Looking At Company Sponsored Schools

Topic 18683 | Page 1

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Glenn H.'s Comment
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I am looking into going to a company sponsored school for my cdl. Have been looking at a few like PAM and wil-trans. Live in southwest Arkansas and know pam is based out of here but i keep going back and looking at wil-trans not really sure why except wil-trans more as far as school goes and pay.Can anyone tell me anything they know about these two for someone like myself looking to get into the business .I've read reviews at different sites for both companies and of course you get about 50-50 on both

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, Glenn, welcone to Trucking Truth. Here's our info on Paid CDL Training Programs. Take a look.

Keep in mind that the location of your home has little to do with the school. Most companies will get you to school on their dime.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Glenn H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey thanks yeah i have been looking at all the reviews on different companies on here for a couple weeks now. I mark most off the list not saying anything bad about any of them but looking at all the info i can read I'm down to pam and wil-trans. One offers a little better pay in training than the other which is not a lot of difference but one has has less class room time and more hands on not sure if that is good or bad has smaller class size. I like both companies but am leaning more towards wil-trans i think more that it is a smaller operation and they do not forced dispatch to nyc . then again pam is a much larger company with there headquarters and terminals within a couple hours drive from my home

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

BQ 's Comment
member avatar

My brother started his career with PAM, through driver solutions. His training seemed kind of choppy and he didn't think much of the company by the end. You may have a different experience. I don't know much about wil trans, though I often see them pulling prime trailers, not sure if actually linked to us or not. I have heard positive things regarding them though.

Glenn H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah wil-trans is about a week class room well actually it's a week getting physical,permit and all then on the road that Friday for certain amount of miles back to school to take cdl test then back on road with trainer for i believe 30,000 miles where pam is more class room plus more up front cost. It's tough decision hopefully i will hear more about these companies. I have been leaning more towards wil-trans from the start of my reviewing different companies but any other information on these companies would be appreciated

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Glenn, keep in mind that all training is temporary. Compare two months of training (even unpaid) against several years of OTR driving. Don't worry too much about the training pay.

As for training, my only experience is with Swift's school. You do need to have some classroom time to learn the finer points of Hours Of Service, trip planning, and some other legal stuff. The rest of the time you will be on a backing range, sitting in a truck, trying to figure out how to stick a trailer into a too narrow slot.

My point is that too choose a company, don't look at the training (they'll get you up to speed for their business) or the training pay (it's only temporary). You mentioned company size and dispatch policies. The are the factors you should look at in making a career decision.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Glenn H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks errol v you made a point about class room time guess it would be kind of hard to learn hos , and planning doing it on the fly that help me a lot. Ok don't mean to upset anyone here that may be from nyc pam does forced dispatch to nyc and have to say I'm older man in my 50's never been there and have no plans to ever go there . again not trying to upset anyone from there so not sure if it is even possible to if i went with pam to have an agreement not to be dispatch their

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Thanks errol v you made a point about class room time guess it would be kind of hard to learn hos , and planning doing it on the fly that help me a lot. Ok don't mean to upset anyone here that may be from nyc pam does forced dispatch to nyc and have to say I'm older man in my 50's never been there and have no plans to ever go there . again not trying to upset anyone from there so not sure if it is even possible to if i went with pam to have an agreement not to be dispatch their

Glenn,...I got into full time driving in my mid-fifties, so I kinda understand your viewpoint here.

NYC does not have a monopoly on difficult driving situations. Any major urban area has its share of congestion and tight maneuvering. Practice makes you a better driver, preparation makes you a safer and more efficient driver and experience will elevate your confidence. Time in the seat is the great cure-all for most of the angst you have for NYC.

We have a standard suggestion for anyone considering this: good drivers can be successful with most any company. Search on both companies (using the search bar upper, left corner) and you will see anything and everything written about them.

Take it one day at a time, and you'll do fine. Good luck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Glenn H.'s Comment
member avatar

Well all good point from every one thanks. Well i had finally decided on PAM so started trying to talk to driver solution agent. Talk to him twice maybe 5 minutes combined and he sent a mail with all the info about everything. But i told him I'm not in a hurry it would be at least mid April before i did go with them. So when i open the mail there was my name class start date 4/17 in Springfield 5 hours from me and there is a school in N. Little Rock 2.5 hours. Any way where i go to school not the issue just seems this agent is pushing way to hard and it is starting to worry me so now not sure about them. Sent a message that swift and have a appointment to talk to a recruiter there Friday. Also going to talk to driver solution agent Friday so not sure what going to happen. I know these agent need to get trainees in to school but guess we will see. I hope the swift recruiter can be more helpful to me then what i have experience so far

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Bolt's Comment
member avatar

Glenn, I'm in NW Arkansas. I will be going to Swift in may. Talked to a recruiter yesterday And she sealed the deal for me. I thought about Pam, but they force a team the first 6 mos and knew that wouldn't work. Swift will send you to school in Memphis.

Forget the negative internet trash about swift and other opinions about these and other training programs.

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