Has Anyone Heard of 160 Driving Academy?

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by aloeblacc, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. aloeblacc

    aloeblacc Bobtail Member

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    I want to get into trucking. I'm single, young, love driving to random places far away, and I dont mind being away from home too much. I live in central illinois, and one of the schools I'm looking at is 160 driving academy. I know nothing about this academy besides what they've put on their website/facebook, which is obviously only going to tout their merits. Anyone know if this would be a good choice, or should I go to the local community college or train with a trucking company instead. 160 driving academy advertised a $300 cost for the training, which includes 160 hours of training with 40 behind the wheel.


    Also, thank you very much in advance!
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Sounds very cheap, too cheap. Ask which companies recruit from the school, then call those companies and ask if the recognize and hire from that school.
     
  4. aloeblacc

    aloeblacc Bobtail Member

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    That's what I thought, and the low cost made me think something was fishy. Thanks a lot! I'll definitely ask. And if this isnt an "accredited" school, will that hurt my chances of landing a job with any "better" companies later down the road? I'm not sure how important where I train for my CDL is, or if it doesnt really matter once I get my CDL and get some miles under my belt
     
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  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    There are always some companies that will hire, just may not be the most desirable. Once you get 3-6 months experience, then you can move on to something better. If you have about $150.00 in your pocket for expenses, Prime may hire you and give you CDL training, & it's free if you stick with them a year. They will even send a bus ticket to you to get to the school. Can apply online for their tanker, flatbed, refrigerated divisions. Central Refrigerated is good also, but is only refrigerated.
     
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  6. Aimstraight

    Aimstraight Light Load Member

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    Be careful! I just finished researching trucking schools in my own neck of the woods and I'm very happy I did my homework before I enrolled.

    $300 sounds way too cheap. Are you sure it isn't $3,000? (maybe a typo or misprint or something?).

    Anyway, my suggestion on some questions to ask and some things to look for. Is the school PTDI certified? Specifically what equipment will you train on? (I found some schools that only train you in day cabs or on 6 spd transmissions or only with pup trailers).

    Ask what companies recruit graduates from that school? Then call those companies and confirm it. (As China already suggested.) Even better, if you know where you want to work call that company and ask if they hire recent grads from the school. (In fact, call as many companies as you can and ask that question lol)

    Ask how much time you will get behind the wheel and where the on road practice takes place. Sometimes 40 hours 'behind the wheel' means you may be in the truck but a lot of that time is 'observing' while another student drives. Another thing I found is the actual driving is going around the block over and over again in the same low traffic areas.

    I can only speak for the schools I personally checked out, they all offered 160 hour courses, they all cost around 3 grand and all of them were in the business of training you to pass your CDL test. None of them trained on equipment similar to what I'd actually be driving on the job. If I had a community college nearby that offered a professional driver course I would have gone that route. As it stands I went the company sponsored training route. That isn't perfect either, but it was a better solution for me.

    Good luck!
     
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  7. Njnoob

    Njnoob Light Load Member

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    Yeah, sounds like someone left off a zero. $3000 is about average, I would say.
     
  8. j61554

    j61554 Bobtail Member

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    Has 2 friends that went to 160 Driving Academy and loved it... 300 down is a financing program through DOW Financial. The tuition is 3795.00 but you only have to come up with 300 then DOW Financial finances the rest for you. My friends got their CDL in 4 weeks and started orientation the following Monday after they got their CDL. 160 Driving Academy is Liscensed by the State of Illinois and they have 30 companys that will higher thier students as soon as they get their CDL"S
     
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  9. aloeblacc

    aloeblacc Bobtail Member

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    Thanks a lot! I recently visited 160 and I was gonna post an update on what I learned, but you said it perfectly!

    I filled out two applications, one for Boyd Brothers, and another For Paschall Truck Lines. 14 Minutes after I left my meeting with Tammy at 160, I got a call from a recruiter for Paschall (Barbara if I remember correctly..I know it started with a B haha) and we spoke for a bit and she told me I was Pre-hired for them. And Yesterday, I got a call from Tammy at 160, and she told me that Boyd brothers has an age requirement of 23, and I'm currently 22, but I turn 23 in the middle of next month, which would be the middle of my training, so she said she would re-send my application to Boyd after my birthday... and she said that during the training, recruiters from other companies would come in and talk about what they have to offer as well.

    If I remember on monday morning, I'll call 160 and see if I can get a list of what companies recruit from them and I can post it here in case anyone down the road wants to know about it.



    Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it!
     
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  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Boyd Bros. is a good company.
    If you can be hired by a flatbed or tanker company you will make much more money annually; the reason being, you won't be sitting in truckstops waiting for your dispatcher to find a load for you. Flatbed & tanker keep the wheels rolling.
     
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