There is one key ingredient you need to stir up a career in trucking—a commercial driver’s license. However, the Department of Transportation doesn’t just give these out to everyone. You have to pass a CDL exam that includes two portions, a written exam and a behind-the-wheel, over-the-road skills test. In order to pass these exams and get your CDL, you may want to consider going to truck driver school.
Benefits of Truck Driver Training
A truck driver training course will provide you with everything you need to pass this exam. Furthermore, with these two courses offered at community colleges, you may even be able to get financial aid to pay for your course. Check out what Southeastern Community College and Paul D. Camp Community College are offering for truck driving students.
Southeastern Community College
The Southeastern Community College is in West Burlington, Iowa, and the school also offers courses at the:
- Keokuk Campus
- Center for Business
- Mount Pleasant Center
- Fort Madison Center
For the truck driving course, this is located at the Center for Business or CBIZ in Burlington, Iowa. The commercial driving program is for individuals interested in getting a Class A CDL for truck driving. It is a 4-week program covering 160 hours of training. This includes classroom instruction along with behind-the-wheel training.
A new class kicks off each month throughout the academic year, and you will attend class from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday for the 4-week session. Keep in mind, SCC can also offer instruction during the evenings and on weekends. Additionally, the school offers truck driver refresher training courses either part-time or full-time depending on your training needs.
SCC offers full tuition assistance in a variety of ways, such as through GAP Tuition Assistance. Contact their office at 319-208-5375 to find out more about when you can start the course. Once you graduate from the program, SCC presents you with a truck driving certificate. This certificate, along with your CDL (once you pass the CDL exam and get your license), will look great on your trucking resume as you search for truck driving jobs.
Paul D. Camp Community College
PDCCC is a community college with three physical locations:
- Franklin, Virginia
- Suffolk, Virginia
- Smithfield, Virginia
The school also offers online classes for certain subjects, but not commercial truck driving. The truck driver training course is a 160-hour program that includes classroom instruction along with on-the-road training. The coursework provides you with what you’ll need to take and successfully pass the commercial driver’s license exam.
The program lasts for 4 weeks, and the cost is $4,500. However, since this is a community college, you are eligible to apply for federal student aid, scholarships, and grants. If you are former military, you can use your GI Bill benefits to cover your tuition. Call 757-569-6700 to get started with financial aid options.
Sessions for the truck driver training program at PDCCC coincide with the academic calendar. For the 2017-2018 school year, here is the schedule when courses are offered:
- September 18 to October 13
- October 16 to November 10
- November 13 to December 14
- January 2 to January 2018
If you complete truck driver training at PDCCC, you are eligible for two major benefits:
- Lifetime truck driver refresher training, in case you take a hiatus from your trucking career and want to jump back in the driver’s seat at a later date
- Lifetime complimentary job placement assistance to help you find a truck driving job
Applying for Truck Driver Training at PDCCC
To get into the truck driver training program, you’ll need to meet some basic requirements. You must be 18 with a valid driver’s license in Virginia and willing to provide a copy of your MVR record. You will have to complete an application for admission. Once accepted into the program, you’ll have to pass a DOT physical exam.
Going to Trucking School at a College
By attending trucking school from a local college, you will receive quality instruction under the leadership of the school board. At these accredited colleges, you will also receive official certification showing you have college-level training for trucking. Not a lot of truckers have that to bolster their trucking job application with, which puts you ahead of the competition.