CDL Training Moved In-House
Sep 30, 2022
On February 7, 2022, a new law went into effect for Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL). This law stated that anybody that wanted to get a CDL had to go through a registered training provider. This would require all Central Valley Ag (CVA) employees to go through a three month training course through a community college, which would cost thousands of dollars per person. In light of this new law, Central Valley Ag created a new position, Driver Trainer and Safety Specialist, to take the place of these college courses.
Jake Bartos was hired for the Driver Trainer and Safety Specialist position on February 15, 2022. He has taken over the role of teaching the required courses to all CVA employees that need their CDL. Being a truck driver since the age of nineteen, Bartos is no stranger to the rules of the road and the ins and outs of trucks. “I myself went to Southeast Community College in 1996 to get my CDL, and that was a three-month program,” said Bartos. However, unlike Southeast Community college and other colleges, CVA’s CDL training program is only one month as opposed to three months. “Everyone’s experience varies based on skill level, practice time, and how soon they can get into the DMV to do the skills test. We start with the theory portion of the training which is done online with CVA’s Learning Management System, then after the trainee has a learners permit and the required DOT medical and drug test, I can schedule the behind the wheel training in Platte Center,” said Bartos.
This program allows CVA employees to get their CDL quicker and cheaper. “Because we can consolidate the training, we are able to get this training done quicker than most places,” said Bartos. He works with two to three people a week, working with one at a time. Bartos believes the biggest benefit to this program is the ability to work one-on-one with these individuals and focus on their different weaknesses and strengths. “One guy might need more practice shifting gears, one might need more practice with the pre-trip inspection, another one with backing and all the different backing curriculum. Working with them individually allows me to see their strengths and weaknesses. With this program, we can spend more time in the areas where they need the most help,” said Bartos.
Each day, Bartos spends eight hours a day with his students training them. The students spend a lot of time practicing in addition to their classroom time, which differs from community college programs. “My program relies on the locations and the location managers to give the CDL trainees enough practice time. This gives them more opportunity to become confident before they take their test at the DMV,” said Bartos.
Bartos believes that with the practice and individual work, he is helping CVA provide safe drivers who are equipped with all the knowledge to drive trucks safely.