I had to post my experience with Driver Solutions and PAM Transport. It
irritated me so much I have contacted media, the Arkansas Governor's Office, the Attorney General, and even the White House. I look forward to messages with stories similar to mine so we can attempt to make a change in a limited area of the trucking industry. Driver Solutions in conjunction with a few trucking companies is a fraud that does not assist in giving the proper training to needy individuals and once a CDL is tarnished, the student still bears financial responsibility. This is not the way it should be and some of the methods need changing.
To whom it may concern:
In Aug. of this year, I enrolled at the C1 Truck Driver Training School in
North Little Rock, AR. It was a new venture for me and I had never been in a semi-tractor trailer before.
After four (4) weeks of training, I received my Class A CDL with the
understanding that I would be gainfully employed at PAM Transport for the fulfillment of the terms of my one year contract.
Shortly after receiving my CDL, a number of now disturbing things began to happen. First, I was scheduled to go over the road for at least four weeks to get the first round of training needed to begin my career at PAM. Further, at the end of this period, I understood that I would be teamed with a more experienced driver to get additional experience. I even requested to have a team driver.
During the initial training, a number of irregularities that I am not afraid
to mention occurred. One, my trainer was always yelling at me that I was not doing the job perfectly as he wanted. Additionally, while sufficient hours of actual road driving occurred, he was always doctoring his logs to provide me with the hours needed to upgrade within the alotted three week period. He even used his cell phone to text and talk while driving. Another issue was that there were damage caused to the vehicle on two occasions that he reported to Road Rescue and he lied about the cause of the damage. At times, he and the company could only see dollar signs by getting drivers through with rapidity. While I did not complain because I was eager to upgrade and get further training, I realized the safety issue and the impropriety of this conduct. Further, insufficient time was spent on subjects such as backing and practical items that would eventually come back to haunt me when I was thrust out on the truck on my own.
After a short stint at Tontitown (corp. headquarters), I succeeded in getting upgraded but was put in my own tractor. While I was humbled with the responsibility and felt I could handle it, I still believe it was more prudent to allow further training and team me with a more experienced driver.
While taking my first load to Florida, I was not privy to truck stops in the area, and while attempting to turn around in a gas station, I managed to clip a fuel pump dislodging it from its mounts. Additionally, a week later, I was attempting to pick up a load in PA. While en route and following inadequate driver instructions on the Qualcomm, I made a wrong turn and continued heading into a mountainous area. I tried to call the shipper but they were not available at the early hour in the morning. When faced with the dilemma of either continuing on or making a U-turn, I attempted to turn around at which time my steer tires got stuck in soft soil necessitating a tow.
A final incident occurred once I arrived at the shipper. There were two docks located in a garage like enclosure necessitating pinpoint accuracy in backing in and moving out. While I managed to back in with little problem, when I attempted to exit, my driver side trailer door clipped part of the building breaking it from its hinges.
It was this incident and lack of compassion that led to my ultimate discharge from PAM Transport. Yes, I am a bit bitter about the manner my employment situation was handled. They never gave me an opportunity to make right what was wrong and show them really what to do with this company with further training.
I have always been a hard and determined and ambitious man. This is
illustrated by the two law licenses I have achieved (in both Ohio and Arkansas). However, I want to speak out for the people that either are too afraid because they need their jobs, and for the safety issues that, if unresolved, may result in serious injury or death if the improper training is allowed to continue.
I would hope that anyone who has been victimized by this situation would attempted to contact me so we can start a movement to reform this industry which is so vital to our economic livelihood. Please contact me by private message at this site. I am anxious to hear other stories like mine. A very good friend of mine lost his job as a trucker at PAM under similar but not as significant as mine.
Finally, I would challenge Driver Solutions to contact me, help me retain
gainful employment, and help me realize my full potential. Or the worth as to what they have paid will be worthless and I will make no further effort to pay for something that was not of any value since I can not use the CDL because I was not trained adequately.
I am grateful for my CDL. Now I will be even more grateful if training assists me in maintaining a job that I can utilize same.
To all who read this, thank you, God bless, and Merry Christmas.
PAM Transport and Driver Solutions only care about money
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So, if I read things correctly? You went to a school for 4 weeks, trained, and got your CDL. PAM hired you on and sent you out for 3 weeks training with a mentor then put you in a rig and expected you to perform your duties as a driver. You had asked to go in a team situation. Yet, were still sent out solo. Maybe as a lawyer you should have asked a few more times.
You got lost, did not have the equipment you should have had with you. Got into a few preventable mishaps and got fired. Now you want to blame it all on PAM because you were the one in control of not only the rig but your life.
Don't take this the wrong way, but, that sounds a whole lot like the typical lawyer attitude right there. Blame everyone else since the person themselves cannot ever be to blame for their own actions.
Good luck with it. Welcome to the blue collar world from your white collar previous life.
In way of response, I did train at C1 Truck Driver Training School in North Little Rock. However, that training was only the bare essentials for allowing me to succeed in passing the basics to get my CDL, not so much to succeed in employment.
As you know, there is much more to being a truck driver than just pre trip inspections, pad (basic skills) maneuvers, and the road test.
PAM Transport had an absolute obligation to train me in a satisfactory manner so I would not be a risk to myself, others, or property. They sent me out with a trainer that consistently yelled at me, texted and talked on the cell phone while driving, doctored the log books, and did not spend the proper time to teach me exactly how to back in the safest manner among other things. Additionally, we had a reefer so we were constantly on the road. I had a lot of road driving experience which was satisfactory; however, it was the other skills that he did not spend much time with me on. Knowing that he would get a bonus for upgrading me, he ignored what skills were deemed insufficient in an effort to get his bonus for having a student driver upgrade. Hence, my training by the company was insufficient and the company penalized me for it.
Further, I know I may bear part of the responsibility for what happened to me. But I went along with the mandate of the company and not following up with a request for a student driver because, if you remember, I still owe a sizable amount to Driver Solutions per contract. And what would PAM have said? "None is available in your area."
I did not have the proper equipment because I had no money, and PAM Transport did not supply this equipment to me. That burden in no way should fall on me, but as part of doing the job successfully, should fall on the business owner as in the course of the business.
Finally, I am not the only person that has had insufficient training that has cost them a job and tarnished the CDL. I have a good friend among others that had similar less flagrant incidents, and he got discharged too. No probation, understanding, or anything.
Despite what you may think, I have been blue collar all my life and empathize with people in that position. My father was a fork lift driver for an Indiana supermarket warehouse for 34 years before he died. I just want to recognize inadequacies and fight to change them.
The relationship and training between Driver Solutions and other companies is inadequate for many people, and I will continue to fight until a change is forthcoming.
Otherwise, when someone is hurt or killed, I can look into your eyes and say "I told you so."
Joshua (Wrestles with GOD),
Please drop your matter concerning PAM and began stocking up on necessary items. I too did not know the order of hierarchy within trucking transportation companies and was instructed to clean out the truck without an appeal(in other words no sympathy was given). You actually damaged the trailer so I'm sure you reported that on the QC #3 and private property(the pump), but did you report those incidents. The verdict of my continued employment was a lot harsher than yours, but I walked out with a paid bus ticket. I noticed that driving the truck is what you make of it and if you learn most of the operation on your own, then it can become a nice, comfy and spoilt rotten profession. So your DAC is unacceptable and your pay check stopped coming? Start early somewhere else my friend, and wait for all charges to be dropped after 3 years (sounds like you only have minor accidents reported). I'm sure you saw yourself taking an early foot into truck driving, so take an early foot somewhere else and make your return. C1 should even be there to assist in another job. God bless.
Nothing personally intended here. But, you did not demand proper and thorough training from PAM. By your own admission you allowed the poor training to continue. You KNEW you were not prepared to go solo and you did not force PAM or Drvers Solutions to continue your training. You must take responsability for your significant role in this equation. Yes the large companies are severely undertraining newbies and yes there really should be much stricter federal training guidelines. Perhaps this is the cause you can apply that law degree towards.IUFAN87 Thanks this.
I am noting the responses I have received. Once I see a cause, I am determined to see it through. By some of your own admissions, you say that the training was insufficient. If I would I enrolled at a technical college or the like, I would have had six weeks of thorough training and would have had stable learned employment like through Tyson or the like.
However, I had Driver Solutions assist me and because I felt like it was a good deal, I am out per contract of $6000 dollars, and my CDL has a blemish that only time will correct.
While I have accepted my share of the responsibility, I feel that PAM and the other trucking companies bear a substantial responsibility for the manner in which their employees are trained. Let me reiterate that I am not the only person that feels that an injustice (i.e. lack of sufficient training) has been committed. There are many others, including a good friend, that has had his career tainted because PAM did not properly train and did not want them anymore. And they claim their is a shortage of good or potentially good drivers??? Overlooked is the fact that I made the run to Florida, took another load to Vidalia, GA; picked up a load in S.C. and took it to a suburb of Chicago with ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM. PAM and the other companies should have their share of the burden.
And it does not help that a trainer yells at his students, texts while driving, and doctors logs to get a bonus. Where is his conscience? And he is still driving. Likewise, he heard a rattle in his windshield and kicked and shattered it, then calls Road Rescue saying something hit it.
This lying and deceit and lack of training must cease or some child will get hurt, and a lot of good people will be out of work. With the economy in a mess, can we really afford this???
I am working closely with the Governor's office, and other entities to hold PAM, Driver Solutions, and other companies accountable.
I refuse to stop until they assume this accountability, the training is adequate, and all drivers and trainers comply with the applicable safety regulations mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. I urge any and all individuals who have felt wronged by training and the like through Driver Solutions, PAM Transport, or other trucking companies to contact the Governor's office, their attorney general's office, the state representative's office or myself. By numbers and influence we can exert a positive influence for change on the integrity and safety of this industry.
Also, I want to let people know that have worked through Driver Solutions and have a complaint to contact their local Better Business Bureau. They will forward the Complaint to Driver Solutions. Driver Solutions will have to respond, and the Better Business Bureau will entertain solutions to the problem. Driver Solutions was obligated to provide training or employment with a CDL in return for repayment per the terms of the contract. My position is that, since I did not get the benefit of the bargain (namely, a CDL and gainful employment to utilize the same), then I should no longer be obligated for payment under the terms of the contract. Would you pay for a car if it did not work?? The moral of this story is to read the contract before you sign it!
Finally, I have contacted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to address safety issues involved which at a minimum includes the driver trainer and his attitude, the doctoring of logs, and the texting and talking on the cell phone while driving. I am awaiting a response.
It is a righteous cause and I wish you luck in this endeavor. Your situation is not unusual at all. In your efforts, perhaps you could recommend this forum to those you encounter. There are countless examples of experiences similar to yours on these threads. I spent easily a couple thousand hours reading threads on this site to help shape my course of action in pursuing driving as a career. Any reasonably intelligent person can sort thru the valuable and worthless data on these threads and formulate a logical course of action. Lack of doing significant research prior to pursuing a driving career will and does result in a very high failure rate.
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