TDA Sacramento - Advisory, read if you're considering

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by cag777, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. cag777

    cag777 Bobtail Member

    Dec 6, 2013
    This is not a good school. Don't get me wrong, three out of the four instructors are excellent, or should I say were. Why, because they let one go on Tuesday and two others quit on Wednesday. That leaves only the lead instructor, which is important to note.

    So here's the bare bones I experienced while I was there.

    First, you spend your first four days in the classroom preparing to get your permit. This wasn't too bad, although there was a tendency with younger 'teacher' to give out packs of information and just leave you to it. But overall pretty ok.

    The big problem was when you finally go to the yard. There are, or were four instructors. One being the lead and a yard manager.

    There are three road tractors and two yard tractors. There's also a tractor that is the managers personal truck and is only for use if one of the others goes down. One of the road tractors is reserved for testing at DMV only.

    The yard itself is dirt, not paved or gravel and is pretty broken down. In the two weeks I was there, not once was it levelled off, despite heavy rain.

    The two main road tractors have no splash guards fitted, which means that if you, the student, gets stopped by a DMV inspector, you could end up with a big problem. The reason for this, according to the yard manager, is that he doesn't want the expense of replacing them because students tear them off. But you get stopped, beware.

    Now let's get to him. The yard managers name is Charlie and you're in for a big shock. He doesn't hold back. TDA have a big contract with Central Refrigerated and a lot of students have been failing tests down in Fontana. Remember, this isn't about Central, this is about TDA, Central themselves are very good and professional. In the time I was there a lot was going on and several times Charlie came in the yard and laid into the instructors in front of students and believe me it put all the students on edge every time he showed up.

    He would also do really dangerous stuff like drive in the yard while students were maneuvering and park his truck on there blind side and then go crazy if they didn't see him.

    When he wasn't there you were either out on the road or practicing skills in the yard.

    The first week I went there there were 18 students. Yes, 18! And four instructors. Some students were TDA and some Central. And four instructors.

    Now separate the road training from the yard. The three instructors, the three that are no longer there were good and knew there stuff. But, they were trying to train in trucks that were poorly maintained. When they tried to report faults to the lead instructor, he would tell them he wasn't going to report it to Charlie because he didn't want Charlie on his back.

    First example, one freightliner had a faulty transmission and was bad to get in gear. Only when it failed while a student was driving was something done. This something was Charlie screaming at the instructor and sending her home. She got blamed, not the person who had refused to report it.

    They also have an International that the clutch is slipping on, which is scary on the freeway when you loose drive and the trailer starts to push. Again this was reported to the lead instructor, but he refused to pass it on. There's more, lots more but you get the idea?

    OK, so I've talked about the three guys that have now gone. Let's get to the lead instructo, his name is Lucky and he sure is because he's the only one left. Every student that went out in a truck with him experienced the same thing, he would yell at students. And I mean yell. Everyone hated going out with him.

    Now let's get to the yard training and this is where it gets dangerous. Most of the time Lucky stayed in the yard but if you think he was instructing, ha! Students were left by him to try to train themselves. Students were not given any safety advice and you would often see half a dozen standing around a backing truck while Lucky would sit at the table and tell stories. Very rarely would he actually go and stand with students and instructions and then only for a couple if minutes. So imagine trying to teach yourself how to alley dock or parallel park when you've never driven truck before.

    Everyone was so frustrated by this. Only when one of the others was there and not out would you get any direction.

    At the end if the training you get to do a mock skills test in the yard to see if you were ready to go take your test in Fontana. This test was done by Lucky as the lead, but here's how he tested. Sat at the table with his feet up paying so much attention that he had to ask students how many pull ups or looks they'd taken.

    At the end you go to the office to get your ticket to Fontana and fill out a review. Every student noted to some degree the issues I've mentioned. Because of thanksgiving this was two classes. And what happened was what I said at the start. One instructor got laid off and the other two quit. And the one who was the problem is still there.

    So if you do go TDA in Sacramento it's up to you but be aware, although they're a cheaper option you get what you pay for.

    Thanks for reading.
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  3. Drivers girl

    Drivers girl Medium Load Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    That almost sound like the school my bf went to except his was smaller (2 instructors and 1 truck). The problem at his school was the owner however.

    The best thing you can do in a situation like that is learn what you can. When you get with a trainer at your company, tell them that you are a blank slate. Then pay attention to everything they teach you. Not only will you learn more but you'll learn the way your company wants it done.
  4. fld

    fld Medium Load Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    I don't know what government agency regulates them, but they should be reported at least to the state attorney general.

    Not only is this a bad business, but one of these untrained students could kill someone if they slipped through the cracks. Very scary.
  5. markdm4805

    markdm4805 Bobtail Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks for the warning. I live in Sacramento and was going to look at this school because I could train for Central and not have to go down to Fontana. It sounds like I should big time pass on that Idea. I agree someone needs to check these schools out. You might especially if you are not working for Central drop a dime to them and say something to the effect of wow I went through this school and after I saw how they do things I thought you guys might want to know they are not exactly making you guys look good. Guarantee from what I gather if Central pulled their contract this school is going to be hurting.
  6. mark mcalister

    mark mcalister Bobtail Member

    May 28, 2015
    If you are considering TDA (Truck Driving Academy) I advise that you steer clear, this school is a scam and you will receive little to no training. The instructors are under qualified and lazy. I spent nearly two months at TDA and I couldn't even pass my test. The instructors are not invested in you at all and you will be neglected and have wasted two months of your time.
  7. CaliforniaJellyroll

    CaliforniaJellyroll Light Load Member

    Jun 15, 2015
    You can possibly get some of your tuition back or come to some kind of agreement if you contact the Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education, BPPE. Remember when Heald / Corinthian colleges vocational schools shut down? They have to reimburse students for the closure. I'm not looking at their page right now, but if you didn't get the instruction you paid for, you don't have to sit quietly and let it go. TDA's website has a giant logo for the BPPE at the bottom.

    The BPPE is to protect the student and you can file a complaint against the school.

    As can anyone else who is dissatisfied with their learning experience at a BPPE approved school.

    Here is the page with info on filing a claim that your schooling was sub-par or did not meet minimum standards: You can file an online form, print one out and mail it, and you can even call someone.

    Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
    2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
    Sacramento, CA 95833
    Telephone: (916) 431-6924
    FAX: (916) 263-1897

    I went to TDA and they told me a bunch of lies. Well, the ladies in the office did. That's who was there for me to ask all my questions. The driving area was over 5 miles away. They said local companies call them all the time needing drivers for local jobs. Then they said they specifically ask for women. Then they showed me a picture of their driving lot, which was a picture of a truck close up on the wall. And that's when I called b.s. on the whole ordeal.
  8. Sneakerfix

    Sneakerfix Heavy Load Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    If it took 2 months it wasn't the training it was heavily on your part for not being able to pass I went too TDA in Fontana had zero issue a lot passed
  9. Paluche

    Paluche Light Load Member

    May 15, 2009
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    CaliforniaJellyroll Thanks this.
  10. CaliforniaJellyroll

    CaliforniaJellyroll Light Load Member

    Jun 15, 2015
    In California, at least my area, it's 6-8 weeks out to schedule a DMV drive test from the day you start. It takes sometimes as long as 2 months to get the CDL.
  11. Sneakerfix

    Sneakerfix Heavy Load Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    Yea true but TDA is run buy swift from my understanding and does the CDL test in house you never go to the DMV. At least at the Fontana yard I went too
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