Successfully completed CDL training yesterday, so I guess that puts me in a good position to leave a little review for the school I went to. Most of you could probably care less, but if you live in the central PA area and are looking for a place to get training, this might be useful info.
The school I went with is DCS School of Driving and it's located on Zarfoss Drive in York, PA, just down the road from Kinard trucking, in a vacated Pfaltzgraf distribution center. However, this location is now temporary, as DCS will be moving into Kinard's building sometime in June or July.
I don't wanna get too detailed and drag this into a long and boring post, so I'll just say right from the beginning that DCS was the right choice and I recommend it to anybody in central PA looking to get their CDL.
I was originally enrolled in a tech school in York, but decided to switch to DCS for a few reasons -- It was much less expensive, at $5000 vs. the $7600 I would have paid for the tech school. DCS only accepts 3 students at a time, maximum, so there's no overcrowding. I later found out that the tech school I was originally looking at had a class full of 10 students. DCS has good equipment; a 2002 13 speed Kenworth T600 for the road truck and an automatic transmission Freightliner day cab for the yard truck, which you'll use for about the first 3 and a half weeks then you'll begin using the Kenworth for the yard skills. The tech school had 2 road trucks which were late 90's 10 speed Macks and one yard truck which is rumored to have a very heavy clutch. And lastly, DCS is owned and operated by one guy, Chris, which was a huge bonus for me. He is personally invested in the quality of training and reputation of his school.
The daily schedule is more or less broken up by classroom time during the first half of the day, one hour for lunch, then outside in the afternoon for yard or road time. Yard time and road practice was alternated every other day. Of course, the classroom time is boring and dry, the least exciting part of the whole program, but a necessary one. Speaking of the classroom, this is really the only complaint I had about the whole experience and it's a very minor one.
The classroom is tiny, with no windows and harsh lighting. It wasn't horrible, and certainly no deal breaker, but conditions could have been better. All of this is kind of moot though, since the school will be moving to a new location. The classroom will be in a nice conference room in an office setting instead of a warehouse, there will be internet access (not sure if students will have access), and likely some more amenities like a break room with fridge, microwave, etc, but don't quote me on that last bit.
Chris has the training set up to exceed PTDI standards although the school is not certified by them. He's only been in business a few months, so I don't even think it's possible for him to get the certification. You do get more than enough time behind the wheel, in both yard and road. You will be tested and graded on pretty much everything you do which will leave you well prepared to take the state exam at the end of the course. DCS's tests are, by far, more rigorous than what you will have to do for the state exam.
Chris has a great method of starting out by making things difficult for you at first and then easing up later on, once you're comfortable. For instance, when you start backing, he will not simply point out which spots to hit. He wants you to try and figure it out for yourself. However, once you start to get a feel for how things work, he will start to give you more tips on when to cut your turns and how to chase the trailer, etc. It basically boils down to you actually understanding how to operate the truck and not simply knowing which spots to hit in order to pass the state test. DCS wants to graduate truck drivers, not unskilled drones.
On job placement assistance, Chris will go above and beyond to help you out. One of my main concerns before starting school was being able to get hired on at a specific company that only took graduates from approved schools, which is why I was originally enrolled at the tech school in York. Chris said he would help me out in getting employment with the company I was looking at and he really came through on that promise and it all managed to work out in the end. I'm very pleased with this.
So all in all, DCS was amazing and I can't recommend it enough. Obviously I don't really have another CDL training program to compare it to, but I highly doubt you would get this kind of personal attention and quality of training from most other schools. Going forward, as long as DCS continues to maintain its small class sizes and training standards, I think they'll continue to be successful.
For those interested, DCS does have a website which you can find by googling "DCS school of driving"
Unfortunately, it only works in internet explorer for now, but I've been told it will be updated soon so it's compatible with other browsers.
If you've continued all the way through, thanks for reading.
DCS School of Driving -- York, PA
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Thank you for this kind post. I am glad to hear that you are very satisfied with your experience. As I am sure you are aware, it is my goal not to just get someone their CDL, but to actually teach them how to safely drive a truck.
Congratulations on getting into Crete! Good luck, Be Safe, and when you get that big red truck be sure to stop by to show it off.
I graduated from DCS in July. The training is very thorough except for one area. DCS fails to lie to you, steal from you, and waste your time like in the real world of trucking.
I think Chris should show up for class 3 hours late, make you wash his truck for free, and then kick you in the nads. Then it would really prepare you for trucking.
All joking/seriousness aside, DCS leaves you well prepared. When I took the driving test for my job, they couldn't believe I was right out of school. You get top notch training at a low price.
Hey guys congrats on getting your license but with all do respect Chris IS A JOKE! He has very little driving experience and drove like one year for a scab outfit known as TMC! The only reason he started up his own school was beacause everyone at YCST hated him and wanted him out! He is ####y, arrogant, an thinks he has been in the industry for 30 years. YCST has instructors that actually HAVE HAD sucessful driving careers for 25-30 years and KNOW how to teach driving! So if you want to go to a CERTIFIED driving school choose YCST truck driving school that has been established not some guy who has NO EXPERIENCE and thinks he can drive! And by the way I was curious as to why a DCS trailer had the roof ripped off it? If anyone knows id be interested in finding out! But hey he has only been "in business" for a couple of months so thats no suprise! Thanks for reading but Chris is an unexperienced JOKE!!!!
He must be an excellent teacher then, because my employer was blown away that I was able to drive as well as I did for being right out of school.
He not only teaches truck driving, but he also teaches spelling. Perhaps he could teach you how to spell words like; because, successful, surprise, and inexperienced.
I'm not aware of a trailer roof being ripped off, but if it did, it's entirely possible that they were laughing at you so hard that it BLEW off.
If YCST is so great, then why did they have to lower their tuition from $7,000 to $4,950?
Was it because DCS was only charging $5,000 and taking business away from a CDL mill with inferior equipment?
You would think a well established "CERTIFIED" school would have no problem with the competition.
I say we continue this dialogue and shed a bright light on the whole big picture. You game?
I eagerly await your misspelled reply... With all due respect.
We don't offer a refresher course, but we do work one-on-one with a driver if they just need some time behind the wheel.
We start with a two-hour evaluation where I let you know your strengths and weaknesses and give you an estimate of how much time I think it will take. After that it is on an hourly basis. You decide how much or how little time you need.
This is usually done on weekends.
By the way Spence, since you asked... Yes, we did lose half the roof on one of the trailers.
It was during State testing, with a State Tester in the truck - no instructors. The night before there was a storm with heavy rains and high winds that caused a cable to sag over the roadway. The cable caught the top of the trailer and peeled it back.
The owner of the cable paid for repair costs and the tester apologized profusely.
I'm sure that now that you have your answer you can sleep ever so much better at night.
Boy I miss working with you guys....
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