Truck Driver Training Program Expands

One year after opening a truck driver training program in Ashland, Lake Cumberland CDL Training School, Inc. is experiencing a growing demand for drivers and is expanding the training options offered to area residents.

Last November, the Lake Cumberland School partnered with Ashland Community and Technical College to offer CDL (Commercial Drivers License) Class A training at ACTCs Roberts Drive Campus.

Our CDL Class A program in Ashland has graduated ten 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 is high right now, as many truckers who have been 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.

Because of that demand, we have added CDL Class B classes and refresher courses of 10 hours, 40 hours and 80 hours in length, Alexander said. Another program we've added is Yard/Safety Shuttle Training for businesses.

Courses Offered

The Lake Cumberland Class A and Class B programs are designed for those with little or no truck driving experience.

The Class A training program is four weeks long. Classes meet 10 hours a day, four days a week, Monday through Thursday.

The first week is spent in the classroom preparing for the CDL permit. Once they obtain a permit, students spend 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.

Class B training is a two week program that meets five days a week for ten hours a day. Students spend three days in the classroom studying for their permit. Once they obtain their permit, students learn the pre-trip, range and road skills.

When Class A or B training is completed, the school will schedule 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.

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 DUIs 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 CDLs, but we just cant place them with a major company.

The refresher courses are designed for people who currently hold a Class A CDL but who have been out of the truck for a minimum of six months. The number of hours required, whether 10, 40 or 80, depends on different companies and on how long the person has been out of the truck.
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 $3,890 cost for the Class includes permit, license, DOT physical and drug test. The Class B course is $2,500 and the cost of the refresher courses varies from $500 to $ 3150.

We have recently started training for a major company that will pay the students tuition through the school, provided they qualify and if the student will drive for them for a year, said Alexander. There are also programs such as vocational rehab and workforce development that will help with tuition for certain students.

Over-the-road drivers make on average between $30,000 and 36,000 a year in their first year plus there are 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.

To enroll in Lake Cumberland CDL or for more information, call 877-308-9638. The truck driving facility at 4818 Roberts Drive is located at the junction of Bob McCullough Drive (KY 766) and Roberts Drive.