I attended the Richmond Academy from 7/22/2013 to 8/14/2013 and here is my review of the training and facilities.
After a 12 hour bus ride I arrived in Richmond. Lesson 1, read the information sheet they give you. I did not read the section that informed me how to get from the bus terminal to the hotel and ended up paying $30 out of pocket for the cab ride.
You will be put up at the Candlewood Suites Richmond Airport (Address is 5400 Audubon Dr, Richmond VA 23231). Housing is 3 per room, 2 beds one 1 rollout cot. The beds are reasonably comfortable. If you need to go to the grocery store, the hotel shuttle will take you there. Laundry room is available for free, just provide your own detergent.
Full size refrigerator
2 burner stove
TV (Loads of channels if you have time to watch it)
Desk (Nice for a laptop)
WIFI is spotty in some rooms and the password is changed every Sunday. The internet speed is quite slow.
Students are separated into 2 groups. Pennsylvania Students and Virginia Students. (I was a Pennsylvania student.) Virginia students will be working with Freightliner trucks and Pennsylvania students will be working with Volvo trucks. You will be in class 6 days a week. The only day off is Sunday.
Day one includes paperwork, drug screen, physicals and a pizza lunch. You will end up on the range around 3 pm to start learning the pre-trip inspection.
Rest of week one is class from am to am then onto the range. You will be introduced to pulling forward and straight line backing. You will also be introduced to shifting.
Range from am to pm and class from pm to pm. More straight line backing, 45 degree alley dock backing (Pennsylvania students) or Virginia curve (Virginia Students). Pre-trip inspection test and possibly your backing test are this week. You will also get your first taste of driving on the road.
More on the road driving. Road test and bus ticket to DMV testing (PA student).
Pennsylvania DMV test:
It will cost you $220 for the test. You will have a maximum of 2 hours to complete your pre-trip inspection, skills test and road test. Relax, this is nothing new to you by now. You have done the skills test about 200 times by now and have had about 8-13 hours of experience on the road. You should do fine.
Overall the instructors were good. Some are very blunt (some may see this as rude), all are fair and have great information to pass on to you.
If anyone has any questions, please let me know, it is still pretty fresh in my mind.
Review of Swift Training. Richmond VA
I will be starting the Richmond school on 1-6-14 and I'm also from pa. When you are sent to you home state for testing, do they send you to your hometown DMV or what? Do you get more than one chance to take test? Just wondering how that phase of the schooling /testing works. Thanks for the information