Refrigeratedtransporter 781 Dtstruck06

Driver Training Schools

May 26, 2006
2008 CDL Training Schools Directory Download the latest report in PDF format.Refrigerated Transporter’s 2008 CDL Driver Training Schools Directory THE ENTIRE trucking industry has been experiencing a national shortage of truck drivers, with the ...

2008 CDL Training
Schools Directory

Download the latest report in PDF format.
Refrigerated Transporter’s 2008 CDL Driver Training Schools Directory

THE ENTIRE trucking industry has been experiencing a national shortage of truck drivers, with the long-haul segment being the most severely impacted. In many instances, this has become a limiting factor in the operations of numerous companies. Projections are that the shortage of truck drivers will continue for some time.
The refrigerated transportation industry has managed to attract truck drivers. Companies have recognized that with a tight job market for drivers, it is more essential to address non-monetary aspects of the job as well.
Along with offering competitive wages in an effort to attract drivers, companies are addressing factors affecting driver job satisfaction. This includes dealing with working conditions, job adaptability, and opportunities for advancement. Companies are also working to give drivers predictable schedules, as well as are trying to be more flexible in scheduling to accommodate drivers’ personal and family obligations.
Among other challenges is the shifting of workers into truck driving from other occupations and the increases in the number of women and minorities who choose to become truck drivers. These individuals need to be trained.
Formal driving schools have become the primary source for entry-level commercial vehicle drivers. There are a plethora of truck driver training programs across the nation. These include private schools, public institutions such as local community colleges, vocational-technical schools, state colleges, and motor carriers.
Training courses vary, as do the costs for the training. Course length, number of students in a class, subjects taught, and hours in the classroom and behind the wheel differ as well. So do training facilities, the trucks and equipment used for training, admissions policies, instructor qualifications, and so forth.
Some schools have onsite CDL (Commercial Driver License) testing. Some offer job placement.

License classifications
It should be noted that taking a truck driver training course is no guarantee for a student receiving a CDL, which comes in three license classifications:
· Class A - Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
· Class B - Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
· Class C - Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed and issued standards for testing and licensing commercial motor vehicle drivers. Among other things, these standards require states to issue CDLs only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests administered by the state, related to the type of vehicle to be operated.

Training standards
Further complicating the choice of a quality truck driver training school is that there are no mandatory national truck driver training standards. However, that may change.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed mandatory training requirements for entry-level CDL drivers in interstate operations. Individuals seeking a new CDL would be required to complete both classroom and behind-the-wheel training from an accredited educational program or institution.
Beginning three years after the effective date of a final rule, all applicants for a CDL, or upgraded CDL, would be required to provide a valid certificate from a truck driving program or institution accredited by the US Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education.
The rule would not affect current CDL holders.
For a Class A CDL, the proposed rule would require a minimum of 76 hours of classroom instruction and 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training. For Class B and Class C CDLs, the requirement would be a minimum of 58 hours of classroom instruction and 32 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
The training curriculum includes CDL safety regulations, vehicle operation, and safe operating practices.

School recognition
One indicator of a good truck driver training school is certification from industry associations. Certification is a formal process of assuring a school is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills standards. Certification programs are often fostered or supervised by some certifying agency, such as a professional association.
Another gauge of a good school is an affiliation with some type of sanctioning body or an accreditation by a recognized reliable organization. Accreditation is meant to help ensure that education provided by educational institutions meets acceptable levels of quality.
Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then “accredited” by that agency.
The US Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. It does, however, publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that it determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by educational institutions.
The following are some organizations to be aware of:
· Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). Founded in 1986, it is the first non-profit organization to develop uniform skill performance, curriculum, and certification standards for the trucking industry, and to award course certification to entry-level truck driver training courses and motor carrier driver-finishing programs. Its goals are to advance truck driver training, proficiency, and professionalism, and to put quality drivers on the roads.
To learn more visit
· Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Founded in 1967, it is a private, non-profit independent accrediting agency dedicated to encouraging higher quality education for various educational institutes. It is recognized by the US Department of Education as being an organization that has the highest standards when determining if an educational institute meets certain standards.
To learn more visit
· National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools (NAPFTDS). Founded in 1990, this organization promotes public education for the transportation industry. It is committed to providing training programs that earn and maintain public confidence, adhering to sound and ethical business practices.
NAPFTDS has developed a Code of Ethics for basic fair and ethical principles and practices to which member schools are to adhere in the conduct of their training.
To learn more visit
· Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA). Founded in 1993, it is a national trade association representing the proprietary truck driving schools in the US and Canada. As a condition of membership, members must agree to abide by the CVTA Code of Conduct, designed to ensure that students enrolled in member schools are provided with the highest quality driver training.
To learn more visit
The key to finding a good truck driver training school is research. To help with an evaluation, here are some essential questions to ask a school:
· Is it certified and/or accredited? If so, by whom?
· What are the admission requirements?
· What type of CDL classification (Class A, B, C) training is offered?
· What is the length of the training course?
· How many hours of classroom training does a student receive?
· How many hours of behind-the-wheel training does a student receive?
· What is the student-to-teacher ratio? (Smaller classes enable instructors to provide personalized attention.)
· What are the qualifications and credentials of the instructors?
· Is CDL testing part of the curriculum?
· Does it issue a certificate or diploma upon successful completion of the training?
· How effective is its training? (Success-failure rate of students, placement rate, etc.)
· Ask for a list of recent graduates and ask them for input about the school and its training program.
· What is the cost of the training?
· Is it an active member of industry associations? Which ones?
It is very important to investigate before employing graduates from truck driver training schools or making an arrangement to work with a school. The “best” schools tend to produce the “best” students. Drivers who are well trained have a propensity to be safer drivers.
To help carriers and distributors in their consideration of truck driver training schools, Refrigerated Transporter offers this directory.
This directory has been compiled entirely from various public sources of data. Consequently, Refrigerated Transporter cannot guarantee that the information contained herein is accurate or complete. It is recommended that this resource be used as one source of information.

Download the latest report in PDF format.
Refrigerated Transporter’s 2008 CDL Driver Training Schools Directory

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