Report: #539339

Complaint Review: Alabama Benz Driving Academy

  • Submitted: Mon, December 14, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, June 09, 2012
  • Reported By: Greg — United States of America
  • Alabama Benz Driving Academy

    Headland, Alabama
    United States of America

Alabama Benz Driving Academy I agree with Diane. They are joke operation Headland, Alabama

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Mostly true...

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I agree with Diane 100%.  I went through there just before she did.  There are a couple of instructors that did try to help you learn.  Susie was very fair teacher.  Hal was okay. Gary, the guy with the pony tail, is a smartass knowitall that thinks he is better than evryone at everything. Keith had a major attitude problem. He got really ripped when I passed my test on the FIRST try. He had gone so far as to tell anyone who would listen, that I would fail.

The yard is a pit. The trucks they used i the yard would quite possibly be put out of service.  One of the trucks, the driver door would come open if you hit a bump. Granted, you are not going to use new equipment to learn yard yactics, but they should be safe.

I work for the company that sponsors most of the students. They have no real interest whether you pass or fail.  They are going to get a tax break off of you.  If you DO pass, they are going to make even more off of you by paying you substandard wages. I was prepay.  I started out at 26 cpm.  Now the prepays get 22 cpm. Why?

Back to Benz. Most students are lucky if they will get 3 40 minutes driving sessions in a week.  No wonder they  have a hard time passing.  I know for a fact that they sent an independant student to take his Alabama test with a trailer missing a lug nut. They wouldnt even send someone out to put one on, so the guy could take his test. Phillip had to wait 2 more weeks before he could try again.

They are so cheap that there were days they could only put fuel in 1 truck to use for road students! When I was there, I never saw a logbook.  They didnt have any.  They never tell you squat about any of the parts, such as brake slack adjusters.


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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Mostly true...

AUTHOR: GaryLC - (United States of America)

I'm the 'smart a*s know it all' with the ponytail. I remember this student. His problem with me were my religious views. He had them, I didn't. I'm college educated with a world of experience, to include a career in the USMC, in which I held several MOS's to include Defense Information Specialist, Journalist, Broadcast Journalist, Combat Photographer and Historian; he wasn't/isn't any of those.

Our students were those who had been rejected by mainstream employers (JB HUNT, Schneider, etc) because of 'sketchy' backgrounds/employment history/law enforcement run-ins; whose applications our company recruiter (turned out to be the daughter of the owner) purchased for $10 apiece then foisted upon the school, which was a driver mill for CRST (I did not know this upon hire).

The instructors for this school were 'over the hill' drivers who could not perform the required skill maneuvers themselves, let alone teach them to students. They were your typical "good old boys," complete with the prejudices that go along with the moniker, which explains why Greg got along so well with Hal, one of the worst racial offenders at the school and one of the least competent so far as ability was concerned. 

I tried to convey real-world experience in the industry to the students as well as giving them the skills they would need to be successful in the industry, however the school restricted my teaching to basic skill sets required to pass the AL, GA or FL (preferred state for testing) CDL driving exams.

I had to fight tooth and nail to gain permission to include a 'shift track' at the school so as to be able to teach students how to double-clutch and progressively shift the vehicles BEFORE they went out on the road for the first time. Until then, the school just threw them in the truck and they would sink or swim on actual roadways.

I also attempted to teach 'idle shifting,' which is a little-known technique for starting a semi-tractor from a stopped position that increases fuel mileage, expedites right and left-hand turns at intersections and enables enhanced operation at railroad tracks. The other instructors had no concept of the technique and as they looked inept for not knowing it, rallied against the teaching of the practice as well as the shift track as it was not how they had learned.

I attempted to have comprehensive class room instruction implemented but was rebuffed, being told that all that was required was that they be able to pass the CDL exam, period. CRST would teach them what they needed to know past the basic vehicle handling skills.

The school closed without notifying its employees/students. It later attempted to reopen at a different location, but due to inept management, closed again almost immediately. 
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