Carolina Trucking Academy is a Raleigh truck driving school offering training for North Carolinians who want to enter a career in trucking. The school offers two programs – full-time and weekends – to help you reach your goal of entering a trucking career.
How To Become a Truck Driver In North Carolina
If a career in trucking sounds like the right choice for you, there are several steps you will need to take to become a trucker in North Carolina.
To operate a commercial vehicle, you will need to obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In order to obtain a CDL in North Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age or 21 years of age for interstate operations and hazardous materials endorsement.
- Hold a valid Class A, B or C driver’s license.
- Be accompanied by someone who holds a CDL of the same class or higher while you have a CDL permit.
There are also certain physical requirements that you’ll need to meet:
- Vision of 20/40 – glasses or contacts are allowed.
- Must be able to distinguish colors.
- Blood pressure cannot be higher than 160/100 (medication may be used to meet this requirement).
- If you have diabetes, your condition must be controlled through medication and diet. Insulin injections are not permitted.
- Blood sugar cannot be higher than 200.
- A stress test may be required if you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
If you meet these requirements, you will then need to pass two tests to obtain your CDL:
- Knowledge Test: The knowledge exam consists of 25 questions. You must obtain a score of 80% or higher to pass.
- Road Skills Test: Once you have passed the knowledge test, you must pass the road skills test. There are three parts to the test:
- Pre-trip inspection: Includes a complete walk-around of the vehicle. You must be able to explain each component that’s being checked and why it’s being checked.
- Basic vehicle control: Includes straight line backing, alley dock backing, and offset left or right backing.
- Road test: You must be able to demonstrate your road skills in real-life traffic situations.
How Much Does Carolina Trucking Academy Cost?
According to data from Indeed.com, the Carolina Trucking Academy costs between $2,500 and $5,000. The median cost is $4,500.
Data from Indeed shows that:
- CDL A training costs $5,000 on average
- CDL B training costs $4,000 on average
Many students receive scholarships and/or grants to help pay for their training.
Full-Time and Weekend CDL Classes
Carolina Trucking Academy offers two ways to train for your CDL: full-time and weekends only. Students can choose the option that works best for them, their schedule and their lifestyle.
Full-Time Class Schedule
Full-time classes at Carolina Trucking Academy run from 7 am through 6 pm and span over four weeks.
Week 1 – Classroom CDL Training
During the first week, you will go through orientation, take the DOT physical and take a drug test. You will also learn about:
- Log books
- Brake systems
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Trip planning
- Highway safety
- CDL permit
Week 2 – Skills
Hands-on training begins during the second week. You’ll learn some fundamental skills during this week, including:
- 100-foot straight-line backing
- 90-degree backing
- Straight-line offset backing
- Coupling and uncoupling
- Lock to dock simulation
- Sliding tandems
You’ll also learn how to perform pre-trip inspections.
Week 3-4 – Over the Road Skills
During the final two weeks, you’ll hit the road and get acquainted with driving a tractor-trailer. These weeks will cover:
- Interstate driving
- Two lane roads
- Night driving
- City driving
- Fueling the vehicle
- Four lane roads
- Double clutching
Weekend CDL Class Schedule
For students who are pressed for time, the academy offers a weekend program. Classes are on Saturdays only from 7 am through 6 pm. The entire program lasts 16 weekends.
Here’s how the program works:
- Weekends 1-4: Classroom CDL training
- Weekends 5-8: Skills
- Weekends 9-12: Over the road skills
- Weekends 13-16: Over the road skills
Training may take longer for the weekend program, but you have the flexibility to work during the week or attend to other commitments while working towards your new career.
As for job placement, Carolina Trucking Academy is committed to ensuring that students have a job secured the day they complete their training. The school uses a qualification process to match CDL students to a company that best matches their requirements. Some of their partners include:
- Prime Inc.
- Long Beverage
- McElroy Truck Lines, Inc.
- Core Mark
- Coca Cola
- Waste Management
- U.S. Xpress
The school does not guarantee job placement, but they do their best to ensure students are employed by the time their training is complete.
Carolina Trucking Academy FAQs
If you’re considering enrolling in Carolina Trucking Academy, you may have some questions about training and how the program works.
Do You Need a Learners Permit Before Enrolling?
No. Carolina Trucking Academy will help you prepare for and obtain your learner’s permit during the first phase of training. They also take care of the DOT physical and drug test during the first phase, and those costs are included in your tuition.
Can You Attend Weekend and Weekday Classes?
Yes, you can create a customized schedule that includes both weekday and weekend classes to meet your lifestyle needs.
When is Payment Due for Training?
Tuition is due at the time of your enrollment. If necessary, the school will accept half of the tuition at the time of enrollment and then the other half midway through your training.
Is the School Certified?
Yes, the school is a licensed training provider. They are also a third-party tester that’s certified by the North Carolina DMV.