CDL Briefs: NY program gets truck, Alabama school adds two simulators

Updated Mar 31, 2021
Driving instructor Ryan J. Harrigan teaches in the SUNY Canton commercial driver’s license training program.
Driving instructor Ryan J. Harrigan teaches in the SUNY Canton commercial driver’s license training program.
SUNY Canton photo

New York college adds 2013 Freightliner to its CDL program

The State University of New York college at Canton recently added a 2013 Freightliner Cascadia 125 to its fleet of training vehicles.

The Freightliner has 410 horsepower Detroit diesel engine and a 10-speed manual transmission.

The program at the college located in northern New York state began its CDL program in 2019. It operates year-round at the college's Career Ready Education and Success Training (CREST) Center.   

“Our newest and largest vehicle will be used to train drivers in our commercial driver’s license program for open positions right here in the north country,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “This assists with our continuing workforce development outreach and strengthens our bond with the companies looking to hire to fill high demand positions.”

The Freightliner was primarily paid for through a St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency grant administered by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for the SUNY Canton Career Ready Education and Success Training (CREST) Center.

One of the six-week trainings is currently under way at the college. Students participate in 10 hours of classroom learning held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays and spend 40 hours driving the truck. 

Sessions will be held starting May 13, July 1, and August 26.

Tuition assistance is available through the New York State Department of Labor St. Lawrence County One-Stop Career Center and ACCES-VR. Veterans can apply their G.I. Bill benefits to pay for the training. More information about the program and registration information is available through the CREST website.

Georgia lawmakers spend on driver training programs

Georgia lawmakers have added funding to the budget for the upcoming year to expand truck driver training facilities at three of the state’s technical colleges.

Public radio's WABE reports the state Senate has added money to the budget to support truck driving programs at three technical schools across the state, including Atlanta Technical College.

School president Victoria Seals says the training period – just eight weeks at the school’s program – and the high starting salary attracts many to the truck driving profession.

“And so we’ve seen the interest in that program grow to where it is now. But the interest outweighs our capacity, our current capacity,” said Seals.

Seals says plans for their new facility include a six-acre driving range and a building with large enough bays for diesel mechanics to train and practice their craft.

“We want to make sure we’re offering this training at a high level, high quality,” said Seals. “We would increase training both in CDL as well as logistics, supply chain and diesel mechanics from about 100 students per year to over 500 students when we have this dedicated facility.”

Lawmakers have also added money for truck driver training at Piedmont College in North Georgia and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in Valdosta. 

Alabama college adds two truck driving simulators

Students in Trenholm State Community College’s Truck Driving Program can now practice on two new truck driving simulators. The Montogmery, Alabama college recently installed two 550Truckplus driving simulators that give students several real-life scenarios before they actually take to the road.

Each simulator is equipped with a 55-inch display panel, providing a 225-degree view. They come with a complete CDL scenarios curriculum, including multiple malfunction capabilities, selectable drivable vehicles, and placeable objects.

Students learn the practical application through various exercises, including traffic and parking obstacles and different weather conditions. They also learn how to adjust mirrors and shifting principles of manual and automatic motors while improving safety and driving skills.

Trenholm officials said the simulators will give students a real-world experience that allows them to correct errors before getting behind the wheel.

Roadmaster opens new location Savanah

Roadmaster Driver Schools has opened its latest location in Savanah, Georgia.

While the new school opened last month, it will hold an official grand opening event April 24 and 24.

A recent report about the new program said it has about 40 students enrolled in the four-week session.

Bank of America donates to CDL program

Bank of America recently made a $10,000 donation to Guilford Technical Community College's Truck Driver Training program, a program which was created last year to help furnish local companies with trained drivers.

The Bank of America donation will be used to help bring community attention to the program.

“We have a long-standing commitment to advancing economic mobility, and this partnership with GTCC supports skill-building opportunities for local residents and will create more pathways to employment,” said Derek Ellington, Bank of America triad market president. “Our focus on workforce development and investments like these for GTCC’s Truck Driver Training program make a positive impact for the people of this community and region.”

The GTCC Truck Driver Training program places emphasis on vehicle inspection, defensive driving, range maneuvers, motor carrier’s safety regulations, trip planning, cargo handling, size and weight laws, general maintenance procedures, hours of services and vehicle accident prevention.

8 complete Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program

Eight people recently graduated from Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program at the Yadkin Center in North Carolina.

The graduates include Nathan Holt and Justin Ward of Mount Airy, Tonya Ferguson and Santel Moore of Pilot Mountain, Erick Fuentes of Elkin, Thomas Sumeracki of Yadkinville, Matthew Sloan of Traphill, and William Mertz of Boonville.

The next offering of Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Classes starts Wednesday, Aug. 4 and will run through Thursday, Oct. 7. Classes are held Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student orientation will be held Monday, July 12, at 10 a.m. at The Yadkin Center, 1001 College Drive, Yadkinville.

The SCC Truck Driver Training Program teaches proper driving procedures, safe driver responsibility, commercial motor vehicle laws and regulations, and the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles. Coursework includes motor vehicle laws and regulations, map reading, vehicle maintenance, safety procedures, daily logs, defensive driving, freight handling, security and fire protection. Highway driving training exercises and classroom lectures are used to develop the students’ knowledge and skills.

For more information about SCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact Dr. Douglas Underwood at 336-386-3584 or underwood@surry.edu. The tuition is $1,876. Tuition scholarships are available.