169: Driving Toward Success: How Diesel Driving Academy is Shaping the Future of Trucking

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chats with Bruce Busada, President of Diesel Driving Academy. During the conversation, Jeremy and Bruce discuss CDL schools and how individuals can enter the trucking industry. They also talk about the partnership between trucking companies and driving schools, the process of enrolling in trucking school, earning potential for graduates, the shortage of drivers in the industry, the future of trucking schools, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Oakley Update: Getting trucks repaired after accidents and claims (2:43)
  • Getting into driving school and the benefits of the program (8:05)
  • The changing perception of trucking (10:42)
  • The shift to automatic transmissions in trucks (12:08)
  • Financing trucking school and job placement (13:18)
  • Finding students (21:18)
  • Income potential for entry-level positions for graduates  (27:32)
  • Combatting the driver shortage (32:13)
  • Performance-based training regulations (33:47)
  • What’s the future for Diesel Driving Academy? (37:00)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Bruce Busada  00:13

People are realizing how important the trucking industry is to the economy. And it helps people you know, when you deliver supplies, and I think the females are getting more comfortable because of what the trucking companies are doing. And because of the technology, all the bigger companies are going to automatic trucks, which makes it easier to drive. They’ve got a lot of technology out there. And I think that’s more agreeable to everybody, especially the younger generation.

Jeremy Kellett  00:44

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. Hi, this is Jeremy kellett director of recruiting here at Oakley trucking and I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. And as always, we’re trying to bring you guys some good content every week and stuff that maybe you don’t know everything about some of the subjects we’re bringing you but we hope to educate you a little bit on this and today’s episode of actually got the owner of the diesel Driving Academy, Bruce Bousada and he is joining me and we’re going to talk gonna quiz him a little bit about CDL schools and how, you know, somebody gets into that and maybe how they find out about driving a truck and you know, because there’s always that gap there from when they get out of high school to when they can drive over the road. We’re just going to get a little more detail from Bruce on some great questions. Things that we can talk about and hopefully educate everybody about what goes on at a CDL driving school. But first let’s do the Oakley update sponsored by Arrow Truck Sales.

Arrow Truck Sales Commercial  02:14

Arrow Truck Sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast, tree visor and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and already tired Oakley, they carry all make some models to choose from with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you’re a seasoned owner, operator or first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast.

Jeremy Kellett  02:43

So first on the update today, here’s the deal people. Here’s this is something that we’ve noticed it’s happening here lately is when you have an accident, or you have a claim on your physical damage on your truck, let’s say I had one the other day you hit a deer, you know, the claim settles send you a check to get your truck fixed. And then six, eight months later, no truck is fixed. We’ve had a couple other incidents where everything is insurance is settled, the claim is done. But we’re finding out we’re following up on some situations where the truck is not fixed yet. So it’s something that is really important. You know, I mean, we don’t want you running out running around out there with bent bumper pieces missing off of it. And I think the majority of you guys that are working at Oakley want to keep your equipment nice, but we’ve just discovered a few that are not we’re digging into it a little bit deeper. Because we know, we really thought we shouldn’t have to follow up on whether you get your truck fixed or not. But here we are, and just want to send out a reminder to everybody on that when you do have a claim. And it’s Mr. Truck, please get it fixed. All right, thank you guys. Alright, let’s get started with Bruce here with the actual Driving Academy, the the president and owner and I’ll tell you, I did a little bit before I introduce you to Bruce or he introduces himself I had actually read a little article about Bruce’s dad started the company fantastic article there that I read that I thought was really neat. That you’re carrying it on. Kind of similar to Oakley you know Bruce Oakley started Oakley trucking your Bruce Oakley incorporated Dennis kept it going and now Justin is keeping it going in his third generation. So, welcome to the Oakley podcast. Bruce, I appreciate you sitting in with us and helping educate us on diesel Driving Academy.

Bruce Busada  04:46

I thank you for having me, Jeremy. It’s great to be home and I love talking about educating people in trucking. It’s been doing it for over 50 years now. My father started SMD two, as you said, but it’s my brothers in it myself. And I remember when we originally were involved in it, we were in high school, and we were cleaning the trucks out on weekends. So that’s what, that’s how we started out. So it’s, and we also have our sons in the business now. So we’re going through third generation also,

Jeremy Kellett  05:20

That is fantastic to hear. That’s a bring in the family. And let’s do it right. So give us a little history of your background, Bruce,

Bruce Busada  05:28

Well, who’s not, you know, I’d rather talk about the school, but I can talk about myself some when my father started it and all, you know, we started out with one truck and trailer, and the school and all. And so I learned, you know, through high school and the mythology years, and just as my brother did, too. And we always enjoyed the business of training people, because it’s very rewarding. When you see students come back in a truck, and they have their own truck or whatever driving for a company with the truck and have their new truck with them. And my father always told us to take care of the student first, and then everything will flow and be, you know, I think it’ll be good. And I think that what Oakley should probably do is try and take care of the driver first. So that’s what we concentrate on our students. And when we originally started this, we were in Shreveport, just in Shreveport, Louisiana, and in 1972, and then 86, I think it was 1986, we opened a location in Baton Rouge. And the next year, at seven, we opened up and rocked. And we’ve been at all three of these locations ever since. And enjoying it very much. It’s been a great experience.

Jeremy Kellett  06:56

So that’s great for three locations. And I knew we had one here in Little Rock. And that’s kind of what prompted us to search you out. To get you on here, as we saw, actually, Cory kept passing by, you know, the one over there when he went home, and he wanted to try to get somebody on it. So that’s what’s led us to you. So that’s really good. Appreciate it, educate us. If we don’t know, you know, just the general public, how somebody gets into a driving school, what the benefit is of going through a driving school, and you know, what, what is to come after they graduate, you know how long it takes, while they go through some of that stuff. If you don’t care, Bruce?

Bruce Busada  07:40

Yeah, I’ll be happy because the big thing is you need to make sure you’re going to a good quality school, and there’s plenty of them out there. Just do your homework. And you know, when they’re not there, CBT is a commercial vehicle training association that has private truck driving schools. And in a P F T dS is a publicly funded school. And so if you look at that, both those websites are both their sites, you can seek some quality schools that you can go to. And the main thing is, I just want to know that only your steps of getting into school are you know, you gotta have tech, a D, O T physical before you even enter. Now take the drug test, you’re gonna have, you know, the school will be checking your MVR to make sure there’s nothing out there to keep you from getting a job. And, oh, I have students that come to us, they want a job. That’s why they’re coming to school. They’re not just coming just to get a CDL They’re coming to get a job. And that’s what we conference.

Jeremy Kellett  08:51

Bruce, can you briefly tell us some of those disqualifying things on your NVR? That would keep them from attending your school?

Bruce Busada  09:00

Yeah. So it’s, it’s a reset, you know, if they’ve had some felony charges, like armed robbery or things of that nature, when we call, I mean, the basic things that other trucking companies do. And if there’s something in question that we’re not sure about, we usually have the student fill out an application to a couple of the trucking companies and send it in to them. And let us tell us if they disqualify him or not. So we, we kind of don’t, we’re not the sole judge and jury. We kind of get the trucking companies involved.

Jeremy Kellett  09:37

I see. Okay, yeah. Because there’s no sense in going and spending this money and going through the school when the trucking company is not even going to hire. That’s correct.

Bruce Busada  09:45

They can they find some other profession to do, maybe, you know, heating and air conditioning or something else in the medical field, stuff along that lines

Jeremy Kellett  09:55

getting started so you get accepted. I mean, typically how many people Pool Are you putting through this school, in a month or a year,

Bruce Busada  10:04

all three locations we’re putting through around 1500 students a year. And that’s men and women. And we’ve seen a big influx of female students lately. We’ve gone from what we were doing 10 to 12%, a couple of years ago to now we’re 22 to 24%. So it’s, you know, easily doubled.

Jeremy Kellett  10:29

And why do you think that is Bruce?

Bruce Busada  10:31

I will tell you what I, what I feel like, is, I think people are realizing how important the trucking industry is to the economy, and help and it helps people, you know, when you deliver supplies, and I think the fill, females are getting more comfortable, because of what the trucking companies are doing. And because of the technology, all the bigger companies are going to automatic trucks, which makes it easier to drive. They’ve got a lot of technology there. I’m gonna think that’s more agreeable to everybody, especially the younger generation’s old hat on handling the trucks. So I think it’s technology. And the good picture people are seeing about trucking now.

Jeremy Kellett  11:18

That’s interesting, because I mean, we’re seeing an increase in that too. With them getting into it. And I guess, being mainly automatic transmissions now opens up a whole different set of people that can do that. Because I mean, it was all manual transmissions. Do y’all do anything with manual transmissions? Now? Is it all automatic?

Bruce Busada  11:41

We still have manuals, and we will continue to have manual transmissions. But we’re pushing everybody more to the automatic transmissions. And I know some people want to do both. But if what we try to do is graduate them in automatic, and if they want to do the manual transmission, we’ll give them an extra week of training for manual transmission.

Jeremy Kellett  12:08

Yeah, because, you know, I don’t know if a lot of people know this now, but maybe what’s actually on your MBR is, if you are certified as an automatic transmission, that’s all you can drive. That’s, yeah, I see that a lot. Now we have to kind of watch for that. As we’re leasing on owner operators, web.

Bruce Busada  12:28

And, you know, and more and more of these companies, trucking companies are totally automatic now. And so it’s really to the students advantage. It’s quicker, easier to get them out and go that way. But I know there’s some still be for manual transmissions as

Jeremy Kellett  12:49

Atlanta. So what, what’s the steps?

Bruce Busada  12:52

I mean, what do they actually go through at your school, what we basically do is have them come in and fill out an application. And there’s some questions out there for us to actually learn about the person and what they want to do, and make sure they meet all the qualifications. And once we go through those steps, we you know, work with them as far as we have some other people that take care of them as far as financing, and what they will need to get into school, whether that’s with grant money, or if they need loans or whatever, however they qualify for and what they could do. And then we also have trucking companies that are paying for some students. And with that, if they meet those qualifications, we may send them that way to most of our trucking companies that we deal with now that are doing monthly payments as long as the students with them pay the monthly note form and help pay off the loan which is a big plus. So that’s basically what we do and then we send them to get their as I’ve said before their physical and the drug screen and all that we check them check the NVRs and so forth so

Jeremy Kellett  14:09

they get approved to go through your course and even can have a job already. No one upfront. I’ve got a job when I come out and this trucking company is gonna pay for my schooling. As long as they worked for them I don’t know probably a certain amount of time. I would imagine what some of the actual schedule looks like: you know for your school how long does it take? Is it Monday through Friday at eight hours that type of deal?

Bruce Busada  14:38

Yeah, it and when I said a few years it could be as little as a year. Some of these companies are doing it in a year calmly paying them but it depends on what they where they fit in if some of them come through on grant money, so there’s no money really, they’re our product. We have two different programs. We have a basic four Wait program, we have a batch 20 week program. So it depends on what the student is best suited for. And the basic program runs 6900, the advance 11,900. And also, what’s the difference? There’s a lot more driving time and the 20 week program, there’s, there’s a lot more classroom training, too, that goes into more details on safety aspects and more the mechanics of the industry, the trucking industry. So it’s a lot more detailed if the person has time. Now, the basic class just runs Monday through Friday, eight hours a day for four weeks, the advanced program runs Monday through Thursday, for 20 weeks. And you know, you’re going at eight o’clock 830 A thing is to you know, for So, but the we also have a night class for that advanced program, some people are working during the day, they need to come in, if they do that is for 30 weeks, it adds an extra 10 weeks on to the program, but they can continue to do their day job while they’re coming to school night. You see a lot of people doing that, Bruce, more and more, more and more. It’s hard enough for Pherson to come even for weeks and not have money coming in. Much less, you know, any length of time.

Jeremy Kellett  16:38

Does the majority of your students do the four weeks? I’m assuming they buy a more people do the four week course and you do the 20 week course

Bruce Busada  16:45

NATS pretty split on it. I split up. So I mean, no, neither one of them. And that’s why we offer both of them, because it’s an advantage to the student to pick and see what they want to do. And yeah, we’re trying to take care of the students first of all, so it depends on where they really fall in. I know that wasn’t a good day, sir. clear answer, I guess. But it did. We do it individually,

Jeremy Kellett  17:13

I think it is part of the general public’s thinking. You know, I’m hoping they all go through the 20 week course, before they get on the road out there. But I know they know, even with the four week course I go to a company and a company still has to train on and all that. So

Bruce Busada  17:31

yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah, our students graduating the four week program usually have to do training with the carrier for a longer time. Now, the goal of the 20 week program is to shorten it in half or less sometimes for them as far as training, so they get out making more money faster. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  17:52

Yeah, that’s, that’s good that you partnered up with, with some trucking companies that, you know, we’re willing to take these drivers right out of class, you know, school, because not a lot of them. Do. You know, we’re a company that requires two years over the road? Well, that’s a hard part to get, you know, getting that two years can be challenging.

Bruce Busada  18:17

You’re absolutely right. But we’re, we’re training the drivers for you right now. And in two years, you know, or whatever time, they’ll you know, you’ll have a shot at a man. And these major trucking companies we’ve been dealing with, well, I deal with a handful, we could deal with 100. But we only deal with about a handful of them. Because we stay real focus on the ones we can help our students with me because while they’re in training, they have a problem they know they can call us and we will help them while even in training with the company so they can stay on with that company because you always have something come up

Jeremy Kellett  18:54

do you think most of them Bruce is probably something that’s hard to know. But once they graduate your school and I start driving a truck? Do most of them stay in the truck driving career or do you think some of them get out pretty quick?

Bruce Busada  19:08

I’d say the vast majority stay in it now, some of them may start out like they want to drive over the road and be out for three weeks at a time and not come home and then you know, their spouse is telling them you know I need you home more. And so then they quit that job they originally started but they usually stay in, drive and either drive for , you know, a water bottle company and be home every night or you know, a bottling company so they do deliveries or somebody like that with a home every night. But even these major trucking companies are taking our students now. They’re condensing their drive time on all their people to regional now. Yeah, so a lot of them are home. You know At least a couple of times a week, if not more.

Jeremy Kellett  20:02

Yeah, and I think that’s helped. A lot of trucking companies are doing that, including us. We’ve had to change our ways of getting people home more. So they can be part of their family. And it’s just, it’s just what it’s going into now. And I think it’s attractive, it’s helped attract more people in the trucking profession for sure.

Bruce Busada  20:22

And I think it’s helped to track the females going backwards. Going back to what we’re talking about things help track the female drivers to

LubeZone Commercial  20:31

LubeZone has opened a new location in Statesville, North Carolina, it’s located north of Statesville on highway 77, just west of x 59. lives on services both single trucks and truck fleets. So whether you’re driving through or you have a trucking company nearby lube zone are the experts to turn two lives on specialty is full service oil changes that take approximately 30 to 40 minutes. They also offer tractor trailer grease, gearbox service generator service, reverse service in DOD inspections, they also go the extra mile when it comes to quality control. What does that mean? That means your semi truck is checked not just once, but twice to ensure all service and parts are good to go. LubeZone does this so you can rest easy knowing that your truck is in top condition. No other service center, no semi trucks better than leaving out? Check out lubezone.com for all their locations. And when you go in there, Tom, you heard it on the Oakley podcast?

Jeremy Kellett  21:18

How do you find the students to get started? Do they just come to you? Do you do some advertising? Or are

Bruce Busada  21:26

Do we do some advertising? Yes, I mean, if we’re going to have an open house up there in Little Rock town, I’ve got to look at my calendar now and get old, I can’t remember anything anymore. On September the eighth, we’re going to have an open house from 11 to one. And we’ll have food there. And I’ll have people that are interested come in. And we’re going to have several trucking companies, they are also with their recruiters and their equipment, and drivers to talk to the potential students so they know what you know what’s going on. And that’ll be, you know, from 11 to one and then we’ll have a lot going on, if you know, that’s a start for the student to actually see what they’re getting into. And what they want to do. And the other way we get students is off the, you know, like everybody else, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, all those other things, sending our messages out. And all people,

Jeremy Kellett  22:26

I guess, probably a lot of these companies that you put them with after they get out of your school. I’m sure they get calls of hey, how do I get started and drive in and then they send them to you.

Bruce Busada  22:39

That’s very true, that we get a lot of that referrals from trucking companies also, we get referrals from students, I mean, up there in Little Rock. Last time, we had an open house. The gentleman that was up there driving for the trucking company that we’ve been doing business with for 30 years, or longer, he came in and he’s still with the same company. But he’s an owner operator with them, and driving for them. And he’s still under their umbrella. And his son had come to our school. And it was interesting that his daughter, his granddaughter had just graduated from our school, and they’re all going to the same company. So we’ve done three generations of students at our school. I mean, that’s just one example. And we’ve done it, you know, all over but, you know, we’re in the third generation, we get third generation students, and these trucking companies now they’ve been with us a long time. We’re getting third generation, also from us. So it’s rewarding. And that’s why I say it’s very rewarding. Yeah,

Jeremy Kellett  23:49

That is very rewarding to see that happen. For sure. What age would you say most of your students are?

Bruce Busada  23:56

Well, our students right now are 32. The average age is 30 to 33 years old. Okay? Most of these students are starting their second career or even third career. A lot of them are married or have young children. And so we’re getting older, you know, and the minimum we will take is 21 years olds. I know a lot of people have talked about 1819 20 year olds getting a CDL but we’re still stuck out. If we can’t get them a job. We’re not going to let them in. And now we’ll let our 20 year old come if they’re gonna turn 21 before they graduate, but that’s the only way we’ll have them coming in.

Jeremy Kellett  24:50

But don’t you wish you could get a lot more of those younger ones, you know, 21 or you get started I mean, the end instead of you know, you see these 32 year Roads and you just go man, I wished I’d had you 10 years ago get started. And I

Bruce Busada  25:05

I wish they’d been there two years ago. Yeah, we’d love to. But the problem with the trucking companies is the insurance, the liability insurance. And so if they can ever overcome that, figure all of that out, I mean, we’ll be there. Because I just like, you know, myself, I go up to these trucking companies, go to their home offices and visit them, you know, try and do it at least once a year. And I visit with their CEOs or presidents of their companies and discuss things just like this with them. And so we all work together very well. It keeps us up to date.

Jeremy Kellett  25:50

Yeah, I know, they talk about that a lot of hurt a lot of discussion of that gap between 18 and 21. You kind of lose, you know, you lose those years, you lose those people there. They can’t get into it, which is a little frustrating. So do students come to your school? And I guess, can I get the just intrastate? CDL? Or is it I mean, you show them everything.

Bruce Busada  26:16

Once they get Yeah, we give them the whole, we give them a CDL we give them the I, you know, they get that CDL, they can do anything with that. If they just want to, you know, drive a small vehicle in town or truck, small truck like that they can do it. Within a week, we just concentrate on not doing bees or anything else. Because we read them had the opportunity to do what they want. That’s our philosophy: take care of the student first. And that’s what we feel like taking care of our students. Yeah, I

Jeremy Kellett  26:49

think that’s more what about the endorsements, their brochures,

Bruce Busada  26:54

we push for them to do their endorsements, we push we do all the training hazmat, we try and get them to all, at least get the endorsement and start the process. They may not have it once they get to the company, but at least it started. And we push all that we can now you know, some of the other endorsements, like passenger or something like that, if they go to a bus company or something like that the bus company can work with them all that we don’t really focus on that at

Jeremy Kellett  27:28

all. Right? What would you say is probably what kind of money they can make when they come out of your school? I mean, I know it’s all over the place. There’s a lot of companies paying really good money for truck drivers right now.

Bruce Busada  27:45

A man and Well, mine are not experienced yet. But the big deal is that when they get out, I hear that the first year all these companies are telling us they’re making 60 to 65,000 the first year. And but we’ve had some get up as high as 85,000, you know, at 85,000. And it depends on how hard they will work and what the job is. Exactly. And you know, if you’re making the 80 or 85,000, you out there a lot more not at home very much.

Jeremy Kellett  28:20

Yeah, I’d say you know, you have that opportunity to make more money when you get into a DC a lot of them. Their end goal is to become an owner operator.

Bruce Busada  28:31

Absolutely. The app we see several level and that’s why I think more and more companies are talking to their drivers about helping them be another operators and keep them under their umbrella so they don’t totally lose some and can keep them

Jeremy Kellett  28:48

Yeah, yeah, thanks. So Oakley Trucking is a 100% Owner Operator company. We specialize in Hopper, bottom and dump and pneumatic drivers. We provide the trailer free of charge and you provide the truck. We have a large customer base that reaches the whole United States as well as parts of Canada. Our owner operators live anywhere from Texas to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and everywhere in between and we get them home weekends. We take it seriously when you join Oakley trucking because we need you to be successful. Oakley offers great benefits and a competitive knowledge base so you know that when your wheels are turning, you’re generating money no matter if you’re loaded or empty. We understand that you want to make a good living and that you make our living. We only take on independent contractors and to be honest with you we are very particular on who we lease on. You must have a good driving record, good work history, and a clean, dependable truck. So if you’re interested in Oakley trucking or just want some more information, you can go to Oakley trucking.com Listen to our weekly podcast, the Oakley podcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel. I know this wasn’t on our list, but it made me think about veterans and y’all play a pretty big row. With our veterans.

Bruce Busada  30:02

Oh, yes, yeah, we’ve been VA approved. For I don’t know how long for a long time. I mean, we were in a credit to truck driving school, which are very few of those in the country, probably, you know, it most tn. And we’ve been accredited for since 1981. And I know we’ve been doing the VA before that. The A approves. So yes, we’ve been working with veterans, we don’t get a large number of veterans. But we are VA approved and can handle anything that comes our way.

Jeremy Kellett  30:36

Yeah, I kind of thought you might get quite a few veterans to go through that. But I guess, I don’t know, a lot of them, I think learn how to do it in the military, and maybe already come out with a CDO.

Bruce Busada  30:49

Quite a few of them do. But the only bad thing about the military. Part of it is usually they’re driving down, you know, desert sand or something like that. And they’re driving at 30 miles an hour, and they’re not loaded down with an 80,000 pound, 1000 pound trailer loaded going 60 miles an hour. So it’s a little different. So that’s why we get several of them.

Jeremy Kellett  31:14

So I know, you know, and I’ve seen a couple of news articles where you were talking about it in the past. It’s been a couple of years. But you know, a couple years ago, it was all about driver shortage. We had a major driver shortage for all these years, you know, and I guess, you know, I could go either way on that, to be honest with you. I mean, it’s, I think you’re always gonna have a driver shortage of just getting people involved in it. But what’s your take on the driver shortage? And if you had more people going through your school, say, now than you did three years ago?

Bruce Busada  31:55

Our enrollment is very good. I mean, were our enrollments very good. And our three campuses were well over 300 students, so over 100 each well over 100. And each campus, I think, has low rocks, right at that a little low band, I mean, but the rest of them are well over that. So no, I don’t think our enrollment has changed drastically, except for the more females coming in and the age, the average age going up. But I think there is a driver shortage from what I can tell from our carriers. And different ways we’re placing people because we’re having no problems placing anybody, we’re not having any problem at all. And I just think it’s I think the shortage, you gotta see it, you gotta see it come back next summer, next year. I think you’re gonna see it for everything well, learning from these carriers and all is that these that the brights gonna start moving again, I mean, target had their, I think their stock deal with they were reporting that they that their warehouses were empty, now they’re gonna start having to refill them for the holidays. I think that’s an indication of freight starting to pick up and we’ll continue.

Jeremy Kellett  33:13

Yeah, thank you rat, what’s the future look like for diesel Driving Academy?

Bruce Busada  33:19

Ah, you know, I don’t know, you know, ELD T came out, you know. And that’s the training that you’re having to train students regulation and training students and diesel Driving Academy was very involved in that our organization cBta was, as well as a publicly funded school. We all grew up together. And we were very involved in that and pushing for safety.

Jeremy Kellett  33:47

Can you explain what that is? Bruce, to our listeners will

Bruce Busada  33:51

be happy that the government originally tried to do a regulation, that really old training, telling us how to train people that really had no significant value to it at all. And so we were able to talk to him and get them to totally throw that out. And with the help of, you know, plenty of other organizations, safety organizations, ata TCA, larger trucking organizations, and we help them to come up with a solution. There were 26 people on the panel, and that we all voted to do it is performance based training. So in other words, if the person the student can perform the task, then they can move out, and it’s a performance base train. And what this has brought into the training part is safety. This is really focused on safety. Quality training. And that’s what we pushed, I don’t know, if all your people know about ptdi, back in the 80s, as a professional truck rather than Institute, they were trying to do that back then we were the first or second school ever approved for that back in light, I think it was 8887 88 is an IP 98. We were the first or second school ever certified. But that’s why we’ve always been focused on safety and quality of training. And I think, with these new regulations, we’re getting there. We’re still working with FMCSA. I was up in Washington, DC, three weeks ago, and we had a meeting with one of the under administrators at FMCSA, that does enforcement. And we talked to him about the training registry that they have, and how to improve it and make sure we have quality institutions out there now. So we’ve done a lot with that. I think what’s really going to show is, in the next few years, the quality of students, or quality of drivers, you’re gonna say,

Jeremy Kellett  36:15

That’s good. You know, that’s really good. Be, you know, we all want them to be trained. Real good, because it’s this, it’s not an easy job. A lot of people think it may be an easy job just driving a truck. But, you know, once you start learning more about the trucking industry, and operate in one of these huge machines, it’s not an easy task. And I’ll tell you what, I can’t say enough about appreciating truck drivers out there and what they do every day, especially with the technology that’s distracting out there now. So distracting. It’s made it even harder to do so. Are y’all opening up any other places anytime soon? Bruce, are you just sticking with your three locations?

Bruce Busada  37:00

Well, we’re looking at it. Because we’ve had a lot of trucking companies talk to us about thanks. So yes, we’re looking. I don’t want to say yet. Do we actually do it? I don’t want to take away from our three locations we have now but yes, we’re looking very much at it. And we’re very interested in looking at some new locations. You have one let me know.

Jeremy Kellett  37:26

Okay, hat, how if somebody’s listening to this, and they’re interested in maybe going through your school, what’s the best way to get in touch with you guys? What’s the procedure

Bruce Busada  37:38

you can go to our website or you can call our 800 numbers 805 518 900 or websites DD a.edu Short for education, diesel Driving Academy which is da da and then.edu and talk to you know, find out what’s going on. You can go on there and see more about us see more what students have said on the website and also see fill out application if you want to even our

Jeremy Kellett  38:12

lives. So you went to courses and classes to start that kind of deal.

Bruce Busada  38:17

We start classes every month, okay? We don’t take him 100 students at a time, we take smaller numbers and rotate students and we keep the classes together. And we move them along so it works very well. And I’ve even had some people copy us so it must be okay.

Jeremy Kellett  38:44

It must be good. Well anything else you’d like to add Bruce?

Bruce Busada  38:48

No, I just like to thank you for having us. And just stress you know stress on everybody to be safe out there on the road. And next couple of weeks driver appreciation weeks are coming up. And I know y’all will be doing something and we are with our instructors and all our people here. So yeah, keep that in mind. And if anybody liked to come see us come to the open house

Jeremy Kellett  39:15

yeah, that’s September the eighth open house here in Little Rock diesel driving. Okay, yeah.

Bruce Busada  39:21

Oh, Friday Yes sir. So if anybody likes to just come and see it come over and they can talk to people you know, that aren’t even employees, if after setting up why and talking to you know, past drivers and things of that nature.

Jeremy Kellett  39:34

Well, last year, I appreciated it. And you know, just having this conversation with you makes me appreciate you and your school even more because you know, they have to start somewhere. And we ended up with, you know, an owner operator company, getting those people later down the road, but I got to start somewhere and it’s important that they go through the proper training and And, and learn what to do out there. And you know, it all takes experience, of course, but it makes, you know, makes me appreciate you and your school a whole lot more now that I know a little bit more about it. We appreciate you and thank you for the time. All right, Bruce, thank you. Hey, I appreciate everybody listening to the Oakley podcast. Really good episode here with Bruce in its diesel Driving Academy. If you’re interested in something like that, give him a call and check out their website. It sounds like a fantastic company and a family owned company. And that I’ll tell you something right there. So, once again, thanks for listening to the podcast and we’ll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.