Americas Driving Force School - Atlanta

Topic 1659 | Page 1

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Richard O.'s Comment
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First I would like to thank Brett and everyone else on this website. I have been hanging out here for a few weeks reading everything I can about trucking. I am making a career change late in life. I am 55 years old and I am finally at a point where I have the freedom to do what I want to do. I am single and my kids are grown. I am looking forward to the lifestyle that being an OTR truck driver has to offer.

I have considered company sponsored training and a private school and have decided to go with a private school. I have pretty much decided to go with America's Driving Force for several reasons. The recruiter and I are both from the same small town in south Georgia and we seem to have a connection from that. Although we did not know each other when we lived there. It is only a 3 week school (don't know if that is good or bad). The price is not very expensive comparatively speaking. The school is only about an hour from my house so I could commute daily. Although I will pack a bag in case they load us down with homework or I'm too beat to drive home. They offer job placement but I have a good driving and employment history so I don't anticipate I will have trouble getting a job once I get my license.

Before I make a commitment to them I would like to know if anyone here has any first hand knowledge about them. Good or bad, if you have gone to this school or know anyone personally that has I would like to hear of your experiences with them. Thanks for any input.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

PJ's Comment
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Hello Richard, I am a transplant to Georgia. I talked to them the other day. I saw DDS was advertising for them. The guy I spoke with, sorry I don't remember his name, sounded like he was about our age. He was very straightforward about his program, and asked me a lot of questions what I was looking to accomplish. He seemed more interested in me making a good choice for me than just taking my money. I got a good feel for them from our conversation. Absoutely no sales pitch or pressure. I am currently considering a company sponsored program, but if I go private he will get my return call. By the way I called daley and another dds advertises and lets just say I didn't have a similar experience with either of them. Just my experience.

Danny S.'s Comment
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Richard, Sounds great I'm 57 and live in Canton. Your experience with America's Driving Force is sort of the same kind of experience I has with Katlaw in Austell. Dave there was so helpful to me even sent me a list of trucking companies to apply with before I had even enrolled. After I went and meet with him that made it final for me. I am doing weekend classes starting this Saturday. So good luck and hope to see you on the road sometime.

Richard O.'s Comment
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Thanks for the info about Katlaw. I did not know about them. I see they are having an open house this Saturday. I will pay them a visit.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome aboard Richard!

Ok guys, there's one major concern here and I recently wrote an article about this topic called The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters. I'll go ahead and give the spoiler here...the mistake is assuming the quality of your recruiter is an indication of the quality of the trucking company or truck driving school.

If I owned a trucking company and you came to me after graduation looking for a job, what are the chances I would want to know how good the recruiter was at your school? That's right - pretty much zero. I would want to know the number of total hours of training you had, the number of hours you had in a truck, and the grades you got at the school. I would want to know if the school is accredited or licensed by the state and I would want to know what type of trucks you trained in. Things like that, right?

So why are you guys deciding upon what school to attend based on things like your rapport with a recruiter?

We have a series of articles you should go through that discuss How To Choose A Truck Driving School. There's a ton of great information in those articles. But the two main things that are going to clue you into the quality of a school are:

1) Do major companies hire students from that school?

2) Are the students currently attending the school happy with it?

If major companies hire from a school and the current students are happy with it overall, you know you're at least on the right track. Then, after touring the school you make decisions based on things like:

1) What is the instructor to student ratio?

2) Do the trucks seem to be in reasonably decent shape?

3) How many total hours is the schooling?

4) What is the cost of the schooling?

...things like that. Read through those articles and if you haven't already have a look through our truck driver's career guide which covers about every topic imaginable that pertains to getting your trucking career off to a great start.



Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Richard O.'s Comment
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I have appointments to visit America's Driving Force and Katlaw this Saturday. Both will have classes in session at the time so maybe I will have a chance to chat with some current students. Both schools seem about equal in what they offer. Both are 6 days a week for 3 weeks. Both offer job placement and have company recruiters visit the schools during classes. My last day of work with my current employer is this Friday so I am anxious to get started.

Danny S.'s Comment
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Richard, I hope I will see you Saturday I start This Saturday I will be in classroom. Maybe we'll have chance to talk.good-luck.gif

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