News & Updates

What Can I do With a CDL?

Nov 15, 2018

 

Is it time for you to take the next step in your career and go through your CDL training? It’s a great time to enter the industry with such a high demand for truck drivers. Before you begin though, take a long look and decide if this is the best career choice for you and your lifestyle. Do you know what exactly an over-the-road truck driver does? Are you prepared for the different hours you may be driving? Do you like the drive for hours at a time? These are a few questions you will need to ask yourself.

If you still feel like trucking is your next step, it’s time to do some more research about what type of CDL training you are interested in. Your training may be different depending on the type of truck driving you would like to go into. 

Deciding Your Profession

  • Trucking Industry: transporting goods around the country and delivering them to other areas, spurring the growth of commerce.
  • Bus Driving: transporting passengers of all types around. You can be a school bus driver, a city bus driver, a motor coach driver, or a school bus driver
  • Delivery Services: From parcels and packages to furniture, delivery services often need the services of people who possess a CDL.
  • Construction: Construction vehicles are monstrous. They have an important function in society and need people with Atlanta CDL training to operate them.

Obtaining Your CDL

To earn your CDL first you must pass CDL training. You must first obtain your CDL permit. This is something that your instructors at Georgia Driving Academy will help you conquer during your first week of training. From there, you will go through weeks of training in the truck learning to shift and the maneuvers needed to be the best driver you can be.

Once you complete your CDL training program, you have to take, and pass, the CDL exam. This is a big step, as the test is comprehensive and is administered in two parts: a written portion and a driving portion. You must pass both parts of the exam if you want to earn your CDL.

Once you pass Atlanta CDL training and the exam, you have your commercial driver’s license, and you’re ready to get into your career! Move carefully and quickly, and don’t forget that your learning isn’t complete quite yet. You will continue on with your training at whatever company you choose to drive for. Quickly, you will be on your way to driving solo on the road in your new rig!

Transitioning Military Experience to the Trucking Industry

Oct 31, 2018

 

The trucking industry has long been an excellent choice of a career for service members once settling back into civilian life. Trucking companies are very welcoming to military members who need training and a new career after they have completed their service to our country.

The trucking industry will continue to need more and more workers as time moves forward and the consumer demand in the industry grows. Hiring military veterans is a great option for trucking companies because several skills needed for the job are already ingrained for the new hire. Being a military veteran can also provide some valuable bonuses when joining the trucking industry.

Joining the Military Skills Test (AKA Road Test) Program:

The Military Skills Test Program allows for any military personnel to skip the road test as long as they have been in the service for 2 years and used military vehicles during that time. The waiver to participate in this program is now available in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia. Many of these veterans who are interested in driving a “big rig” when they get home have worked driving big military tanks and vehicles in the past. Their training will cross well into the trucking industry and into driving large loads of goods to their destinations.

Since the Military Skills Test (AKA Road Test) Program has been implemented the number of military members who have joined the trucking industry since 2014 has continued to increase.

How Do These Military Skills Test Waivers Work?

Soldiers who are eligible for this program have at least two (2) years of safety experience driving heavy duty military machinery or equipment. The eligibility time frame has been extended for one more year nationwide. Veterans with a Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE) who are missing at least one limb will have their SPE will also be treated as an equal to the FMCSA issued SPE.

When soldiers come home, the trucking industry is glad to offer them steady, long-term employment. This is one of the greatest ways we can pay back the men and women who have given so much to our country.

How Do I Know If I Qualify For a Skills Test Waiver?

Those seeking a Skills Test Waiver must have the forms submitted within 12 months of their discharge from their service with the US Military. The Skills Test Waiver exempts the person from the road test part of the CDL but the written tests with the Department of Motor Vehicles still has to be taken.

The following questions will be asked to determine if you are eligible for a Skills Test Waiver. It’s in your best interest to answer all of these questions honestly to ensure that your Skills Test Waiver is accepted and that you are a candidate for long-term employment. The following are a small sampling of some of the questions you will be asked:

  • Have you ever been convicted of being under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance?
  • Have you ever had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or higher while driving a commercial vehicle?
  • Have you ever been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident?
  • Have you ever been convicted of using any type of motor vehicle to commit a felony?
  • Have you ever been convicted of causing a fatality while driving a CMV?

These are just a few of the questions you will be asked when you fill out your Skills Test Waiver. If you pass the Skills Test Waiver you will not have to take the road skills part of the test to get your CDL. You will be one step closer to a secure, lifelong job that you will love and you have a peace of mind knowing that your job is secure and you will have a future way to provide for your family! It’s the least the trucking industry can do to thank you for your dedication and service to our great nation!

If you are ready to get started with your new truck driving career, contact Georgia Driving Academy. We are ready to help you get on the road with your new CDL license. GDA provides both Class A and Class B CDL training in Conyers and Columbus, GA.

Going on the Road with a Trainer or Solo for the First Time

Oct 24, 2018

 

Getting out on the road for the first time whether it’s with a trainer or solo can be an intimidating process for a new truck driver. You are excited about heading out on the road for the first time, yet nervous that mistakes can be made. Moreover, sharing the truck with another driver can be a very challenging experience while you are training. Once you are done training, your first few days in the truck alone can also be scary since you are officially riding solo.

Despite the nerves, fears, and excitements you will have out on the road for the first time, the following are some great tips to help you settle in on the road whether you are all alone or with a mentor:

Work With Your Mentor:

It’s key to remember that the mentor is the one in charge of showing you the ropes of your new job so to speak. They are in charge of setting expectations and making sure you achieve them. Respect them and learn what you can from them. Drivers who are mentors have a wealth of knowledge and you can learn a lot from them. Ask them to clearly set and define expectations that you can rise up to meet them.

Plan Ahead For Your Trips:

You will save yourself a lot of headaches if you plan ahead for each trip you will be making. Come up with solutions to anticipated problems beforehand so you are ready to face them head-on if or when they occur. Plan ahead to lose connections to your navigation systems at least for a few minutes each day, especially if you are driving through rural areas. Plan ahead how you will navigate the roads through alternative means till your connections are restored. Planning for such scenarios can help you avoid the panic that will set in later if you haven’t thought through.

Plan Your Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspections:

The pre-trip inspections you are supposed to perform are there for a reason. Don’t skip these inspections. They might be the difference between making it to your stops on time or breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Your mentor should allow you to do the examination and only be there for support. This should take about 20 minutes before you start your trip. It will be well worth your time if it means saving a breakdown later on.

Pay Attention When You Are Backing Up:

Setting your truck up-right when you stop is going to make it a lot easier to back up later on. Learn how to set up and back up correctly from day one. Ask your mentor to work with you on this skill as it can be a very hard task for new truckers to master. Considering you will set up and back your truck multiple times a year, it’s a skill you need to be familiar and comfortable with.

Get Out and Look OFTEN:

When you get out of your truck at stops or destinations, you will need to stop and check to make sure there are no obvious issues with the truck that can be spotted with plain eyesight. Common issues that you can spot include overrides on the 5th wheel because the trailer is sitting too high or undercutting when the trailer sits too low. These sorts of issues are able to be adjusted before you continue to drive to keep yourself as safe as possible.

Enjoy the Experience & Be Safe:

Take the entire world of trucking on as a new experience. Enjoy the journey, be cautious, and take any precautions possible to protect yourself and others on the road while you are driving!

 

If you’re ready to hit the road and become a truck driver, contact Georgia Driving Academy to get started. GDA provides both Class A and Class B CDL training at two convenient locations in Georgia. Earn your Class A CDL in just 4-weeks and get started with your new rewarding and successful trucking career.

Truck Drivers: What to Listen to While on the Road

Oct 15, 2018

 

It’s no secret that truck drivers spend a lot of quality time out on the open road. They’re often alone and don’t have the typical company of friends or family tagging along on long road trips to stay awake and sharp. Therefore it’s important that truck drivers find quality listening material that’s interesting, engaging, and fun. Whether it’s the radio, podcasts, or streaming apps, we’ve compiled a list of the top things truck drivers can listen to for a more enjoyable ride.

What’s a Podcast?

Podcasts are downloadable audio shows that are available on the internet. They can easily be listened to from a mobile device and are completely uninterrupted from commercials. Podcast topics range from movies, news, crime, self-help, entertainment and so much more. Anything that interests you likely has a podcast available!

Trucking Podcasts

Some popular ‘trucking podcasts’ are Red Eye Radio, Truck Driver 101.com, Trucker Dump, and Trucking Podcast. These offer helpful insights and humorous stories within the trucking industry. Newbies will especially love learning new things and hearing from others’ points of view.

News Podcasts

Truck drivers are rarely home on time to catch a glimpse of the evening news, therefore listening to news podcasts is an easy way to catch up on the world around them every single day. Top options include CNN 10 which gives a 10-minute podcast featuring the top world events, PBS News Hour, another free podcast bringing you the best stories, and NPR Hourly News Summary, a 5-minute podcast which catches you up on everything that’s happened in the last 60 minutes.

Comedy Podcasts

If the news is too stressful, comedy is here to save the day. Top comedy podcasts include Comedy Bang! Bang! and How Did This Get Made? Both hilarious choices guaranteed to make you laugh and enjoy the day.

Deep-Thinking Podcasts

If any truckers are looking to channel their inner genius or challenge their current views, this category is it. A few top picks are Freakonomics Radio, which airs economic and social subjects, Science Vs. (one of the internet’s best science podcasts), and No Such Thing as a Fish which brings you fun facts and unknown information.

Music Streaming Apps

Exploring new music or listening to old favorites certainly makes the time fly by. Truck drivers can download popular music streaming apps such as  Spotify, Pandora, or SoundCloud. It’s a simple and affordable way to utilize technology and jam the day away.

Radio

The classic radio has come a long way since it was first invented. Even in the 21st century, the radio is a top hit for most truckers. Radio programs such as Red Eye Radio are tailored to drivers. Other truckers prefer to download apps such as iHeart Radio for their music needs. You simply subscribe to your favorite local station and you can listen to it anywhere you go. It’s free and easy!

 

If you’re ready to hit the road but still need your CDL license to help get you started, contact Georgia Driving Academy. GDA provides both Class A and Class B CDL training in two locations within Georgia. Let’s get you started today!

Choosing the Right Truck Driving School

Sep 27, 2018

 

 

Choosing a career as a truck driver has numerous benefits over other professions. Trucking offers great pay and benefits, flexibility and job security, and a regular change of scenery. But earning your CDL requires some schooling, and all truck driving training programs are not created equal.

Here are five important things to look for when choosing a truck driving school.

1. Tuition Assistance

Truck driving school, like any other type of education, is a big expense, but one with excellent returns. Not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket. Look for a school that offers financial aid. Georgia Driving Academy is TAA and WIA approved, and we certify veterans for their GI Bill® benefits.

2. Variety of Programs

Whether you want to drive a bus or a semi—or both—or you need CDL training or a Refresher Course if you already have a CDL in your pocket. Finding a school that offers a variety of training courses improves your chances of finding your dream job.

3. Online CDL training

Online CDL training allows you to complete classroom instruction from the comfort of your own home. It’s ideal for those who live out of state or a long distance away from the brick-and-mortar school. Georgia Driving Academy offers the first 60-hour Class A instruction online for both the 3-week full-time and 9-week part-time programs.

4. A proven track record

High-quality instruction and a high level of success in placing graduates in a job should be a major priority when you’re looking for a truck driving school. At Georgia Driving Academy, we’re proud of the highly competent drivers we produce, and so are many companies who seek out our graduates for entry-level positions both at home and across the country.

5. Job Placement Assistance

Completing truck driving instruction is only the first step toward getting your ideal driving job. Choosing a school that offers job placement assistance helps to ensure you get a job right out of school. Georgia Driving Academy works with recruiters from across the state and beyond to help ensure our graduates find an excellent professional driving opportunity.

 

If you’re looking for a top-notch truck driving school to get you started in a satisfying a trucking career, Georgia Driving Academy is hard to beat. Contact us today to learn about our programs, financial aid options, and our employment partners.