61 And Starting Drivers Solutions CDL Training Monday

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Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I applied to Prime on a weekend and by the next weekend i was on the bus. Five days later i was driving around the country making deliveries. i could have tested after one week, but i took 3 weeks by choice. then you team train and get paid.

prime pays $700 gross per week once you get the CDL while in training.

My concern is yhe comment you made about not wanting to work overtime. We work TONS of hours per week. its not a normal job.

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.
Philip N.'s Comment
member avatar

56 and going to school July 9.

My low paying, no paying crappy manufacturing job has been going South for awhile. Short days and weeks.

It's gotten to where I was looking at $250 - 300 a week. The only way to make any decent money was to work bookoo overtime.

There's very little economic opportunities here in rural Alabama. About the same in rural Mississippi. Where the wife and I are planning on moving to. (family, cost of living, pre-retirement relocation etc)

I'm 61, retired military (Marines). Yea I could put in for my Social Security in ten months. But Ive got to get off my face and back on my feet financially. Take care of some bills, pay off a student loan I've been paying off aggressively.

And although it'll be nice to have that option in my back pocket? I'm just not ready to got sit at the house.

Needless to say I've got my concerns, doubts But I had to make a move quickly. My current job just wasn't getting it. And the only other jobs for someone my age were just more of the same. Crappy low paying, no paying dead end suck the life out of you jobs.

For some reason employers around here think your supposed actually live off of $8 an hour.

Drivers Solutions ~ PAM Transfer was the shortest and quickest way to get my CDL'S.

I know PAM is a starter company. But some of the reviews are BRUTAL!!

Real horror stories!!

Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions, welcomed and appropriated

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.
Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I applied to Prime on a weekend and by the next weekend i was on the bus. Five days later i was driving around the country making deliveries. i could have tested after one week, but i took 3 weeks by choice. then you team train and get paid.

prime pays $700 gross per week once you get the CDL while in training.

My concern is yhe comment you made about not wanting to work overtime. We work TONS of hours per week. its not a normal job.

I've have almost ALWAYS worked jobs that require working 70 ~ 80 weeks.

One of the reasons my first wife listed for divorcing me was because I was a "workaholic". (I was a career Marine)

The last six years, the crappy low paying, no paying dead end manufacturing job I had? I worked 12+ hour days, six sometimes seven days a week. It was the ONLY way to bring home a decent check!

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.
Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I plan on team driving in as long, and as much I can, preferably with an experienced driver. Just for the experience and knowledge.

It's apparent to be there's a lot more to learn in this business than one can learn with CDL School and initial six - eight week training.

A young Marine learns there's a lot of difference between what your taught in Training and they first time your deployed to somewhere like Afghanistan.

You learn real quick to shut up and listen to your more experienced NCO's.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Dan, I've looked into team driving, have talked to a few "teamers", to coin a phrase, and come to the conclusion that there are those who want to, and enjoy the team style of driving. But most truck drivers will feel better over the long term with a solo assignment.

Teams are great for the company - that freight does get delivered faster - but there seems to be little benefit for the drivers compared to the solo style. In most companies the paycheck earned by the truck is simply split 50/50, and from what I've learned on this forum, the pay is almost the same for any given driver, team or solo.

Your thoughts on teaming with an experienced driver to learn more, is right on. But that's what your first assignment at a company will be: a few months/ few thousand miles with a trainer or mentor to help you learn the finer points of truck driving.

You can find many forum discussions about team driving by searching here. I found this one from three years ago: The Tough Reality Of OTR Team Driving.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

I applied to Prime on a weekend and by the next weekend i was on the bus. Five days later i was driving around the country making deliveries. i could have tested after one week, but i took 3 weeks by choice. then you team train and get paid.

prime pays $700 gross per week once you get the CDL while in training.

My concern is yhe comment you made about not wanting to work overtime. We work TONS of hours per week. its not a normal job.

My crappy job was already going South with short days and weeks, then Friday before last it went from bad to worse when I got demoted (along with others) a cost saving measure.

I went into, "I've got to do something quick, fast and in a hurry like.

I've been doing my homework on trucking..

My criteria was as follows.

Company Sponsored Paid Training

Hiring area includes both Alabama and Mississippi (Currently live in Troy Alabama, but moving to Mississippi due to family, where we're going to eventually retire.

The companies that meet this criteria were

Prime PAM Maverick (But only northern Mississippi) Swift Schneider (I believe)

I applied for Drivers Solutions / PAM (Henceforth referred to as just PAM)

I confirmed for Monday with PAM

Going with PAM I'm looking at paying my own way.

Being provided a room, but no meals

Three weeks training

$50 a week x 3 weeks

Going home waiting for a trainer to be routed my way, (Could be a week or so, but if greater than 8 days I would get $300)

Go out 3 to 4 weeks @ $350 per week.

To the headquarters in Arkansas for orientation. Be assigned to a truck with a team driver at. 40 CPM for 3 months, 43 CPM after 3 months. Split

I never heard back from Prime

With Prime

Bus ticket and ride

4 day orientation

Room and meals provided

DOT Medical and CDP

Out with trainer x 2~ 3 weeks with $200 loan for meals

Back to test out in St Louis

Back out with trainer x 2 to 3 weeks @ $700 (I heard on a YouTube video it was $800 now)

I always read somewhere as a veteran my contractual obligation would be only 9 months vs 12.

Plus solo is around 42 CPM

Soooooooo now I'm thinking it's might be in me and mines best interest to back off, pull back, re-group, slow down contact PAM and let em Mondays a No Go for me, contact Prime and see if I can't get in there ASAP. Which I'm thinking at a minimum would be a week?

Thoughts, opinions, comments

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Here is something you should think about...

If you are committed to PAM, follow-through with it. If the teaming thing has you second guessing than double down on your efforts and do not put all of your eggs in one basket.

Prime is a fantastic company, one of the best there is. However they are also one of the most selective when it applies to qualifying their candidates.

Add several more to your list using the Paid CDL Training Programs link.

Then apply to the top 3 or 4 using this link: Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.
Bolt's Comment
member avatar

Dan, I am getting ready to go to Swift and this is what they have told me: 1. Go to Memphis, with CDL permit, unpaid CDL training for 3 weeks. Head home for a couple days then back to Memphis to catch a trainer. 2. GO with trainer for 200 hours or about 4 weeks, $500 a week training pay. Come back home for a couple days head back to Memphis to get my own truck. 3. Once solo .39-40 cpm

Here is the best part. As a vet I do not have to pay for the training or hotel. The only stipulation is to drive for them for a year. I am only at this point preparing to go. I still need to get my permit and physical which will be handled this week. So I can only tell you what I have been told.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is something you should think about...

If you are committed to PAM, follow-through with it. If the teaming thing has you second guessing than double down on your efforts and do not put all of your eggs in one basket.

Prime is a fantastic company, one of the best there is. However they are also one of the most selective when it applies to qualifying their candidates.

Add several more to your list using the Paid CDL Training Programs link.

Then apply to the top 3 or 4 using this link: Apply For Paid CDL Training

Here are my concerns

My car. It's got 111,000 miles on it. It's 3 hours there. I don't want to gethalf there, and..........

I don't want to be sitting around for for up to a week oo more at a time on between the various increments of the training cycle.

The training pay

The tuition at Prime vs PAM is about $1000 less with no payback. With PAM it's $45 a week up to just shy of $2000

The CPM once training is complete. Even solo it's about 12 cents less than PAM

Too much logistical this and that between going to school ~ home ~ trainer ~ home ~ orientation in Arkansas

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Bolt you probably already know this...

But for others reading the thread, the 200 hours is the minimum amount of time you must drive to complete the training. Your first 50 is Super-Solo running with your trainer. They are required to be present in the passenger seat while you are logged-in as the driver during the initial period. At that point it's a joint decision to transition to teaming.

They also require 40 documented backs. Don't be shy about raising a yellow flag to your assigned driver development manager if you are closer to zero than 10 after the completion of week 1.

Once you are finished training you'll be required to test out on road skills and yard skills.

Good luck. Say hi to Errol for all of us!

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