Two years after opening a truck driver training program in Ashland, Lake Cumberland CDL Training School, Inc. continues to experience a high demand for drivers.
Through a partnership with Ashland Community and Technical College, Lake Cumberland School offers CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) Class A training at ACTC’s Roberts Drive Campus.
“In 2013, our CDL program in Ashland graduated 30 CDL drivers from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, and all are working in the industry,” said Cindi Alexander, Lake Cumberland Director.
“We are very proud to be in partnership with ACTC,” said Alexander. “The demand for drivers remains high because many of the truckers now on the road are retiring. We have new transportation companies, both local and OTR, calling us every week to find student drivers straight out of school.”
The Lake Cumberland CDL Class A program is designed for those with little or no truck driving experience. According to federal standards, Class A is a vehicle of 26,001 or more pounds which can include a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 pounds – most often a semi -truck and trailer.
The program is four weeks long. Classes meet four days a week, Monday through Thursday, ten hours a day. The 160 hour program includes 48 hours in the classroom and the rest in hands-on training and driving practice.
The first week is spent in the classroom preparing for the CDL permit. On Fridays, students test for their CDL permit. Once they obtain a permit, students spend the three weeks on the training range and on the road where they learn pre-trip inspections, backing procedures and both rural and city driving skills. When training is completed, the school scheduled testing by the KY State Police.
“While the students are in school, they can fill out applications with any and all of the twenty-three companies we work with,” said Alexander. These companies have included Werner, Trans AM, Red Star, TMC, Roehl, Boyd Brothers, Maverick, Swift, NDL, Con-Way, CR England, US Express and Schneider, PTL, Melton, HOW, CRST, Drive This Truck.Net, Covenant, Baylr, Averitt and Super Service.
“We fax the applications, and students will know within 24 to 28 hours if they have been pre-hired. Once they obtain their CDL license, they are work ready.”
“Because we work with so many companies, we can almost always place the students, providing they have no DUI’s in the past 3 years and no felonies within the last 5 years,” she said. “Those limitations do not necessarily keep people from getting their CDL’s, but we just can’t place them with a major company.”
“We also have refresher courses for people who currently hold a Class A CDL but who have been out of the truck for a minimum of six months,” Alexander said. “The course can be 10 hours, 40 hours or 80 hours of training, depending on different companies and on how long the person has been out of the truck.
CDL Training Schedule and Cost
Classes in Ashland are offered on an on-going basis. Those who want to enroll must pass a DOT physical and DOT drug test. The $4,000 cost for the Class A includes permit, license, DOT physical and drug test.
“Statewide, about 98 percent of those who start at Lake Cumberland will finish the training and earn their license,” Alexander said. And so far in the Ashland area, all who earned their license got trucking jobs.
“Over-the-road drivers make on average between $35,000 and 40,000 a year in their first year plus benefits like health insurance and retirement plans,” said Alexander. These jobs can be attractive to people who are starting out in the workforce or who are looking for work with a better wage.
Lake Cumberland CDL is an approved provider for the Veteran’s Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation and the Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee Workforce Investment Agencies.
To enroll or for more information, call 877-308-9638 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The truck driving facility at 4818 Roberts Drive is located at the junction of Bob McCullough Drive (KY 766) and Roberts Drive.