Best GA Trucking School - Non-Typical Circumstances

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by Jax Graddy, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Jax Graddy

    Jax Graddy Bobtail Member

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    Jun 23, 2020
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    Hello guys and gals - I'm looking for some solid advice on school selection here in Georgia. Being that my circumstances are not typical (from what I've read), let me give some background.

    I currently have a job. Well I have more than a job, I have a career. Also, I'm no spring chicken, but I'm not completely ancient as yet. Maybe this is my mid-life crisis … dunno. I'm 48. I'm an established engineer with several patents. But I'm just worn out on figuring out solutions to problems. In the grandest summary of an engineer, that's what we do. We find elegant solutions to complex problems. Not just slapping duct tape on it. :D But, this level of continuous digging to find solutions has worn on me. I'm ALMOST ready for a change. I say almost because I have 3 sons in school. 1 in college, 1 a senior and 1 a sophomore. I feel like I should go ahead and get them at least into college before I abandon ship.

    I worked my way through college. It took me 5 years. I played the foozball (Waterboy) the first year, and then worked the next 4 years (took me 5 years to get my degree). I worked loading and unloading trucks, as well as driving the switch tractor out in the yard, moving 50 or 60 trailers a day. The 33' twin trailers. I did it so much I could back them in (broke apart of course) at full throttle (with a switch tractor), with about 2 feet space between them. Hook up at an angle, dump in Neutral, slam the throttle to the floor, hit the 5th wheel lift with my left hand, reach way back with my right hand and attach the air line (didn't bother with electrical in the yard). Blip off the throttle for about 2 seconds, dump it into Drive, and back to the floor with the throttle, never having to left the seat. It was fun, except when (there was 2 of us switching) we started getting behind and getting yelled at on the radio to hurry. That and a couple instances of hooking up to the wrong trailer at the dock and yanking it before the loader could even get out … dumping packages all over the ground.

    I also did some private hotshotting years ago. Uncle Sam never knew. I am proficient at backing trailers, however, over the years I'm sure I've lost skills. That and backing a 53' trailer with a conventional tractor is close to a whole different ballgame I'm guessing.

    I'm a planner. I don't NEED a CDL right now. But, I would PREFER to go ahead and get it for 2 reasons. 1) I could get laid up at any time (not likely, but ya never know with this covid going on), and 2) when I get my sons where I feel comfortable they can handle it from there, I want to go drive a truck for a while (until I'm sick of it) and then retire.

    That said, sometime this late summer or early fall, I will have to take a MULA. Mandatory Unpaid Leave of Absence to help the company save money, due to covid issues. Likely it will be 2 weeks off. But if it is just one week off, I'll take the MULA and a week of vacation. I'm just south of Atlanta metro. What I was thinking was that I would take it at Daly's, but I am hearing people recommending GDA over Daly's. And GDA is closer to me.

    I also hear there's a place down in Macon for $1,700 (might have been 2 or 3 years back) and can be done in 2 weeks. My requirements are that … I will have only 2 weeks to gitter done. At Daly's, I hear I can do the first week (Daly's is 3 weeks) at home on the computer, then go get the CLP. I've taken CLP practice tests here at home already and pretty much get a 100% on those, but don't know how realistic the practice tests are. I've studied the CDL manual (not completed yet), which is why I can pass the CLP right now. So, anywho, I wanted to see what you guys think.

    GDA? Daly's? The place in Macon … it may be just a guy, but I forget if there's a name? Other?

    I would rather stay and home and commute there and back daily. But if I needed to get a hotel Monday night through Thursday night (like if I went down to Macon or in Buford (Daly's)), I could handle that.

    Thanks! I think I'm successful in life because I LISTEN to others who know. So I'm ready to listen to you guys. God gave me 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason!


    Jax
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    Since you don't plan to drive soon, just go to any school.
    Some have night or weekend classes that won't interfere with your job.
    Many people use the weekend route which takes about 16 weekends to complete.
    Call around and see what's available.
     
  4. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

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    South GA
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    Plus be prepared to take and pay for a 'refresher' course if you wait more than 90 days to start driving.
     
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  5. slow pok

    slow pok Bobtail Member

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    Oct 27, 2013
    lizela ga
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    There is a good one in Forsyth ga don’t know of any in Macon and I live near there
     
  6. 8thnote

    8thnote Road Train Member

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    Aug 12, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
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    Any school is fine. All of the CDL schools just teach you the absolute minimum to pass the state exam, nothing more nothing less. I would just go to whichever is closest and/or most convenient to you. The real world learning starts when you go out with a trainer at your first driving job.

    As Opus said, most companies will require a refresher if you do not start using your CDL within a couple months of finishing your school.
     
  7. Jax Graddy

    Jax Graddy Bobtail Member

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    Jun 23, 2020
    Georgia
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    Yeah, I've seen the night and weekend classes. But crushing 16 weekends does not sound attractive. Plus, my old man is not doing so good, so I go visit him at least every other weekend and help him out. On top of that, I'm going to be forced off of work for a week or two, making that a good time to slam it out.
     
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  8. Jax Graddy

    Jax Graddy Bobtail Member

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    Jun 23, 2020
    Georgia
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    I had heard about that, but didn't know it was after only 90 days. I wonder if I could go maybe once or twice a month over a weekend. Doesn't sound realistic, but let's say I find a company that could use a "pinch hitter." Some drivers would want a weekend off, and I could "pinch drive" for them ... just over a weekend or something. That would be interesting...
     
  9. Jax Graddy

    Jax Graddy Bobtail Member

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    Jun 23, 2020
    Georgia
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    TDI - Truck Driver Institute in Forsyth, that's the one I'm leaning toward now. It sounds (from some threads I'm reading) like it has as good of feedback as any other place. But since it and my home are on the south side of Atlanta, and only about 50 miles away, I could do that daily and stay out of Atlanta friggin traffic. I've got a murder-sickle that gets about 50 mpg too, so it wouldn't cost me much fuel to go back and forth.
     
  10. Jax Graddy

    Jax Graddy Bobtail Member

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    Jun 23, 2020
    Georgia
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    That's where I'm going to be lacking. Even if I found a place that would let me do a short load out and back over a weekend, or a local gig where I could "pinch drive" over the weekend, I'm not going to be able to get out on the road with a trainer, due to having a job already.

    And I whole-heartedly agree with you guys, with a trainer ... that's where I'm going to learn the real job of trucking. There's a guy that I sort of know, and he has a local Atlanta area job where he relocates empties all day long, from this place to that around town. I think they're all empty or mostly empty. What he does is eases the logistics for the OTR guys so they don't waste a couple hours driving across town bobtail, and having to hunt down a trailer. Sounds like something I could do until I'm ready to go OTR. He's just in a day cab. The closest thing to a switch tractor, but crosses town continually.
     
  11. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

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    Dec 18, 2011
    South GA
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    You'll find that going "once or twice a month" won't teach you much.
    Granted, the regulatory part of the program can be memorized without much problem.
    However, the physical act of driving (mostly backing), depends largely on muscle memory and doing it for hours at a time on consecutive days.
    Once or twice a month won't teach you much.
     
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