Truck Driving Students Ready to Hit the Pavement with New Driving Range in Dublin
Dublin, Ga., (OFTC) —Commercial Truck Driving students at Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Dublin Campus are now training on the college’s new driving range which just wrapped up a six-month long construction process.
The new range sits adjacent to the campus in Dublin and allows students to practice their skills before driving on the road. Before the range was built, students on this campus utilized a portion of a vacant parking lot to practice their skills.
This project was made possible through Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s Emergency Education Relief Fund Grant award (GEER II). Specifically for the education-to-workforce pipeline for commercial drivers, Governor Kemp directed these funds to support the critical need for more commercial drivers and workforce training opportunities, further addressing the supply chain issues impacting the state.
The college operates CTD programs in Dublin, Sandersville and Louisville. However, OFTC’s Dublin campus has not had a range and has been utilizing a large parking lot for many years to serve students. This new range will allow the college to broaden access to their students and the ability to add additional faculty members to increase capacity in the program; it will feature a road course in addition to the backing maneuvers pad.
“With this range having a road course, it allows the students to get in one of our trucks and physically drive it without the influence of other motorists,” shared Brent Redfern, OFTC’s Division Chair for the Trades and Industrial Programs. “This will help to decrease the stress that a student experiences when they first get behind the wheel. Having the range allows the students to experience smaller segments of learning how to drive a commercial vehicle.”
The addition of this range gives students more opportunities to hone their skills in a controlled environment similar to what they’ll see on the road, “Redfern shared. “The students will use the new range to learn how to perform vehicle inspections and basic skills maneuvers – which includes backing maneuvers and shifting gears before entering the public roadway.”
With CTD drivers in high demand, the new range will give the college additional resources to train more students.
“The CTD class schedule has just been overhauled in order to offer an afternoon class at each location,” Redfern added. “Using the enrollment trend over the last few years and this semester’s enrollment, the CTD program college-wide will service approximately 340 students this year.”
The CTD Program will also add three more trucks to the College’s fleet within the next few months that students on this range will use.
For more info on the new range in Dublin, or on the college’s 130+ programs of study available, visit the college’s website, OFTC.edu.
OFTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.