Wow, where do I began? There is so much wrong with this school to the point where I do not even know where to start. If you visit their website they promote and advertise the school as being a Christian educational institution for individuals seeking to become truck drivers, but once you get there it is a totally different ballgame. I submitted my information into a national database that was supposed to send my information out to schools in my area of whom I met their criteria for attendance. A company by the name of Career in gear which is located next door to ACE CDL School gave me a call about 3 days later, I was excited to be finally given a chance to get my trucking career on the road. I was given an appointment and told to come in immediately for an interview which was set up for that following Monday, I was told to report to Career In Gear, but was given directions to ACE CDL School. [continued below]....
Upon my arrival, my first overview of the school was that it was a great place and the people were great, but much to my surprise I was soon to find out the horrible truth. I was called into a room by a guy named, David Edge and sold a dream that I would be making anywhere from 800 - 1000 dollars weekly in 17 days once I completed my training, which immediately suckered me in wanting to enroll into this school. After all the good news, I was then told that it would cost around 5000 Dollars, and assured that there were several ways to pay which I didn't have to worry about until I completed school. (Grants, Loans, Make payments, Tuition Reimbursement) I agreed and then continued to make the worst mistake ever in my entire life, which was sign on the dotted line and make a deal with the devil.
Upfront, I was told that the only monies I would need were, $175 for an enrollment fee, and $115 for my testing and licensing, ($45 for AP instructional permit, $50 for CDL Testing, and $20 for my actual CDL License/Hard-copy) which were to be disbursed unto me the day before I were to test. I was then asked did I have somewhere that I could stay during my 17 days of training? I replied no , because I had came down on my own dime from Savannah, Ga, and that I didn't know anyone whom I could live with during my 17 day stay in Albany, Ga. I was then told by Mr.Edge that for $390 more dollars that I could have housing provided during my 17 days, (which he owns and pockets the money) I agreed. I didn't have the cash right then on the spot, but I told him that I would bring it back with me on my 1st day, which were that following Monday.
I arrived at the house located on 405 Pine Bluff Road in Albany, Ga that Sunday evening only to find that I would be sharing a 3 BR with 6 other guys ($390 per head = $2730 total), who were also from out of town and attending the school. (No stove, No phone, No Cable, and Very Roach Infested) It reminded me of my military boot camp training days. Once acquainted, I soon came to find that they all were miserable and full of negative complaints related to the school, its training, and David Edge also.
My first week was spent in the classroom preparing for my General Knowledge, Air Brake, and Combination Vehicle exam, which I were scheduled to take that Friday before the following week, which we were scheduled to be out in the yard. I had a great instructor which was a black guy by the name of Johnny Bishop, who knew more about driving, trucking and the schooling, whom also expressed more concern for the students than anyone that I had encountered within my visit thus far.
When my 1st test date rolled around, (AP Permit), We were rushed off first thing that morning to the DDS office located on Slappey Boulevard, packed like sardines in my car and told to stay there until everyone has finished. (transportation was not provided and my gas was not reimbursed) Luckily for me, I had $45 dollars of expense money in my pocket to pay for my AP's, because I was not given my $45 which I had paid upfront on my 1st day of enrollment. (neither were the other 3 guys with the exception of 1 student, who had asked for his $45 the day before) After passing the test, we then returned to school and asked to provide copies of our AP's, only to find that we would not receive our reimbursements unless we had the original copies of our receipts.
In the second week of training, we were put out on the yard in the heat, which is a big dirt field with orange cones, which were supposed to be setup to resemble & imitate the actual maneuver testing site similar to the one provided by the Georgia DDS. (Which is were you will be testing in Albany if you plan on going to South Ga to get your CDL's) You stand out in the hot sun for 10 hours, from 6:45am to 5:00pm where you will be practicing your driving maneuvers for the next 2 1/2 weeks. I suggest that you bring a canteen and a cooler if you drive, because at this school everything cost's and nothing is free "even the water". On most days, the temperature ranged from the Mid-High 90's, which made it so hot that most students forgot about their maneuvers and began seeking refuge under the shelter and the shade in the small patches of trees. At ACE a 16 oz bottle of water costs a $1, (Money goes to David Edge) and for the majority of the time that I was there, the soda machine stayed empty. (meaning you have to buy his water)
In my third week, we began to drive on the road which was supposed to get us prepared for the road test which most of us were scheduled to take the following week. We were giving a time frame from 8am in the morning to 12:30 in the evening, in which we returned to the school to finish out the remainder of our day on the yard practicing our maneuvers. (they get about 6 of us crammed up in the truck and we split up the driving time, down to about 30 minutes a piece)
The trucks out there, are in bad condition, and in most cases, one or two of them stay broken down on the yard!
(They are so cheap they wont even hire a real mechanic, due to insurance and cost related issues, they have some guys who work under the table who come out and perform cheap labor, just to keep their trucks in running condition, which usually last about 2 days. On the days when the DDS inspector comes out, they put on a big front as if the instructors are really instructing the students, they pretend the equipment is operating normal, and they even tell the students to perform as if everything is OK.)
Every Monday there is a big class of students who come in and when there 1st week is over, they over crowd the yard, which makes it hard for students in their second and third week to truly get enough practice in, in order for them to be in good enough ability to successfully pass their Final CDL Test. They also fraud students out of their collateral like property, or the titles to their cars (which is required in order to get a loan towards your tuition), by allowing them to stay in school up until their 3rd week, then kicking them out for their repossessions.
ACE CDL is not a school that puts their students best interests forward, David Edge is a PIMP and all about making a dollar, whether it is dirty or clean. When I graduated, I told myself that I would never in a million years recommend anybody to go there because in all honesty it is a bunch of bull. I passed my test the first time and was happy to be leaving that hell of a hole that they call a truck driving school. I was denied my certificate for 8 months until I re-payed my tuition which was about 8 months after I began working for WERNER. Unless you are just desperate for your CDLS I would not recommend going To ACE! And from what I hear, all their instructors have quit and the school itself is soon to be shut down!
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE..........STAY AWAY FROM ACE! THE TECHNICAL COLLEGE ROUTE IS THE BEST WAY TO GO IF YOU CANT GET YOUR CDLS DIRECTLY THRU A COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!
SINCERLY, A FORMER ACE GRADUATE & DEDICATED WERNER DRIVER FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!