This is the end of my first week at CDS.
CDS is located 8 miles South of Fredericksburg Virginia, just off of I95. I am having a blast.
There are 6 full time instructors, a chief instructor and four admin staff including the President/CEO. I have been welcomed and treated with respect.
The school has 8 tractors with various shift patterns. They are receiving their 9th tractor on Monday, it is a 2006 unit. They have many trailers, a flat bed and a short box, as well as dumps, buses, and box van.
There are 15 students in my class, new classes start every two weeks. The CDL-A program is 30 days, those who do not pass the state tests, are welcome to remain, sit in on classes and practice their skills. We have lost 3 students to the "B" course. Near as I can tell, it was their choice after the first couple of days driving. It did become painfully clear that not everyone has the "Situational Awareness" and mental dexterity to drive a tractor trailer.
The first week has gone fast. Classroom in the AM and driving skills after lunch. It is a progressive, fast paced course. Having enough instructors however, means that those who don't pick up a skill right off have one on one training and quickly catch up.
Currently I'm on track and am 3 pages into the 6 page pre-trip. Behind the wheel, I am on track with straight back, 45 and curve back. My first on-road experience will be Monday. Students who wish, can attend classes Saturday and Sunday. I have taken advantage of this 7 day a week approach. Fewer students on the weekend means more seat time.
So far I am very happy with the course and the instruction.
The school offers placement assistance. They will review the applications and will make suggestions and fax the completed applications for the students.
More later, Max
CDS Tractor Trailer Training, Virginia
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First I should say that I am attending curtesy of a WIA grant. Reading some other threads where folks have asked about using WIA money, it has worked for me. The typical WIA hoop jump is 12-16 weeks here in Virginia. I managed it in about 16 days.
The counselor gave me a list of required classes I needed to attend prior to being enrolled in the program. IF I had waited for the classes to be available at my local Workforce center it would have /could have taken months. Instead, I hit the web and found where most were available wihin a few hours drive on different days. Those classes I could not find required a different approach. I went to the local Good Will job center, spoke to a career/training consultant and she designed one on one training around my needs. The state accepted their training and two days later I was enrolled in the WIA program and attending CDS. My suggestion is to think out of the box. You are dealing with bureaucrats who need a little prodding. Mine did. Don't get me wrong, she was GREAT. Over worked? Yes. Tired? Yes. I have been out of work for 15 months. 15 MONTHS. I wasn't going to sit and wait.
Now for current news. The school has faxed 4 apps out for me and I have two pre-approvals in 24 hours. I have three more apps ready to go out.
Today was a great day for training. I've nailed the curve back 10 of 12 shots today. The 45 and straight back is good to go and I'm hitting blind side tomorrow. Daily road time is building my shifting skills.
I am very happy with CDS.
TMC (skateboarders extraordinaire) came today. I came into this with the desire to do flatbeds, so it was great seeing them and did fax in my app today, they asked for my long form (med) and driving record. I hope they ask me to come for orientation.
At this point they are #1 on my list.
I'm done. Graduated yesterday. I opted for a accelerated track and pushed straight through the weekends. Going 7 days a week means that I finished in under three weeks. Actually 2 and change. The school was great. Can't say enough about the staff. Yesterday was the state test. Scored 85 on the pre-trip. I biffed my first attempt at the curve back but stuck it on the 2nd try. My road test went very well 98 pts after dropping two in the yard. I started in 3rd gear, which would normally not have been an issue except it is a 5 mph area The rest of the trip was perfect. Hit all my shifts up and down and stopped half way through a tight right hand turn when the kid in the left turn lane came forward of the white limit line.
I have applied to 5 companies and received 4 pre-hires. The fifth turned me down because I have been unemployed in excess of a year. I guess they figured that if I was a decent person I would already be back at work.
Anyway I'm off to Springfield on the 18th for orientation at USX.
I would recommend CDS to anyone who actually wants to get their CDL bad enough to work for it. We had several student who either dropped to "B" or didn't care enough to come to class every day or on time. Most were "Rehab" folks from DC. Sad but true.
Anyway, drop me a line if you have questions about the school.
Just wondering if you guys are talking about CDS in York PA? I'm starting there next month. Met with the Chris the owner and spoke with one of the students who just passed while I was there. That student had nothing but great things to say about the course. He also told me there hiring assistance was great. He got hired by the company he wanted to with Chris' help which I thought was cool.
I wanted to ad to this thread. I just graduated today from CDS TRACTOR TRAILER TRAINING. I can not say enough good things about this school. They work with each student to ensure they become the best. I would recommended them to anyone. I'm going to miss all the instructors and my classmates but I can take what I've learned and use it a lifetime.
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