PAM/Driver Solutions Training

Topic 22352 | Page 1

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Nighthawk's Comment
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I start at Future Truckers of America in Asheboro, NC on Monday, April 23rd. I will arrive Sunday before 5:30pm in Thomasville, NC, where my hotel is. They have us staying at Stay Lodge. I have to be at school by 6:30am Monday morning. Classes are 7-6 M-Th. I'll keep you all posted!

PackRat's Comment
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Outstanding news to read! Wishing you all the best.good-luck.gif

Nighthawk's Comment
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Finally settled into my room. Had a quick dinner of rotisserie chicken and veggies. The roomie and I went to Wal-Mart to get some essentials. So far, she's pretty cool. The room is ok. It has a kitchenette with a full size fridge and a two eye stove top. I've got my lunch packed and ready to go. School starts early, so I'll be hitting the hay before too long.

Nighthawk's Comment
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Today was day 1 of school. We had to be there at 6:30, so I was up by 5:15. Showered, ate a quick breakfast and headed out the door. The school is 30 minutes from the hotel. My roomie caught a ride with me. We got there right at 6:33. They had us sign a bunch of paperwork, including the contract with PAM. After everyone was processed, they started sending people for physicals. Those of us who got our permits already just had to go for the drug test. After the drug test, I came back to class to find the rest watching a video. It was old school and kinda funny. Here's a screenshot -

We watched for awhile with 10 minute breaks every hour. It was just going over the stuff I learned in the High Road CDL Training Program. Finally, a guy came in to go over air brakes. More review, but better than videos. He let us go at about 4:15.

Then the roomie, me, and a classmate went for dinner. We chilled for awhile before runming errands and heading back to the room. It's almost 9 now and I'm beat. I'm about to turn over and hit the hay.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Nighthawk's Comment
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Nighthawk's Comment
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I got to drive today!!

The day started out with going over the pre-trip inspection outside in the rain. Then we watched a guy test out on his. He got a perfect score. After that, we went in for classroom instruction about the pre-trip and logbooks. We went to lunch at a local church that feeds people in the community on Tuesdays. It was a good lunch with classmates.

More classroom instruction, and then they released us an hour early. I asked our instructor if I could use the extra time to jump into a truck and try it out. He grabbed another woman in class and I grabbed my friend. The 3 of us (the only girls in the class) followed him outside and he showed us how to straight-line back the truck. Then we all took turns at the wheel. I skimmed one of the cones my first time, but did good otherwise. The guy who does testing, Eric, was out there guiding us and said we're already doing better than some of those in their 3rd week, and we're only on day 2! He offered to stay after with us for the rest of the week and said after we can all back 3 times in a row in good form, he'll move us to the next step. So, we will definitely be ahead of the game. It was super exciting and I can't wait to drive again.


Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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Thats awesome! I'm glad you took the initiative to want to learn more.

Nighthawk's Comment
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I forgot to write last night about yesterday.

We got there right at 7:06am, just in time for roll call. After roll call, we went out to do pre-trips with a 4th week student. My friend, who will be my teammate for the first 6 months, and I stayed a bit longer to get more familiar with the components.

Then we went in for some more classroom instruction. We talked about hazardous materials and then learned map reading and a bit of trip planning.

After lunch, a state trooper came and talked to us about safety. Then we went out for straight-line backing. We were in line for off-sets when some other dudes jumped in the truck before us. So, the girls and I went and started going over pretrip.

Then I grabbed a pizza and headed back to the hotel. My teammate and my roomie and I all studied pretrip while stuffing our faces.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Nighthawk, I'm not trying to be mean or nitpick but you really need to work on being on time. You're in your first week and of the 3 days you've posted, 2 of them mention you were late. Yes, it was only a couple minutes but that doesn't matter. Late is late. In trucking being on time is being EARLY for your appointment. I'm not sure if you're looking at hauling dry van or reefer , but I know that the big distribution centers will push you to the back of the line if you're late. Being early will help you maximize your income.

Please do not take this as me being a jerk, I just want to see you succeed as we know some of the obstacles you've faced to get to this point. The school I went to had students sponsored by swift, us xpress and Schneider attending and our school tracked attendance and being late. For my school 2 absences or 4 times being late over the course of the program resulted in removal from the course.

I'm glad to hear school is going well and look forward to following along on your journey

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.


A refrigerated trailer.


Operating While Intoxicated

Nighthawk's Comment
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Nighthawk, I'm not trying to be mean or nitpick but you really need to work on being on time.

Not offended at all. You are so right!!

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