News & Updates

Pros and Cons of Over The Road

Jul 25, 2019


Pros & Cons of Over The Road (OTR) Trucking

Have you recently earned your CDL? Congratulations! You’re probably looking forward to starting your new career. Trucking companies usually start their new drivers in an Over The Road (OTR) position. OTR trucking is also called long haul trucking because OTR truckers have longer routes than local or regional drivers. Some OTR routes cover a few states. Other routes could take you across the country and perhaps into Mexico or Canada. While there are some drawbacks to OTR jobs, you may find the benefits outweigh the cons.


  • In the United States, most freight travels by truck. When you become an OTR driver, you have an in-demand career with plentiful job opportunities.
  • Since many OTR drivers are paid by the mile, long haul drivers are paid well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2018 the median pay for a truck driver was $43,680 per year or $21.00 per hour, however, many OTR truck drivers make significantly more.
  • Unlike most local drivers, you don’t have to unload and load freight. Shippers and receivers have employees to handle it.
  • As an OTR driver, you get paid to travel and see the country. You’ll meet lots of new and interesting people.


  • OTR drivers are away from home, family, and friends for days or weeks at a time. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep in touch with loved ones until you have a few days off at home.
  • You may become fatigued. It’s not unusual for an OTR driver to spend 8 to 10 hours a day behind the wheel. However, you may find you enjoy having hours to listen to podcasts, music, or audiobooks.

CDL Training in Georgia

If you’re interested in a local, regional or OTR position, but you don’t have a CDL, contact Georgia Driving Academy for more information about CDL training.

GDA Online CDL Training : Enjoy Flexibility and Convenience

Jul 15, 2019


computer, coffee mug, newspaper and glasses with online cdl training verbiage

The United States heavily relies on truckers, and they are responsible for the movement of about 71% of the entire country’s freight. This industry also takes up approximately 6% of the nation’s full-time jobs, and each year, millions of drivers enter the industry. So if you wish to enter this adventurous career, then it is never too late. Georgia Driving Academy now offers you the convenience of training for your Class A CDL at the comfort of your home.

The 60-hour classroom instruction can be completed in our online CDL training and is available whether you live within the state or beyond. The online option lets you save seven days of on-campus training, and you can choose from these convenient programs:

  • Full-time program for three weeks
  • Part-time program for nine weekends

Benefits of Georgia Driving Academy’s online CDL training

Here is why you should consider online training through GDA:

  • The futuristic curriculum is a product of the collaboration between the institution and the Bumper-to-Bumper. This is a well-respected and recognized curriculum used by CDL training schools in the country and overseas.
  • The study program meets all the regulations established by the FMCSA to govern CDL training.
  • You can schedule your 120-hour practical to your convenience.
  • If you reside outside Georgia and you have already finished the training courses and issued the Class A CDL Permit from your home state, you can schedule your training at any GDA campuses in Conyers, and Columbus.
  • You can access the online platform through your laptop, desktop, smartphone, or notebook
  • Out of state students can save time and money

GDA classroom training still works

If you have sufficient time, you can still dedicate your efforts and attend the Class A CDL classroom training at GDA. The ultra-modern instruction employs the use of the ‘Clicker’ instructional program alongside digital interactive equipment. During these training sessions, you will learn the following:

  • CDL basics and laws
  • Safety around trucks
  • Speeding and stopping
  • Air brake systems
  • Pre-trip inspections
  • Backing
  • Shifting
  • Uncouple/couple trailers
  • Electric and fuel systems
  • Logbooks
  • Combination vehicles
  • Loading and dispatching
  • Everything about the state’s permit test

In conclusion, get out to explore the available options, and you can rest assured to land a position that is perfect for you. If you need more guidance on job placement at GDA, or just want to learn more about the Class A and B training options, feel free to talk to any of our knowledgeable career advisors via 1-800-711-4301 or start here.

How Long Does It Take To Get A CDL?

Jun 25, 2019


graphic with clocks and the verbiage "how long does it take to earn a cdl"

It Doesn’t Take Long to Get a CDL

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in the trucking industry, classroom and on-hands training is not a long, drawn-out process. At Georgia Driving Academy (GDA), we prepare you to become an excellent driver. Many companies trust our curriculum to train the drivers they want to join their team.

Class A CDL Course Total Time: 180 Hours

With the Class A CDL, you will be able to drive the big rigs, locally and over-the-road. When you become a truck driver, you become a part of a country-wide team that keeps our country moving. If you look at the 180 hours in a matter of 40 hours per week, you can be ready for a new career in the trucking industry in 4.5 weeks.

There is a lot to learn, and we have perfected our course since our beginnings in 1995 with our state-of-art classroom study followed by what every truck driver must know along the roads. If your schedule makes it hard to attend an on-campus class, we have designed two online-curriculum options.

  • 60 Hours: In-Classroom on GDA Campus
  • 120 Hours Hands-On: From the Driving Range to Road Training and Testing

Class B CDL Course Total Time: 70 Hours

You don’t have to drive the eighteen-wheelers to have a rewarding commercial driving career. The Class B  CDL will prepare you to be ready to drive a Motor Coach Class B rated bus or a 26-foot straight truck. Class B commercial drivers also keep America on the move. In less than two weeks, you can be ready to start a new career.

  • 70 Hours In-Classroom and Hands-On

GDA Brings the Driving Jobs to You

We know that preparing for a rewarding, driving career is why you have come to the Georgia Driving Academy, and we have gained the respect and trust of many regional and national companies. Part of our commitment to you is to help you find the driving career that is right for you. It’s always exciting on a GDA campus, and we’re at 770-918-8501 or 800-711-4301 to answer any questions. Let’s keep America on the move.

Your Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver: Tips for Getting Your Dream Job

Jun 18, 2019


graphic with image of truck and text that reads "Your Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver. Part 6: tips for getting your dream job"

Congratulations on earning that CDL!

 Now, what is the next step? Finding a job? The thought of getting a job may be overwhelming, but don’t stress. Here are some tips that could help you find your next career path.

1. Use Job Placement Services:

It is likely that your truck driving school provides job placement services to their students. You can contact your driving school to find out more information. These job placement services are put in place for your benefit, so do not let them go to waste. Driving schools usually have relationships with certain employers because they want their students to succeed. Job placement services could potentially give you a leg up from the competition.

2.  Use Online Job Resources

There are multiple online sites that can help you get a better understanding of the industry and what jobs are available. Job boards and online job-hunting sites can help you compare pay rates, job requirements, and company standards. Additionally, these sites usually have an application process built into their programs to make applying for jobs easy.

3. Apply!

The most important thing to remember is that the worst someone could say in “no”. Do not let the fear of getting a “no” keep you from applying. Most employers will not take the time to seek you out. You will need to do the leg work and diligently be on the lookout for job opportunities that look interesting to you. The more jobs you apply to the better chance you have of receiving an interview.

4. Nail Your Interview

The key to landing an interview, and then a job, is to make sure that they know why you are the best candidate for the job. Dress well and be prepared to talk about your strengths. You must sell your strengths to your interviewer, and explain why you are the person they should choose for the position. Using personal experience, giving strong references, and being relaxed can really work in your favor. Be confident in your abilities, know what you know and don’t know. Answer with confidence. Be sure to stand out in a positive way. Drawing attention to your added skills means you will draw the attention of more trucking companies. It will also set you apart from other applicants.

5. Know Your Worth

Do not let a lack of experience intimidate you. Remember that employers are seeking hardworking, honest individuals who are willing to grow professionally. Whichever job you find, will provide you with opportunities to gain experience and learn the ins and outs of driving professionally. Traits like responsibility, leadership, dedication, initiative, and professionalism can make all the difference. Remember, the difference between CDL drivers and most other jobs is that you are an independent contractor, until you sign a contract with a company. This means that you have an advantage on the bargaining front if you have the skills to back it up.


So get out there and explore your options! Be brave, sell yourself as the perfect candidate and you will be sure to land the perfect position!

Georgia Driving Academy: If you’re interested in learning more about the job placement assistance services at GDA Training, please contact one of our career advisors at 770-918-8501 or 800-711-4301 in our Conyers office or 706-507-4429 in our Columbus office.

Your Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver: The CDL Exam

Jun 10, 2019


graphic with image of truck and text that reads "Your Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver. Part 1: The CDL Exam"

Congratulations!  You have finished CDL training school, decided on your endorsements, and are ready to take your CDL Exam. Now, let’s get the ball rolling.

Your first stop is going to be your local Georgia Department Of Driver Services office to schedule your CDL exam. There will be two parts to your exam: written and skills. You have gained the driving skills during school, so now is the time to focus on the written exam and putting those driving schools to the test!

The key to success is to not study hard but to study smart. Here are six tips to help you prepare.

Be Specific

Know exactly what areas you will be tested on and focus on those areas. Don’t waste time studying for endorsements you aren’t seeking. Also, be sure to know details such as the DDS rules and regulations, other various driving regulations, minimum and maximum weights, and the order of how the DDS pre-trip inspection is done.

Weak Spots

Make a list of the areas you feel the weakest and spend extra time studying the material in those areas.

Be Rested

Don’t study harder material when you are tired or distracted. Only study when you are alert and focused because otherwise, you are wasting precious study time.

Practice Tests

Practice taking the exam with practice tests. Doing this will help you get a feel for the type of questions on the exam and also pinpoint your weak areas. You can find free practice exams online by just doing a quick Google search for “free CDL practice test” or by visiting the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.

Go Mobile

Make it easy to study on the go by putting study materials on your mobile device. You can use apps like Quizlet for flashcards that cover the engine, cab check, steering, suspension and more!

Written Test Tips

Don’t forget these important tips for actually taking the exam.

  • Get plenty of rest the night before.
  • Eat a substantial breakfast.
  • Take your time understanding each question.
  • Don’t leave any question blank.
  • Recheck your answers, if you have time.

Prepare for the On-the-Road Driving Test

For the CDL road test, you will be tested on the following:

Pre-trip Inspection. You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would inspect and why.

Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your ability to control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle in a variety of directions and turn it within a defined area.

On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. The situations may include turns, crossing intersections, railroads, and also different city road types and highways.

Once you have passed the exam, you have earned your CDL and can begin the next step—getting a truck driving job! That is what we will discuss in the sixth and final part of this guide next time.