Commercial Driving location at Market Common accommodates more t - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Commercial Driving location at Market Common accommodates more training room

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles recently opened a new branch in Myrtle Beach on Howard Street in the Market Common.

This branch will cater to drivers seeking to get and renew their Commercial Driver’s License. Leaders cite an increasing demand for CDL drivers as the reason behind opening a new location. The site will have a dedicated staff to speed up the process, and there is plenty of space on the grounds to test using semis.

“When you have the CDL in your pocket, there’s always job security there,” says Chris Britt, a certified CDL instructor with DC Training. DC Training is a company out of Florence with a satellite location in Conway off Highway 501. The school teaches students the rules or the road so they can hit the road with a new career. DC Training is also a certified third-party tester for the DMV.

David Colburn, DC Training owner, says the demand for commercial drivers is at an all-time high right now because of the number of veteran drivers retiring, which means there is a high turnover among all major motor carriers right now.

There are two different types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses you can get. Class “A” covers all combination vehicles, basically, any semi you see on the highway. Class “B” covers straight trucks, like dump trucks and buses. If you have a Class “A”, you can also drive Class “B” vehicles. But if you only have a Class “B”, you are limited to those vehicles. DC Training trains students to get their Class “A” CDL.

DC Training partners with HGTC to provide these classes to students. Because HGTC is not a licensed truck driving school with its own instructors and trucks, DC Training uses a referral system allowing the school to recruit students and send them to DC Training.

A new class just started up last week. Colburn says driving a semi requires the students to be responsible and focus on safety first, which is emphasized in their classes. Students must complete 50 hours of classroom time, 50 hours on the range, 16 hours of behind the wheel (three of those hours need to be logged as night-time driving), and 32 hours of observing a veteran drive. And the intensive training is just a taste of the real job.

“One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that trucking is not a 9 to 5 Monday through Friday job,” says Britt. “It’s a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week job. One man’s day is another man’s night. I mean, it’s just around the clock. You’ve got to be real flexible, you’ve got to have a lot of patience."

Britt says there is job security in this field. It's not like the seasonal tourism industry. Companies will always need to transport goods.

Locally, Colburn says the need for commercial drivers is not in as high demand, because most local or smaller companies cannot hire students right out of school. And that's because of lack of experience, meaning these drivers are expensive to insure. But, Colburn says national over-the-road carrier companies are self-insured and primarily hire students after they obtain their CDL credentials. DC Training assists with the job placement process, because recruiters from some of the top companies come through the classes to meet students. And once you get about two to three years under your belt on the road, then the local jobs are more attainable. Local CDL jobs include companies like food and beer distributors.

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