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Which CDL Class Pays the Most?



Considering a career in trucking, but confused on whether you need a Class A or Class B CDL? Wondering which one will earn you the most income? The different classes of CDL’s can be quite confusing, but today we’re going to explain the benefits of getting your Class A CDL – which can be earned right here at DDA.

Class A CDL  – What is Involved Training?

We offer two types of Class A training; Basic and Advanced CDL courses.

The Basic Class A CDL course does not require previous truck driving experience for you to enroll in. Classes can be completed in 8 weeks, for a total of 160 clock hours. Your instruction will include both classroom and hands-on driving experiences as part of our course. Graduates of this course are prepared to do entry-level truck driving work.

The Advanced Class A CDL can be completed during daytime classes (20 weeks) or evening classes (30 weeks) for a total of 600 clock hours. Students do not need previous driving experience, and instruction will still include both classroom and hands-on driving experiences as part of your course. Students who graduate this program have many career options available including employment as a Truck Driver, Line Haul Driver, Owner Operator, Semi-Truck Driver, or Over the Road (OTR) Driver.

Why Choose a Class A CDL?

When deciding between a CDL A or CDL B, you want to weight your career options. Your Class A CDL will generally be able to garner you the highest wages of any type of truck driver. Most students who graduate with their Class A CDL will get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking. That means you drive longer distances, log more miles, usually drive across the US, and therefore get the highest wages of any class of truck drivers.

How good is the pay?

On average, DDA graduates can expect to start with income of around $40,000+ annually. Driver pay can go as high as $90,000+ for veteran truckers with the biggest carriers. The middle/average salaries run between $50,000 annually (25th percentile) and $70,00 (75th percentile) for OTR truck drivers.

You Get Additional Benefits, Too

Most carriers also provide their drivers with a host of additional benefits in addition to a good salary when they are OTR truckers. The following are some of the other benefits you can expect to get from your carrier:

  • Full health insurance coverage (for your family also)
  • 401k and other retirement options
  • The possibility to qualify for monthly payments back to help pay off your student loans (signing a 1-year contract is usually required)
  • Opportunities to earn additional performance-based bonuses
  • The possibility of promotion to higher-paying loads (with experience)
  • Annual paid vacation time

These additional benefits make getting your Class A CDL worth your time and money. Once you get your Class A CDL you will enjoy access to some of the highest-paying jobs in trucking and you will have a career that can become a passion for the rest of your life.

Want more information on getting your Class A CDL so you can start earning a consistent paycheck? Call us today! 1-800-551-8900

Don’t Let Your Ego be a Roadblock to Getting Your CDL


Drivers should always be learning. Learn from the road, other drivers, classes, and learn from books. When seeking your CDL, you have to stay humble, take control of your ego, and really listen to what the instructor has to say. Others in class may offer questions you had never even thought of.

How to own your ego and drive like no one else

Listed below are a few simple tips for controlling your life and completing your CDL:

Stay positive. For every bad, there is a good.

If you listen to the wealthiest people in the world, they all have a few things in common. The most important is to stay positive—failure is a learning opportunity. When your truck breaks down or traffic makes you late for a delivery, don’t be frustrated. Remember to get your truck checked before rolling out and plan a better route next time.

If you’re having trouble with part of a CDL course, take a step back and remember: the questions you missed or the activity you struggled with will stick even better in your mind than the easier tasks.

Look at yourself first

Are you rolling your eyes or struggling with part of the class? Understand that you can take action to change these things, but you have to realize that you are doing it. Pulling yourself out of a situation and saying, “Wait a second, should I do something different here?” is a valuable skill. So much so that the US Navy Seals do it even in split-second decisions during combat.

Ask Questions

If you don’t understand what is happening, ask questions! Ask the instructor, a classmate, or another driver over the radio. You will never know what you don’t know until you seek the answers.

How can Diesel Driving Academy help you pursue your CDL and get out on the open road? Fill out the form, or call us today to find out! 1-800-551-8900

Quick Guide to Getting Your CDL at Diesel Driving Academy


Minimum Requirements for Enrollment

If you are looking to get your CDL at Diesel Driving Academy, you will need to meet some enrollment qualifications. These include:

  • Have a current, valid Driver’s License
  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age (by the time of graduation)
  • Have an acceptable driving record
  • Pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical and drug screening
  • Meet Department of Transportation (DOT) qualifications for truck operators

If you meet these basic requirements, you will be eligible to attend DDA to complete your CDL training.

What Programs Does Diesel Driving Academy Offer?

DDA offers 3 different types of CDL certification programs.

The CDL Prep Course is a 3-week, 136-hour prep course that teaches the basics of the trucking industry. No previous experience driving trucks is necessary to enroll in this course.

Our Basic CDL Driver Training Program is a 4-week, 160-hour program that requires no previous experience to enroll. This program will prepare truck drivers for the entry-level duties of a truck driver. Evening classes are available at our West Monroe campus. The evening program will run 8-weeks and 160 clock hours.

The Advanced CDL Driver Training Program is a 20-week, 600-hour course that gives you the advanced knowledge you need to be a truck driver. There is no experience required to enroll in this course. Upon completion, you will be able to obtain employment in a variety of different lines of work including as a Truck Driver, Line Haul Driver, Owner Operator, Semi-Truck Driver, or Over-the-Road Truck Driver. Evening classes are available at each campus and will run 30-weeks and 600 clock hours.

What is the Cost for CDL School?

Out of pocket costs will vary depending on the program a student enrolls in, and if any financial assistance is used. DDA offers a variety of programs that may cover some or all training program costs. Don’t let the cost intimidate you. DDA’s Financial Aid staff can help you learn more about what types of assistance are available to you to help make getting your CDL affordable.

How Do I Find Work Once I Get My CDL?

Diesel Driving Academy provides a Job Placement Assistance for all of our current students and graduates. This service is available to former students for the rest of their careers. We have a variety of connections to some of the largest carriers and employers nationwide. In addition to this service, many recruiters visit our campuses to hire our highly trained and well-qualified graduates.

What Kind of Benefits Can I Expect As a Truck Driver?

Truck driving is one of the best jobs that doesn’t require a 2-or-4-year college degree. Truck driving is a very hands-on experience that allows drivers to get out on the road and work with their hands. In addition to quality-pay and employment benefits, most truck drivers receive additional benefits including:

  • Starting pay at around $40,000+ annually for most OTR positions
  • Full healthcare benefits for drivers and their families
  • Monthly reimbursement payments for your tuition (usually available to those who sign a 1-year contract with the carrier)
  • 401k company matches and full retirement benefits
  • Annual paid vacation time

These are just some of the benefits that the truck driving industry offers. Job security is also a huge benefit of this industry. There are currently about 60,000 driving jobs open in the US. As consumer demands grown, so will driver opportunities and employment options.

If you are looking for a high-paying job in a booming industry, truck driving might be a great option for you. For further assistance or to enroll in any of the CDL programs a Diesel Driving Academy, fill out the form on this page, or call us today! 1-800-551-8900

Making Your New Years Resolution a Reality


Let’s talk New Years Resolutions. With January 2019 already in full swing, it’s time to buckle down and start working toward the goals you set last year. Maybe you wanted to travel this year. Or make more money. Gain job security.

What if you want to do ALL of those things? The possibility of reaching each one of those goals with a new career in truck driving is easier thank you think.


Truck drivers are paid to travel to different regions of the United States. Seeing majestic sites from your office window as you drive by is a great reward. Utah’s “Devil’s Slide” looks like a place a supernatural being would slide through our planet’s face. A driver gets to experience the beauty in the season’s changes. Some truck stops offer more than a trucker’s amenities, like one near Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX; or the World’s Largest Truck Stop in Iowa.


Beginning drivers earn about $40,000 to $45,000 a year. Experienced drivers earn over $60,000 per year. Some companies pay various bonuses including, but not limited to, fuel, safety, and recruiting.


Job security is simple to find. Companies are looking for good drivers every day. If one company is not the best fit for you, there is another company down the road. Earning and owning a Class A CDL is an asset that will keep a responsible and safe driver employed until retirement. Truck driving jobs are not going anywhere, because trucks must navigate and complete deliveries to our stores, plants, and ports.

With a large growth in the trucking industry, drivers are needed everywhere. Now is the time to make a change; a New Year could mean a New You. Do not let another year pass you by! Contact us right now to start your New Year’s Resolution today! 1-800-551-8900

What Does 2019 Look Like for the Trucking Industry?


image of a semi truck driving down a highway with the text '2019 outlook for the trucking industry'

Trucking Companies Budgets Continue to Increase

Reports say that trucking budgets are expected to climb again in 2019, though at a slower pace than past years. In the page, some companies saw budget rates increasing by as much as 15% year-over-year. That number is set to slow to between 7% and 10% during 2019.

The Amount of Freight Needing Moved Continues to Increase

The amount of freight that needs to be transported throughout 2019 will continue to rise. The average annual increase between the years 2019 and 2024 is estimated to be about a 2.3% increase each year. This means there is plenty of work for truck drivers to stay on the road and take home a paycheck.

The Truck Driver Shortage Continues

The truck driver shortage is predicted to continue and to get more severe throughout 2019. This means that the current shortage of about 50,000 drivers is set to increase even further. This means that anyone who is looking to get into the trucking industry has a perfect opportunity to get into the industry at their fingertips.

Diesel Driving Academy Can Help

As the shortage of truck drivers becomes more severe, this makes a perfect time to get into truck driving as a career. DDA is the perfect place to start! We can help you get your CDL at any of our campuses which are located throughout Arkansas and Louisiana. We offer both Basic & Advanced CDL classes, all of which can be completed in 30 weeks or less (depending on the program you choose).

Upon completion of your CDL training, you will be ready to take on a new career in a promising and thriving industry that is in need of drivers. Salaries for most positions start at around $40,000+ annually, as well as come complete with paid vacation time. You will get full benefits including healthcare and retirement savings as well. Finally, many truck carriers are even happy to offer tuition reimbursement opportunities for drivers who sign to drive with their carrier (usually a contract that lasts one year or maybe longer).

There has been no better time to get into trucking than right now. The industry’s performance is strong and there is a need for companies to hire more truck drivers who are trained and ready to take the road. The salaries and benefits are excellent and have a lot of room to grow throughout an individual’s career.

For more information on registering to get your CDL call and talk to our Admissions staff today! 1-800-551-8900

The Quickest Route to a Local Driving Job


image of interstate highway bridges with the text 'how otr can be the quick route to driving local'

Want to Drive Local? Why Going OTR May Get You There Quicker

If you’re thinking about a career as a truck driver, but want to be home every night, the fastest way to get in the driver’s seat and gain the experience you’ll need to land a local driving job is to start as an over-the-road (OTR) driver. Most local companies require a minimum of two years driving experience and they do not provide further training, which driving school graduates must have.

The Road to Experience is OTR Driving

Major OTR carriers are the opposite, their businesses depend on hiring driving school graduates. They provide extended training to get drivers ready for their own truck. This is the best way to gain the experience you need.

Signing on with an OTR carrier right out of driving school has a lot of benefits. Some companies offer sign-on bonuses, others may reimburse your driving school tuition if you fulfill your contract. Deciding to go OTR means you probably won’t have to look very hard for a job either, recruiters will be searching for you. Find a truck driving school that has good relationships with the major carriers.

Regional, Dedicated, and Local Positions

Many large trucking companies have regional and dedicated routes that allow drivers to be home every weekend, or even more often, but these jobs go to proven employees. Local delivery and pickup positions are also common at the big carriers, as well as yard drivers who work at the terminal moving trailers, mostly in and out of docks, with tractors designed for that task.

If you want a local driving job remember that local companies typically do not put a premium on driver comfort. They tend to have older and outdated equipment, but OTR carriers pride themselves on running modern fleets with all the features of a luxury car.

Start your career with a truck driving school that works with major carriers to get you the experience you need. Call Diesel Driving Academy and get enrolling in our next class, today! 1-800-551-8900


We Can Help You Start a New Career For the New Year


image of a semi truck driving down the road with text reading new year new trucking career

If you are considering starting a new career in 2019, Diesel Driving Academy is here to help! If you have ever considered truck driving as a new career opportunity for you, there is no better time now than to pursue this option for your future!

As the new year begins and you look to make your resolution, enrolling in Diesel Driving Academy can be just the start to a new career you need!

Why Enroll at Diesel Driving Academy?

Diesel Driving Academy offers a complete array of courses that will help you obtain your CDL license. We offer classes that are both basic and advanced in nature to help you obtain your CDL license.

Basic CDL Course

These classes are for drivers who do not have any previous trucking experience. This course will teach you the basic rules of the road and everything you need to know to get started.

Advanced CDL Course

The Advanced course is for those who are looking for more in-depth CDL training. No experience is required to enroll in this course, however, this is a much more in-depth CDL experience unlike the more basic training class mentioned above. This coursework includes more extensive teaching of maneuvers in a larger vehicle in addition to complete roadway safety and advanced roadway operations.

Choose a Schedule Based on Your Needs

Students can choose the Basic or Advanced course based on training needs. Each program can be completed through a daytime or evening classes (some evening classes are held at specific campuses only.) The program can be completed in little as a month or up to 30 weeks if you choose to take the Advanced evening class.

Multiple Ways to Help You Pay

We understand that many people will balk at the cost of getting your CDL which can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000 depending on the program which you choose to complete.

However, we do have a variety of financial aid options available to help you pay for schooling. These financial aid options include special options for veterans or those who are currently serving in the military.

We also offer programs that can provide grants and additional assistance to help you with your schooling. There are also carrier programs where carriers are willing to pay you for signing a contract with their company. Typically, they give you a specific percentage of the money back each week that you spent on your training if you commit to work for them for a set period of time (usually a year).

Trucking is an In-Demand Position

Trucking is an in-demand job which is guaranteeing your job security for the future, As consumer demand continues to rise, more and more driving jobs are becoming available. Pay is also quite good starting around $40,000+ for the average trucking job with the possibility of getting north of $100,000+ for certain positions.

Most positions also come with paid vacation time. You also get retirement and full healthcare benefits with the trucking company. Finally, many are willing to help pay back the cost of your driving school if you commit to signing a contract with them for a certain period of time (usually a year).

As the new year approaches, join us in our CDL courses so that you can give yourself the treat of a new career for a new you in the near.

For more information on registering with Diesel Driving Academy to get your CDL, call today! 1-800-551-8900

Can I use My GI Bill® to Get a CDL?


As a military veteran transitioning to a career in the trucking industry, you may want to know if you can use your G.I. Bill® for CDL training. At Diesel Driving Academy, you can use a number of different VA tuition benefits programs to help cover training costs.

What VA Benefits Can I Use?

Veterans and servicemembers may be eligible for benefits through numerous GI Bill programs. In addition, spouse and family members may also benefit from training assistance programs.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Active duty and reservists may be entitled to receive a monthly education benefit through the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Besides those, other VA programs that DDA participates with include:

  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA)
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
  • DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) Program
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

Why Choose Trucking as a Career?

Right now, there is a high demand for new truck drivers. Not only are there close to 51,000 truck driving jobs open that need to be filled, but that number is expected to grow in the next few years. With skills that easily transfer from the military to trucking, you’ll start a new career with incredible job security and high-earning potential.

A career in trucking offers many opportunities in an exciting, respectable, and well-paying industry. On average, an entry-level truck driver can earn $41,000+ in their first year of driving. Similarly, the average truck driving team can earn $70,000 – $100,000+ per year. Plus, trucking companies are offering incentives to new drivers, like sign-on bonuses, full health benefits, and plenty of home time.

If you’re ready to start a new career as a professional truck driver using your MGIB benefits, give Diesel Driving Academy a call! With training that is quick and affordable, you’ll be on the road in no time! 1-800-551-8900


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

Troops in Trucks: Getting your CDL As A Civilian


For many, the transition from life in uniform to life as a civilian can be challenging. However, many industries are committing to helping veterans make the transition back to civilian life easier. One of those is the trucking industry.

CDL Requirements

Military veterans enter the civilian workforce with a unique set of skills and experience. The Military Skills Test Waiver Program allows veterans with heavy-duty driving experience to earn a CDL without taking the road test portion of the exam. You’ll need to apply for this program within 12 months of being discharged from your US Military Service. Drivers will still have to take the written portion of the test.

Physical Impairment? You May Still Qualify

Drivers with physical impairments can obtain a Skill Performance Evaluation waiver granted by the FMSCA. This certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive commercial motor vehicles across state lines. Drivers must complete on-and-off road activities and demonstrate the ability to safely drive a truck. And, under the recently enacted FAST Act, military veterans will be allowed to have their DOT physical done through the Veteran’s Administration.

Why Choose Trucking?

The trucking industry will need to add more than 4.5 million workers between the years 2014 and 2021. Many trucking companies have shown a long-time commitment to hiring veterans after their military service is complete. Diesel Driving Academy is a proud supporter of our men and women in uniform. Our programs prepare veterans for careers in the civilian workforce, and we partner with trucking companies that regularly hire military veterans.

For more information on why truck driving is a great career for a returning veteran and why we want to give back to those who have served our country, call DDA today! 1-800-551-8900

Autonomous Trucks: Do I Still Need to Get My CDL?



With all the talk in the automotive and trucking industries turning toward autonomous, self-driving vehicles, many are wondering if getting a CDL is still worth it. The short answer is YES! While autonomous trucks may be a part of the future of transportation, truck drivers are not out of the equation.

The Role of the Driver in Self-Driving Vehicles

While the transportation industry is working toward making vehicles totally autonomous, recent news reports of their failure to avert accidents have left some wondering about the future of this technology. Like in the airline industry, autonomous vehicles are not ready to be completely driverless. In the case of the airplanes, the autopilot function is there to assist pilots. It allows the pilot to release their hands from the wheel while maintaining total awareness of their surroundings. Autonomous vehicles would allow drivers to do the same. Drivers could also override these “autopilot” functions in specific or dangerous situations.

The Future of the Truck Driving Industry

No one can say for sure what the truck driving industry will look like 5, 10, or 20 years. However, the skills you learn when earning your CDL license are invaluable. With the industry slow to adopt a fully autonomous vehicle, highly skilled drivers will still be in demand for the foreseeable future. Having a fully trained person behind the wheel, like in the airline industry, is essential to maintaining safety on the highways.

The immediate outlook for truck drivers is positive. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that from 2016 to 2026, the industry will see a 6% growth. This translates to another 90,000 drivers needed NOW through 2026. With the future of autonomous vehicles rolling at a (very) slow pace, those jobs are just waiting to be filled!

The trucking industry is booming, and the demand for new drivers is high! Find out how you can get your CDL and get on the road to a new career. Call Diesel Driving Academy today! 1-800-551-8900



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