My honest, no BS, opinion of P.A.M.

Discussion in 'PAM' started by ChipW, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. ChipW

    ChipW Light Load Member

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    Nov 12, 2007
    Chester, SC
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    This is my honest, no BS, opinion of P.A.M.

    There are a lot of pros and cons with any company, then with the bigger companies, there are usually more cons.

    I've been here for 1.5 years and am comfortable with this company.... The pay is low, but the miles are decent enough to compensate. You average about 2500 miles and when your consistently on time, the load planners start to remember your truck number and start giving you better runs... But, if you cry and whine all day long, you will just do average....

    Home time kinda sucks, out 3-4 weeks with 1 day off for every 7... If you get on a dedicated run, depending on how many miles it is, you could be home every other day and every weekend.

    P.A.M., unlike many other big companies, doesn't care about idle time or fuel milage. You will NOT earn a fuel bonus. They just flat out don't do it... However, we do have FL's and International 9400i's that have optimized idle.... Sucks, but your not completely uncomfortable in extreme weather. Just takes some getting used to the truck shutting down and starting up...

    We run FL Century mid roofs and condos, International 9400i, Prostars. We still have some Volvos that are being fazed out. Our trucks are base price trucks. No frills. Our FL's don't even have arm rest. We are allowed any inverter that plugs into a cig lighter. No pets. No add-on electronics. You can run any CB you want and antenna system, but no linears (boots, foot warmers, etc.). The trucks and trailers are very well maintained.

    They provide EZ-Pass / Pre-pass. If you are on a dedicated, they will also provide Indiana, Ohio, and Oklahoma toll passes if your run proves to be shorter using the toll roads.

    They reimburse only CAT scales. Also any tolls, truck parts, or anything that the company would pay for. They will also NOT hesitate to get your truck fixed when something happens to it. You will get sent to either a TA, Petro, dealer, or company shop. They do not pay for washes unless you are on a dedicated run.

    They are strict on their logs. You can be creative, but there are a couple things that need to match up (Fuel stops, when you send a qualcomm message while stopped, that kinda thing).

    Our insurance is decent. 25.00 a week for single or 50.00 for family. Good BC/BS with 250.00 per year deductible. Dental. Vision discount (sucks). You start paying for it at 60 days, but can't use it until 90 days.

    We also get a 1000.00 sign on bonus (500.00 at sign on, and 500.00 at 90 days solo). We also get a safety bonus of 500.00 every 6 months after 1 year. For safety bennies on top of the money, you get a hat at 3 months, a nice jacket at 6 months, and a ring (class ring style) at 1 year. Then for every one year after, up to 5 years, you get a diamond put in that ring. Plus the money.

    So.....
    Pros:
    - They leave you alone as long as you do your job
    - Assigned trucks (can keep your truck up to 500,000 miles)
    - good miles
    - plenty of dedicated runs
    - well maintained trucks
    - 1,000.00 sign-on bonus
    - Safety bonus 500.00 every 6 months after 1 year + other bennies

    Cons:
    - low pay
    - base priced trucks
    - picky about logs
    - crap vision insurance

    If you have any questions, PM me.... I'm a driver, not a recruiter.... You can also visit *************** (can't make links yet, moderator, you can make that a link if you want). That site is driver owned and operated and you can talk to other drivers to get the low down along with a couple of night dispatchers and break down crew...

    Chip
     
  2. bigpapa7272

    bigpapa7272 Light Load Member

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    Sep 9, 2007
    Baltimore
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    thanks for an honest no bs opinion of pam. I am currently waiting to get a call from cfi in a coupel weeks about the student program that they have if that dont work driver solutions (going with a pam company or usa truck) is my next option.

    did you use drivers solutions when you signed on with pam, or fif you already have ur cdl?
     
  3. IUfanforever

    IUfanforever Light Load Member

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    May 31, 2007
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    Is this your first truck driving job?

    Did they sponsor your schooling? If so where?
     
  4. IUfanforever

    IUfanforever Light Load Member

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    May 31, 2007
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    Sounds pretty good for an entry level company(especially if they paid for your school).

    Do you know what it takes to become a driver trainer with them?

    Anyway...thanks for sharing!
     
  5. ChipW

    ChipW Light Load Member

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    Nov 12, 2007
    Chester, SC
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    I went through the CDL farm called Driver Solutions. I was hired to PAM through there... I was obligated for 1 year. It's now 1.5 years and although I'm looking for something regional to be home with my family more, I'm happy enough here to take my time and find the right company to go with.

    To be a trainer, you have to have 6 months with perfect logs/safety record. I started training at 9 months but quit training because of the dispatcher they gave me. Most trainers that get this guy quit training, but not the company.... All other dispatchers that I've had have been great...

    Chip
     
    ellis44, Everett and captquickdraw77 Thank this.
  6. cjoe85

    cjoe85 Light Load Member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
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    Thanks, I've been looking for more info on PAM and your post definitely helps. I hope you don't mind me asking, but did you go through Driver Solutions for training or did you pay for it yourself? If you did go through DS how was it? Thanks again for the info and I'll be sure to check back.
     
  7. truckingirl3603

    truckingirl3603 Bobtail Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
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    I went through the Driver Solutions program and C1 Truck Driver Training in Indianapolis.. I went with USA Truck, but I made a lot of friends at school that went with PAM. From what I've heard they are a pretty good company, will give you the miles you need but still keep in mind that you're a human and not just a truck. They have a lot of divisions depending on where you live too, so if you want to drive teams or have a more dedicated route and you live in that area it's available to you. Also, if you sign up with them through Driver Solutions, you get a $1000 sign on bonus. That's a ton of money to me!
    As for DS.. I really liked it. My Driver Agent was actually funny, caring, and worked hard through some of the issues I had to make sure I was ready for class. If you have questions, I suggest asking them before you get to school because they will definitely answer them. The training was good, got some decent drive time, and the instructors were great to work with. I like that they don't just throw you behind the wheel either, you have a week of classroom work that you actually learn about the laws and how to take care of yourself and your truck out there. Definitely don't get that everywhere you go!

    Hope this helps someone, and good luck !!!!
     
  8. cjoe85

    cjoe85 Light Load Member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
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    Thanks for the info truckinggirl3603. This definitely helped.:biggrin_25519:
     
  9. ChipW

    ChipW Light Load Member

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    Nov 12, 2007
    Chester, SC
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    PAM pays most of cost. you are responsible for 1,000 + housing cost. This paid # 45.00 per week for 11 months. Now, you will pay more than you owe in that time. Everything over and above is paid back at the end of your one year anniversary. (you don't start paying until you go solo.) Along with the over payment, they also give you 18% interest on your money.

    At my one year, I got a little over 900.00 back within two weeks of my anniversary.

    but, if you leave before your 1 year, you are responsible for the full tuition of over 5 grand.

    Chip
     
  10. highirish

    highirish Light Load Member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Paducah, KY
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    Just meet Chip on the road the other day...everything he posted is right on the money except..I also work for PAM and only pay 15 dollars a week for insurance. And I really dont think they are that picky about their logs. If you are not trying to become a trainer then they shouldnt ever audit you. Make sure your 11, 14, 70 are not caught by the computer that reads them.. youll be ok. Other than that Chip told you straight. PAM is a decent starting company.
     
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