News & Updates

GDA Graduate Receives Top 10 Rookie Nomination!

Aug 15, 2017


Georgia Driving Academy would like to congratulate Daniel Shonebarger, a 2016 Columbus, GA graduate, on being named to Trucking’s Top 10 Rookie Finalist list. This is a huge accomplishment, and we could not be prouder. We sat down with Daniel to see how he has been doing since graduating from his CDL training and learn a little more about his background.


Since receiving his CDL license, Daniel has taken a job with Melton Truck Lines. Daniel said his time at GDA was great. He thoroughly enjoyed his instructors and how knowledgeable and patient they were with him and other students. Daniel shared that he chose to get his CDL license because trucking had always been a passion of his. He has always enjoyed driving “the biggest vehicles on the road and the responsibility that brings.” For Daniel, shifting through 10 gears with 80,000 lbs. gives him such a rush. For us, it seems that the trucking industry was made for Daniel!


Before beginning his career as a truck driver, Daniel served in the U.S. Navy. For eight years, he helped protect our country, and we could not be more grateful. Daniel was stationed onboard the USS Boxer LHD4 in San Diego, CA for five years and later, serving three years at the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center at Pearl Harbor, HI.  Daniel shared that he loved being in the military because he was able to travel the world and see other countries full of different cultures, languages and food.


Now as a truck driver, Daniel is still able to travel, but this time throughout the United States. Since becoming a trucker a little over a year ago, he has seen “a gold mine in the middle of a desert, an abandoned military base on an island that looked like the shoot of a zombie movie, the top of the Rockies, delivered to the downtown of almost every major metropolitan city and the cornfields in the middle of Iowa.” Daniel thanks the military for helping to prepare him for the trucking industry, and giving him he discipline necessary for the job.

At the end of the day, Daniel’s true motivation comes from his family. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jessica for fifteen years and has two children, Aaron and Danica. Day-after-day they give him the drive to pursue his passion in trucking. His goal is to one day own his own truck and continue providing a future for his family that he can be proud of. For Georgia Driving Academy, we want to send our best wishes to Daniel and applaud him on his success thus far in the trucking industry.


Daniel along with the other Top 10 nominees will be recognized at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas later this month. The winner will be announced at GATS on Friday, Aug. 25. The winner will receive $10,000 along with other prizes. To learn more about the Top 10 nominees, visit:


Daniel earned his CDL by training at Georgia Driving Academy. GDA provides Class A and Class B CDL training services for Georgia residents. If you’re interested in beginning a career as a professional driver, learn more about our CDL training programs.

Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Georgia

Aug 8, 2017


If you are looking for a commercial driving job, well you are in luck! Jobs are plentiful. The process of obtaining a CDL differs from state to state, though classes are the same. If you are located in Georgia and looking into what it will take to get your license, here is the breakdown of the process.

A recommended (but not required) step in getting your Georgia CDL is to take a learner’s permit course. This will help you prepare for the written portion of your driving exam. Once that is complete, make an appointment at your local Department of Driver Services Customer Service Center. You’ll need to bring the following paperwork and documents with you:

  • Your medical certification
  • Your driver’s license
  • $10 permit fee
  • $35 CDL application fee
  • Proof of identity, address, social security number, and citizenship/lawful resident status

While you’re there, expect to:

  • Submit to a review of your driving record;
  • Pass the written exams for the class of license you’re applying for;
  • Fill out the CDL application; and
  • Undergo a vision exam

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll be issued your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). It is good for 180 days. If you have decided about attending a trucking school yet, now is the time. Georgia DDS does not require it but recommends you wait until you are comfortable with driving commercial trucks before taking the road test. Going through school is one the best ways to get there.

After receiving your permit, the state of Georgia requires you to wait a minimum of 14 days before taking the road test. When you are ready, schedule your skills/road test at one of the DDS Customer Service Centers that administers it (click here for a complete list and phone # to make the appointment), and make sure you take the test with the type of vehicle you’ll be driving once you get your license.

Also on that day, be sure you have the following with you:

  • Your current driver’s license
  • Your permit
  • $32 CDL fee
  • $50 driving test fee

If you pass the test that day, you’re finished! Your license is good for the next five years, at which point you will need to renew it.

Why You Should Get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Jul 26, 2017


If you enjoy being outdoors, have always liked driving, and want to have a great future in a high-paying job, then obtaining a commercial driver’s license is the first step towards a rewarding career. Consider either a Class A CDL which qualifies you to drive semi’s and other heavy trucks over 26,000 lbs., or opt for a Class B CDL for vehicles up to 10,000 lbs. which include city or school buses, and delivery trucks or dump trucks.

Multiple Job Opportunities – with either of these licenses, a world of career opportunities are available in an industry that has a desperate need for 100,000 drivers in 2017, according to From chauffeurs to local parcel delivery to long distance cargo hauling, this is one industry sector where you will have your choice of jobs and locations.

The Lifestyle of an OTR Driver – consider the modern long-haul truck driver. Whether you are a solo or a team driver, high-roof sleeper cabs come with all the amenities needed for rest, eating, and doing paperwork or surfing the internet. These drivers love traveling across the nation, meeting new people, and making their own hours (as long as they stay on schedule!)

Great Pay and Job Security – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a tractor-trailer truck driver’s average hourly pay is $20.96. With experience and the right company, expect to make much more than that. But consider that even local dry cargo delivery jobs at companies such as UPS and FedEx will average $16.73 per hour, along with exceptional benefits and health care plans you also sleep at home every night with your family as a regular 9 to 5 job.

With the serious shortage of truck drivers and the ability to make a great salary, getting your commercial drivers license is a good plan for a great future.

How Best To Survive Time Spent With Your Driver Trainer!

Jul 19, 2017



Truck driving is good work. To do that work professionally requires a special license. It also involves time on the road with a “driver trainer”. Here’s some tips to help pass that time and the test.

  • “Pick His Brain” 

    The person you’ll be with is a seasoned professional. Don’t be afraid to ask some specific questions that may not have been on the curriculum. You’ll get inside information, and the trainer driver gets to show off his knowledge as a veteran/expert!

  • Dot All “I”s, Cross All “T”s

    Even if you do “hit it off” with your driver trainer, it’s still unwise to assume that they will let a few mistakes on your part be overlooked. Offering up less-than-best effort could come back to haunt you. Remember, he still has a responsibility…and a job to do.

  • Think Long Term….Real Long 

    Under the assumption that you don’t form an immediate bond of friendship, the course of wisdom is humility, not hostility. In addition to skill behind the wheel, verbal self-control may also be needed as a tool to receive your Class A and/or Class B license. Even if you need extreme patience, the time spent with your driver trainer is microscopic compared to a lucrative steady career.

  • Be Friendly….But Not Too Friendly 

    It won’t take long to figure out if your driver trainer is open or guarded about their personal life. Technically, you can’t suffer demerits for personality differences, but allow your trainer to set the tone of conversation. And remember, the favorite subject of a person, including your trainer…is themselves!

Keeping these thoughts in mind should help you in making truck driving a great career!

Truck Driving Graduates Hit the Road in New Careers

May 19, 2017


Check out a few of our recent CDL graduates! They came to school, worked hard, and are off starting in their new careers as truck drivers! We helped them find the job and employer that was right for them. Some of our student go OTR, some stay regional or even drive local! With our job placement assistance, most of them had multiple job offers to choose from after graduation! If you’d like to learn more about our Job Placement, give us a call anytime!

photo of GDA Conyers graduate Thomgelyn Salter holding a certificate of completion

Thomgelyn Salter just graduated from our Conyers campus with her Class A!! She decided to come to GDA to better her future, and had a job lined up with Coca Cola!

“All training was great, they take their time and manage it to your pace. With hard work is all helps!” – Thomgelyn Salter










photo of GDA honor graduate Kyle Snipes with his graduate certificate

Kyle Snipes heard from a previous GDA graduate that our school was great, so he came to check it out himself. Turns out, Kyle was a pretty great student as well – he graduated with Honors from our Class A program! He’s starting his trucking career with ROEHL and we think he’ll go far (literally!) and do really well for himself!

“What was my favorite part about training? The instructors were great!” – Kyle Snipes







photo of GDA graduate Said Arero with his graduation certificateSaid Arero has friends who are truck drivers, and thought he would follow suit. He came to GDA for his Class A CDL at the referral of a friend, and ended with great job with Werner!