Need Advice

Topic 27102 | Page 1

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Sean A.'s Comment
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Ive been studying the high roads material for a month now and currently i have an opportunity to go to drivers solutions with PAM however ive seen nothing but terrible comments about PAM as a company so now im second guessing this opportunity and not sure what is the best cdl training company I should go with..

I planned on possibly getting my Permit this week but now im torn on if ive wasted my time as it seems like I am having to start from scratch again 😒😒

Any suggestions would be great

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Ignore online comments and reviews they are always from drivers who couldn't cut it for one reason or another.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Sean, most online company "reviews" aren't worth the paper they're printed on. (And on your screen, they're not even printed on paper!) Those comments are mostly written by the ones who failed, either because they had wrong expectations or they never "got it" in the first place and need to blame anyone but themselves.

PAM Transport got big because they do things right. Read the Trucking Truth review of PAM Transport.

Here's some more help for you:

I bet you didn't waste your time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

G-Town's Comment
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Sean, I concur with Errol and Bobcat.

In addition to the links Errol posted, using the search bar and entering the word PAM will give you access to a ton of information. Also try to spend time in the TT blog section, there are many articles about school and training.

Good luck!

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Regardless of reviews, as has been said many, many times you will get what you give. Perform well and do the job well, you will be treated well. Reviews about anything are most often written by people who had a bad experience, it's part of a negative mindset really. If you only look for the bad it's what you will find more, most people don't look for good things, or at least take note of them. Things going as planned, or as they should, isn't remarkable, simple as that.

Old School's Comment
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Sean, one thing that really trips people up when starting their trucking careers is this concept you'll often hear us talking about. It's this whole idea of being involved in a "performance based career." Most of us have little to no experience with anything like it.

Folks who have for a long time been "self-employed" or "small business owners" typically have an easier transition into trucking. They've been there before - they know how critical it is that they make things happen in their favor. Trucking requires this mentality. It is extremely important that people accept their responsibility and make every effort at being productive. I face each day with the attitude that I am working on building a reputation. I never consider myself as relying on one.

Anytime you see employees or former employees blaming their company as the reason they failed, you've got to scratch your head and wonder "Why in the world would a company who desperately needs to succeed make it so difficult for their employees to help them reach their goals?" There's no logical answer to that question. Large successful businesses are a team effort. When a team member in a competitive environment doesn't carry his own weight and produce at a level that stands up to scrutiny, he just doesn't last very long.

I promise you, Pam has a core group of individual players who are making great money, enjoying their jobs, and getting along wonderfully with their dispatchers. It's the same story at Swift, Schneider, C.R. England and any other major carrier out here. You've got to decide if you can be on the "A" team or not. You've read how the benchwarmers feel. Don't be a benchwarmer!

I'm not implying that you don't have what it takes. I'm wanting to establish the ground rules for you. False expectations are the number one career killing issue in my opinion. Most of us are so accustomed to getting paid for our time, or with a monthly salary, that this whole idea of proving our worth everyday on the job is a foreign concept. Be prepared to be challenged. Rise to that challenge and you'll do fine. Fail to be productive and you'll be one of the unhappy souls who languished away at trucking while flourishing at writing bogus reviews on trucking companies.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Sean A.'s Comment
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Thank you all for the responses.. hope to keep this thread going..

I will say I understand that a career change is difficult for anyone and comes with several challenges in itself and requires an individual to earn their stripes. My inquiry is based not on everything you read when it comes to reviews but as some have mentioned its what you put in to what you get back in return.. what concerns someone is when several people are having similar issues with one particular company, and its focused more on things beyond someone’s performance or out of their control.. things like pay being screwed up or being parked more than driving due to dispatch issues ect..

Ive pretty much just been a quiet soul on trucking truth at this point just reading and learning from whats been said and soaking in what info I can from what seems to be the only truthful place for information from honest people that know the real deal.. so im not out to bad mouth anyone or any company just hoping for some truth in it all..

Old School's Comment
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what concerns someone is when several people are having similar issues with one particular company, and its focused more on things beyond someone’s performance or out of their control.. things like pay being screwed up or being parked more than driving due to dispatch issues ect..

Sean, we get it. Everybody has the same fears when starting this career. The information available to us is absolutely terrible. It's misleading and outright confusing.

Let's talk about the things you mentioned as being "beyond someone's control."

1) Pay being wrong or screwed up.

That's a little discouraging, if not frightening. Everybody deserves their pay to be correct. Here's what you don't know when you read those statements: Rookies are the only ones who experience this. Why would that be? Ninety nine percent of the time it's because they screwed up the paperwork turned in for payment. We turn all our work in electronically. It's really fairly simple, but rookies will invariably make simple mistakes at this, and then get all hot headed as if to make it sound like the company makes a habit of not paying their employees.

Once again, you have to use your own critical thinking skills and ask yourself, "What company thinks they will ever survive the challenges of a competitive market by making a habit of cheating their employees?" There's no good answer, because it's simply not true. The new employees either didn't pay good attention during training and orientation, or they just don't have the skills or commitment they need to work in this environment. 100% of the time that another driver on the fleet I'm in comes to me complaining about how payroll cheated them, I've helped them realize that they made the mistake. Then we get it resolved. It's that simple.

2) Being parked more than driving due to dispatch issues.

That's another disturbing thing that has been repeated for decades now. Again, ask yourself, "Why would a company, that makes it's money by moving freight, keep it's drivers sitting idle?" Here again is a rookie issue. Let's dig into the details. No trucking company wants it's trucks sitting doing nothing. That's counter productive to their goals.

So why do we see these reports? Drivers are way more responsible for keeping their wheels turning than dispatchers. I can promise you that very few rookies understand that concept. They are the ones sitting and fuming, while wasting time online complaining. They usually could have already been dispatched had they understood how to keep themselves moving.

I think a personal example might help you get this. Last week I got dispatched from Delhi, Louisiana to Farmington, Connecticut. The load had three stops on it. I left Louisiana on Saturday. Before I ever started my trip I sent my ETA (estimated time of arrival), and my PTA (projected time I'm available for the next load) into my dispatcher. These are done on the mobile communication system in my truck. There's considerably more people than just my dispatcher who will see those communications. Now I've got the whole team looking out for me. I do this every trip, and I never sit and wait. It's how a professional driver conducts his business. They had me a pre-planned load by Monday morning, a full day ahead of when I told them I'd be empty.

Take a look at the miles I ran last month... It's the number circled in green.

0604879001574701887.jpg

Sean, it takes some time to get the hang of this stuff. You are reading reports from people who never bothered to learn to excel at trucking. It's no reflection on PAM. It's a huge amount of drivers telling on themselves. If they only knew how experienced professionals scoff at their comments.

Everytime you read these tattletale comments on how this or that trucking company sucks, you have to read it in the context that the driver is telling you how poorly they did at trying to be a trucker. Everyone I've ever encountered who took the initiative and the responsibility to figure out how to succeed at this has done remarkably well. The reports you see of drivers not getting dispatched are drivers who didn't take the necessary steps to put themselves at the top of the priority list. There's a lot of factors that are involved.

Always remember that top performers get top priority. As a rookie you should focus on three things as the most critical aspects of your job.

1) Don't hit anything.

2) Always be on time.

3) Don't cop an attitude with your dispatcher.

The other things will come along, but those three will help you stay busy as you're learning the other helpful details. Read this article. I think it will help you understand some of what I'm stressing.

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sean A.'s Comment
member avatar

Old school ty so much.. what your saying makes sense.. i looked at other companies as well.. prime looks like a good training program as well.. also WIL TRANS..

Again ty everyone for taking time to help.. i figure the more i know heading into this career change the better chance i have of making it a successful one 👍👍

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Prime looks like a good training program as well

There are several Primates in this TT community. Don't be afraid to go to Springfield MO, you will have friends there!

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