Truck drivers are in demand. A report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) noted the trucking industry was short 60,800 drivers as of late 2018. COVID-19 and an increase in online shopping have further increased trucking activity and the demand for drivers continues to be high.
According to Mike Lawrence, owner of Mike’s Driving School in Williamstown, getting a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) can pave the way to a good paying, steady job. Founded in 1993, Mike’s Driving School provides professional instruction for commercial drivers as well as GDL (Graduate Driver’s License) instruction for teens and other new drivers.
“A commercial driver’s license can lead to a great career very quickly,” Lawrence explained. “A student can earn a CDL in as little as six weeks with a relatively small investment and step right into a job that pays as much as $50,000 a year. Our school offers a placement service that helps our students connect with some of the nation’s top trucking firms.”
CDL programs at Mike’s Driving School provide comprehensive Class A and Class B CDL instruction that can lead to proficiency in both basic and advanced driving skills. Students train in the classroom where they learn about General CDL Knowledge, Combination Vehicles and Air Brakes as well as service rules that include properly maintaining log books and eLogs.
At the Mike’s Driving School CDL training yard, students are taught techniques for proper pre-trip and post trip planning in addition to methods for performing air brake tests and an in-cab inspections. Behind-the-wheel instruction includes straight-line back-up, offset back-up, backing into a spot at a 90 degree turn, parallel parking to the right (blind side) and to the left (sight side).
The road training portion of the course covers shifting an asynchronous transmission, double clutching, making wide turns and driving on rural roads, city roads and highways.
Mike’s Driving School also offers an eight-hour program on forklift operation. The program includes classroom sessions plus hands-on forklift training and certification. Students who successfully complete the course receive an OSHA approved Powered Industrial Truck certificate and wallet card.
“We prepare our students with the knowledge and skills they need to pass the NJMVC road test,” said Lawrence. “Both Class A and Class B refresher courses are also available at our school.”
Once students earn their CDL, Mike’s Driving School will help them connect with prominent employers such as Coca Cola, Comcar Industries, Covenent Transport, Frozen Food Express, McLane, Silvi Concrete, U.S Express,Inc., Werner and many others.
Besides helping commercial drivers begin their careers, Mike’s Driving School helps new drivers get off to a good start. The school’s GDL progam provides calssroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. The GDL program includes six-hours of one-on-one behind-the-wheel training. Student may opt for either three two-hour sessions or two three-hour sessions. Motor Vehicle vision testing and the written permit test for 16-year-olds are also included.
An optional road test training refresher for parallel parking and K-turns in the one of the school’s vehicles before the student takes their driving test is also available for an additional fee.
“Young students will be very comfortable with our instructors. They are very professional and patient,” Lawrence said. “We will validate the student’s driving permit upon completion of the GDL course, so they won’t need to visit the Motor Vehicle office until their road test.”
He added that all instructors at the school undergo comprehensive background checks and are recertified annually.
Mike’s Driving School is a family-owned business. GDL students can contact the Mike’s Driving School office at 1085 N. Black Horse Pike Suite 7, Williamstown. The CDL Training Yard is located at 700-900 Cenco Blvd., in Clayton. For more information, call 856-728-2332 or visit mikesdrivingschoolnj.com.