EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Driving a truck may not be something many consider for a career.
But a course at Savannah Tech’s Effingham Campus offers hands on training, gets drivers on the road and into new jobs in just five weeks.
Proving that a career in trucking could be the fast lane to success.
“We’re one of the busiest programs in the state of Georgia, if not the busiest,” says Commercial Truck Driving Department Head Tom Amacher.
When you stop by Savannah Tech’s Commercial Truck Driving Program it’s easy to see why.
The five-week class is available for anyone 18 and up requiring only one real prerequisite, that you have a valid driver’s license.
That means no high school diploma, GED, or even prior experience driving trucks is needed.
“If you got two arms, two legs, ten toes, ten fingers you can do this job," said Amacher, "you just need a little brain between them ears.”
But of course, that may be a slight oversimplification of this truly unique career path.
“Truck driving is not your average nine to five job," Amacher adds, "you don’t get paid by the hour. In truck driving you get paid to perform.”
Skills Amacher and his fellow instructors hope to drive home to their students.
Everything from the mechanics of the vehicles.
To getting actually behind the wheel.
A job Amacher takes seriously and for good reason.
“The industry is trying to do what they can to combat the driver shortage. The driver shortage is real.”
A shortage that is being felt here locally at the Georgia Ports.
Meaning drivers that come out of a program like this can earn $50 to $60 thousand in their first year.
Although money can be a driving force, students feel it’s the work of the instructors, walking alongside them every step of the way that sets this program apart.
“It’s thorough, it’s hands on and people here have a sense of humor, keeps you interested,” said Donald Jarvis who is taking classes to get his Class-A CDL.
“That’s why I came. No better teacher than Savannah Tech,” added Class-A CDL student Josh Howard.
For Amacher seeing them succeed is the greatest reward.
“I love the way people look when they walk out of here with their paperwork saying, ‘I finished.’”
If you’d like to learn more about the program or how you can apply click here.