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Flexible Programs to Fit Your Needs for CDL Training

 

Thinking about a job change and looking into truck driving as your new career path? Worried about how to fit training in with your current schedule? Can’t afford to quit your current job while working towards your new one? Diesel Driving Academy is here to help, no matter your situation!

With four convenient training locations in Louisiana and Arkansas, there will be a campus that is conveniently located for you! And each one offers full CDL programs – from your classroom coursework to hands-on-training behind-the-wheel. Today, we’ll take a look at what those programs offer, so you can find the one that is perfect for your CDL training needs.

Advanced CDL Training

  • If you are brand-new to truck driving and have never held a Class A CDL than this might be a great fit is for you! No experience is needed to enroll in this program. We’ll teach you all you need to know.
  • You can choose if you would like the daytime program covering 20 weeks or the evening program covering 30 weeks. Whichever method works best for your schedule and needs! Both programs total 600 clock hours.
  • Since flexibility is crucial to you, you might potentially be concerned about finances as well. You can apply for tuition assistance, to see if you qualify for a sponsorship program.
  • This course will prepare students for a range of career entry-level opportunities, such as a truck driver, line haul driver, or over the road driver.

Basic CDL Training

  • This basic CDL training course will teach students the skills of being an entry-level truck driver. No experience is required to enroll.
  • To adapt to schedules, you can choose the daytime program lasting four weeks, for a total of 160 hours.
  • The other option is an evening course that lasts eight weeks (offered at select campus locations only) while still maintaining the 160 hours of the daytime class. This will allow students to pick an accelerated or part-time course, to better fit their needs.
  • Job placement is available with this program. We’ll assist you with finding the right carrier company for you!

CDL Prep Course

  • This class will help prepare students to take their CDL test to become an entry-level truck driver. No experience is needed to enroll.
  • This course lasts 3 weeks, for a total of 136 hours.
  • Whether you want to brush up on your skills or have no previous driving experience, this course is tailored to quickly help students understand the basics that the Department of Motor Vehicles will test you on and industry standards for truck driving.

We are happy to help you figure out the best program for getting your Class A CDL. Call us anytime and we can find the flexible program that best fits your needs! Call today, 1-800-551-8900

Getting your Family on Board with You Going to CDL School

 

Becoming a commercial truck driver can be a great career opportunity for many people. There are a lot of truck driver jobs available, and with the driver shortage that brings plenty of job security. However, it can be hard to start a new career – especially one that might take you on the road for days or weeks at a time. Even harder when you have a family at home.

So, how do you get your loved ones on board with your decision so that you can start your training? Today we’re sharing a few ways to help get your family on board with you going to CDL school and beginning your successful career.

Remind them about job security

Truck driving is a very stable career because supplies need to get all over the United States and they need drivers to do it! With more and more drivers leaving due to retirement, carriers are looking for drivers to fill those positions, as well as new ones that open up. If going OTR isn’t your thing, you can transition to a local or regional position – often with the same nationally known carrier.

We offer tuition assistance

Coming up with the money to put toward school can be difficult, and it is the reason why many don’t go any further. While CDL school is less expensive than traditional college courses, there are still some training costs involved. How much you pay will depend on a variety of factors – including the program you choose to attend, if you use any type of assistance, or if you choose to go through a sponsorship program. Together we can find a way to make your new career happen, and make training affordable to you!

We offer different training locations

At Diesel Driving Academy, we’re close to home! We offer complete CDL training courses at four separate campus locations throughout Louisiana and Arkansas. Find the campus that is closest to you, and we’ll help you get on the road in your new career.

Programs based on your needs

We have classes that are as short as 4 weeks and as long as 30 weeks. We’ll help you find the program that is best for your career goals. We offer both classroom instruction and time behind the wheel, and classes start regularly. So you’ll be on the road earning a steady income in no time!

If driving a commercial rig is something that you are interested, it is the right time to get started. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get your new career moving! Call today, 1-800-551-8900

Trucking Students Wanted: Pre-Apprenticeship Truck Driver Program Starting in Shreveport

 

Skilled trade jobs are in high demand, and the need for new truck drivers in the trucking industry continues to rise.

To help meet the growing demand for new truck drivers, Diesel Driving Academy has partnered with the Department of Community Development, the Bureau of Workforce Development, and the WIOA Youth Program for a Pre-Apprenticeship Truck Driving Program.

This program allows anyone aged 21-24 years old to enroll in CDL training at Diesel Driving Academy in order to obtain a CDL (Commercial Drivers License). This program includes a 1 year apprenticeship with Schneider Trucking. Drivers will be paid $9 per hour during training, for a total of 95 clock hours.

Who Qualifies?

This program is open to anyone between the ages of 21-24. To qualify, potential students must have a clean driving record, a clean criminal record, and must be able to pass a drug test as well as the DOT physical.

Specialized Training for New Drivers

Truck driving is one of the best trade jobs you can get, but it takes special know-how. You’ll need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and specialized training. Diesel Driving Academy has been training new truck drivers since 1972. Our CDL training is continually updated to meet industry standards and is designed to provide new drivers with the skills and endorsements companies want.

Wages and benefits for truck drivers are increasing; entry-level drivers can earn up to $50,000 in the first year of driving. And, companies like Schneider are offering new drivers improved benefits like more home time and updated equipment.

This Pre-Apprenticeship program introduces students to the trucking industry while preparing them for a wide range of job opportunities as a truck driver. CDL training for this program begins on April 15, 2019, and will run through June 30, 2019.

For more information, please contact the Department of Community Development’s Bureau of Workforce Development WIOA Youth Program’s Youth Coordinator, Penny Butler, at (318) 673-7567 or Youth Counselor, Shaquavia Durden at (318) 673-7544, or Diesel Driving Academy at 1-800-551-8900.

The Drive Safe Act and the Driver Shortage

 

3 Ways the DRIVE-Safe Act Will Benefit You

A recent development out of Washington D.C. promises to make a huge impact on the ongoing driver shortage in America and create more jobs for graduating high school seniors. Passage of the DRIVE-Safe Act was made possible early this year by Representatives Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) with backing from both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA). The act seeks to address the issue of young drivers ages 18-20, whom until now, were not legally permitted to cross state lines for the transportation of goods. So in what ways will this new initiative serve to improve not only the trucking and foodservice distribution industry, but the economy as a whole?

PROMOTES SAFER ROADWAYS

Stipulations under the DRIVE-Safe Act require that drivers under the age of 21 must undergo completion of a highly demanding apprenticeship program beyond simply earning their CDL. This will comprise of 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving under the supervision of an experienced driver over the age of 21. The young drivers will also be required to prove they can master such skillsets as rural two-lane driving and maneuvering into close quarters among several other performance benchmarks. Strict adherence to these guidelines will mean safer road conditions for all motorists and is sure reduce the number of preventable accidents each year.

ADDRESSES DRIVER SHORTAGE

With the increasing number of baby boomers retiring, the trade industry is reaching a demand that must become more accommodating to the millennial generation in order to survive. Passage of the DRIVE-Safe Act will help to fill the growing employment gap with eager young drivers who prove themselves capable of transporting goods safely and efficiently.

CREATES MORE JOBS

More drivers on the road will translate into more cooks in the kitchen thanks to the coupled support from the IFDA on the passage of this bill. The food industry recognized the positive benefits the DRIVE-Safe Act would have on the transportation of food to stores and restaurants all over the country. This will ideally yield shorter delivery wait times, a reduction in the cost of fresh food, and more affordable meals at your favorite restaurants. Think more drivers, more food service workers, and more money in your pocket!

If you would like more information on how to get started in an industry that’s increasing in demand and obtain your own CDL, call us today for information! 1-800-551-8900

Cost Effective Ways to Get Your CDL

 

Earning your CDL can open doors to amazing employment opportunities in a booming industry. However, when people hear that CDL training courses can cost $3,000, $7000 or even $10,000, they immediately know that it’s out of their price range. The good news is that you have options for affordable CDL training! At Diesel Driving Academy, we offer several different programs that can make earning your CDL as low-cost as possible. 

Financial Assistance for Tuition

For qualifying students, we offer financial aid programs that allow students to get their CDL at minimal cost to them. No matter what plan you qualify for, the financial team here at DDA will help you maximize your benefits and ensure that you are making the most of whatever aid you qualify to use.

Assistance for Veterans

In addition to standard financial aid, there are programs for active duty military and veterans looking for CDL training. We also work with government and grant-funded payments to help our military members and veterans start their civilian careers. Some of the programs that we are proud to be part of include:

  • GI Bill® programs – Post 9/11 and Montgomery Bill
  • Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • Special Vocational Training (SVT)
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

Trucking Carrier Tuition Reimbursement

For students who have paid their tuition out-of-pocket, many of the larger carriers will provide a monthly “reimbursement” to drivers who work with their company. These contracts typically require the driver to commit to working for that carrier for up to one (1) year in exchange for monthly payments above and beyond their additional salary. Payments range from $100 to $400 per month depending on the carrier and the amount of money that the driver paid out of pocket to get their CDL.

The price of going through CDL training shouldn’t be a cause for panic. For many students, financial assistance makes getting a CDL license more affordable. To learn more about payment options, or assistance plans you can use for your CDL training, call us today! Let’s see how getting your CDL affordable can lead to a successful future in the field of trucking! 1-800-551-8900

CDL A vs. CDL B: What’s the Difference?

 

When you decide that you are going back to school for your CDL, it can be confusing which Class of CDL you should get. The most common types of CDLs are Class A & B, which both allow you to perform different jobs and drive different types of vehicles. Depending on the kind of work you want to do, you will need to choose the type of CDL you get accordingly.

In this post, we will discuss the main differences between a CDL A vs CDL B, along with what each does and does not allow you to drive when you get into the truck driving industry.

Class A CDL

A Class A CDL will allow you to operate a combination of different vehicles. For example, you can haul a semi-tractor and a trailer. You can drive a vehicle with a gross weight of more than 26,001 pounds and drag a trailer that weighs at least 10,000 pounds or more. It is worth noting that if you wish to do jobs that require things such as handling hazardous material, you will need to obtain additional endorsements on your CDL to do so. The exact laws and requirements regarding endorsements vary by state, but you required to comply with the endorsement requirements outlined in your state.

After you have a Class A CDL, you can drive a variety of vehicles including:

  • A tractor-trailer (18-wheeler)
  • Tractor trailer buses
  • Tankers
  • Flatbeds
  • Most vehicles that you can operate with a Class B or C CDL

Class B CDL

If you were to receive a Class B CDL, you could only drive a single vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds without a trailer attached. If you wish to drive a trailer, it is the only piece you will be able to haul at that time. Again, it is worth noting that if you wish to drive a vehicle hauling hazardous material, you will need to obtain additional endorsements on your CDL to do so. In addition, some Class B vehicles (such as School Bus or Commercial Bus) require specific endorsements. The requirements and laws will vary by state, but you will be required to comply with the requirements outlined in your state.

After you have your Class B CDL you can drive the following vehicles:

  • Straight trucks
  • Buses (i.e., tour buses, city buses, etc.)
  • Segmented buses
  • Box trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Some Class C vehicles (if you have appropriate endorsements)

CDL A vs CDL B: The Advantages of Choosing Class A CDL

Earning your Class A CDL gives you a lot more options than the Class B CDL. The more options you have, the better chances you have of getting employment in the truck driving industry.

However, there are other advantages to a Class A CDL that many people may not always see, including the following:

  • Jobs requiring a Class A CDL have much higher earning potentials.
  • Most carriers will prefer drivers with CDL A, especially since most carriers have drivers hauling heavier loads.
  • It allows the driver to operate more commercial vehicles.
  • You can drive the same vehicles on a Class A CDL as you could with a Class B or C CDL along with a whole other host of additional vehicles as well.
  • It allows you to drive further distances, log more miles, and get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking (the highest paid trucking jobs of all).

Having said all of this, the Class A CDL is your best bet if you plan on working for a carrier long-term and making a career out of truck driving. If you end up operating a vehicle that can also get operated under a Class B or C CDL, in most cases you will still be covered to drive those with a Class A CDL (possibly an additional endorsement needed for specific vehicles).

Get Your Class A CDL at DDA

You can start your Class A CDL training at DDA, and we will help you get started on your way to a new career that gives you more options than any other class of CDL available. We offer both Basic & Advanced training to meet your specific needs. No experience required for either program and you can complete either course in anywhere from 4 to 30 weeks, with day or night class options.

For further information on enrolling to at the DDA to get your Class A CDL, call today! 1-800-551-8900

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.

Travel

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.

Money

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.

Security

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

Companies that Hire our Drivers