In 1969, Tri-State Driving School in Middletown, OH, first opened its doors to students who wanted to learn to drive “big rigs”. Fifty years and thousands of students later, the program is still operating, but Ohio Business College – Truck Driving Academy is at the helm. Plans are underway to commemorate the anniversary sometime this summer.
“We’ve been in this business 50 years training truck drivers,” says Melissa Warner, OBC Campus Director. “Our faculty has close to 100 years of combined experience teaching.” Ohio Business College’s Truck Driving Academy offers a four-week certificate program and a 10-week weekend program. One of the advantages of training at OBC is that it has a third-party CDL test site on the premises, which is convenient for students who have graduated from the program.
The Class A CDL program is 160 hours of classroom instruction, range (off-road training) and road training. All instructors at the academy are licensed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety to train students in all phases of the program.
Students enrolled in the Truck Driving Academy learn the essential skills needed to safely and professionally operate a semi-tractor trailer. They also learn how to perform necessary inspections that are required before they get behind the wheel. Classes are small, so access to the instructors is easy. In addition, with the flexible schedule options (full-time day or weekend classes), students can manage their other obligations and responsibilities while gaining valuable career training.
Graduates of the OBC program who earn their CDL license are permitted by law to operate any commercial motor vehicle with the proper endorsements. Regardless of the type of vehicle, licensed CDL drivers are in demand.
“People are ‘hot commodities’ because of a driver shortage,” Warner says. According to a 2015 analysis by the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry will need to hire 890,000 people during the next decade to keep up with industry growth and many drivers reaching retirement age. Occupational Information Network (O*NET) translates that into growth of from five to nine percent through 2026. “Most of our students are looking for a new career,” she says. “Manufacturing jobs are going away, and with the CDL program they can finish in four weeks.”
Life as a CDL driver is not the same as it was in the past. “Years ago, it was known you’d be over the road,” Warner says. “It has evolved. People wanted more choices to fit their lifestyles and family needs.” Now, long-haul driving is optional. “Carriers now offer drivers options: over-the road, regional, or local routes,” she says.
A career as a Class A CDL-licensed driver can be lucrative. “Drivers can expect an average of $45,000 or more to start,” Warner says. Ohio Business College can also help you get started through job placement assistance. The Truck Driving Academy regularly hosts recruiters from carriers across Ohio and the United States.
Are you ready to shift your life into high gear? Contact Ohio Business College — Truck Driving Academy today and begin your career as a CDL truck driver. New classes begin every other Monday.