, courteous... good hygiene. Intelligent but not the most social guy I've ever met - conversation dried up pretty quick. But the great thing is that he taught me so much. There is so much to learn AFTER school- and I learned. There is is way more to being a truck driver than driving a truck. Nothing but respect for drivers.

So, after being out for just over 2 weeks, my mentor dropped me off at PAM HQ in Tontitown AR.

They put me in their bunkhouse. This made Extended Stay feel like The Four Seasons! The room was slightly bigger than the single (twin) bed and desk. No place to put the two weeks worth of stuff you brought. No closet, coat rack, not even a hook to hang a coat or towel on. Communal bathroom/shower- I've seen cleaner bathrooms/showers at truck stops.

Road and backing tests went well, and orientation wasn't bad. They provide meal coupons for a couple places close by.

So, after I completed the orientation they had me sign paperwork- and slipped a document in that said I would make .20 cents per mile split ( they make you team for 6 months). But I was told by my recruiter it was .40 cents per mile split. I was also told I would get a $1000 bonus for hazmat endorsement plus reimbursement for background check. I got my hazmat and later found out that you have to stay 6 months to get the full payout on the bonus.

So, I get "processed" which includes signing a stack of paperwork that rivals a phone book. They assign my truck -tell me I am "ready to roll" and send me out.

Here is where things get bad.

I go out to the yard to inspect my truck. It's an older Freightliner. Cracked mirror... scrapes on the mirror body(s), and the sides of the truck, a few cracks in the fender, holes in the hood where they mounted a bug guard and then took it off... all stuff I could live with. Then I get to the back and see that the APU is crushed, the passenger side wing/ferring is busted- wiggles rattles... about to fall off! The truck had been jackknifed- bad. Then I look at my air lines and they're cut! Gapping holes... very obvious! For those who don't know, these air hoses are your trailer brakes! I was told my truck was ready.... seriously? I get in the truck.... not only was it dirty on the exterior, it was FILTHY on the inside. It wreaked of cigarettes and body odor. Dirt and gravel all over the floor board. Burns in the seats. Door seals are thrashed.

Shorty after my inspection I get an email from the new driver development mentor - congratulating me on my upgrade and letting me know he is my "go to", should I have any problems or issues. So, I reply with an email detailing the issues with the truck. I get back a very curt reply "contact your DM (driver manager)". So much for having a new driver development mentor.... "what exactly do ya do here?"

Guys, if DOT sees a truck in this kinda shape (body parts flapping in the wind).... air hoses with holes... they are gonna rubber glove you! And the violations go against the driver!!!


Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Very mild Cerebral Palsy.... am I disqualified?

Thanx again Errol.... so is a physical required every year?


Thanx so much Errol... that is good advice. Which brings up another question. If I go with an outfit that covers my training I am sure they will send me to their DOT physician... or will they accept a physical that I pay for in my town, as long as its don by a DOT Dr?


Your DOT physical will be completed by a FMCSA Registered physician (link goes to the official national registry).

When I started with Swift, they accepted the physical I got at a local clinic that was registered with the FMCSA. But when I got my second physical a year later, I had to use one from Swift's approved (& FMCSA registered) list. Every company is different.

Good luck!

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Very mild Cerebral Palsy.... am I disqualified?

Thanx so much Errol... that is good advice. Which brings up another question. If I go with an outfit that covers my training I am sure they will send me to their DOT physician... or will they accept a physical that I pay for in my town, as long as its don by a DOT Dr?

Thanks again for they reply!

My brother was born with a similar touch of CP, his right arm/ hand and leg are not 100%. He drives school buses. Manual shift.

Take a look at the medical form, you can search online for it. All the physical standards are set out in the form. Also, go for the physical, and ask them right off the bat about your situation. That way, if there is bad news, you may not have to pay for the full physical. But chances are you'll pass.

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Very mild Cerebral Palsy.... am I disqualified?

Would appreciate info from anyone who might know the answer to my question. I am considering truck driving school, but before I lay out the money and take the classes I am hoping someone might be able to answer a quick question for me.

Here is my issue.... I was born with an extremely mild case of Cerebral Palsy.... so mild that most who meet me never know. My Dr said she has never seen a case so mild.

I drive a standard, I bow hunt, I currently operate a fork lift at Home Depot....even built my own house. There isn't much I can't do.

My right arm has slight impairment as far a radial supination. So, I have a little less range of motion in my right arm... and a little less finger dexterity. Like I said, I operate a fork lift and can drive anything. I am in good physical condition... low body fat, good muscle tone.

That said, at 22 when I tried to enlist as a Marine and when I told the recruiter I had CP he shook my hand and walked me out of the recruiting office.

So, I guess my question is- does the DOT automatically disqualify like the military does?

Thank you so much to anyone who might be able to provide me with any info!

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