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Free Truck Driving Schools & Company-Sponsored Training Reviews

What Is Company-Sponsored Training?

There are trucking companies that offer CDL training through their very own truck driving schools. These are known as company-sponsored training programs, and each of them is structured differently.

Are any of these free truck driving schools? Some of them, yes. Others will require you to pay back the tuition costs once your training is complete and you're on the road running solo.

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More About Company-Sponsored Training

Upon completion of your company-sponsored CDL training you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time. This is how they recoup the time and money they've invested into your CDL training, which in my opinion is a very fair deal for both sides.

Generally speaking, if you decide to quit working for the company before your obligation is complete, you will owe the company a prorated amount of money for the schooling. At some companies your training will be free once your obligation is complete, and others will require you to make payments out of your paycheck to cover the tuition for the schooling.

Let's get started learning about the companies that offer CDL training!

Company Sponsored Training Programs

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver. Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

  • Family owned-and operated company since 1980.
  • Friendly pet and rider policy.
  • Stable and steady freight through Prime partnership.
  • New late-model equipment.
  • Bulk of training is "hands-on".
  • Small class sizes
  • Various route options for new drivers.

3769 E Evergreen Street
Springfield, MO. 65803

The Jim Palmer Trucking mission is as consistent today as it was when the company was originally founded, almost 50 years ago. Jim Palmer Trucking has become an established trucking company that continues to deliver safe and dependable transportation services to customers.

  • Jim Palmer Trucking is located in Missoula, nestled in the beautiful mountains of Montana
  • Family run and oriented company, regular and frequent hometime.
  • Jim Palmer Trucking offers a $10,000 longevity bonus to drivers who are safe, dependable and remain with the company for 5 years.
  • Open pet and rider Program.
  • Receive real-world experience driving over-the-road while obtaining your CDL.
  • Jim Palmer Trucking is approved through the United States Department of Labor as a registered sponsor for the Military Apprenticeship Program.
  • If you have obtained your CDL from an outside school, you will be evaluated and may be able to go straight into Onboarding class, and then head out with a trainer for a total of 40,000 miles.

Jim Palmer Trucking
9730 Derby Dr.
Missoula, MT 59801
Ph: 800-548-3110

TMC Transportation began in Des Moines, IA in 1972 with only 6 trucks. Today, TMC Transportation is the largest and most successful privately held flatbed trucking company in the United States, operating throughout North America. In addition to accepting experienced truck drivers, TMC Transportation hires inexperienced drivers who recently graduated from an approved truck driving school. TMC is still led by its founder, and is employee-owned, through shares gifted to the employees.

  • Well-established 40-year old company.
  • TMC is employee-owned through their Employee Stock Ownership Program
  • New, custom equipment, with free weekly truck washes.
  • Most drivers home every weekend.
  • Higher starting pay.
  • All meals covered during CDL school.
  • 2 students per truck on practice range.

TMC Transportation
6115 SW Leland Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50321
800-247-2862, Ext 3

PAM Transport began operation in 1980 and specializes in hauling "just in time" freight for the automotive industry and also frequently hauls air conditioner units, cosmetics, and paper.

  • Founded in 1980.
  • While PAM operates in all of the lower 48 states, the majority of their freight is in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and the Eastern half of the United States.
  • PAM has grown to more than 1,800 trucks becoming one of the largest dry-van carriers in the country.
  • Specializes in hauling "just in time" freight for the automotive industry and also frequently hauls air conditioner units, cosmetics, and paper.
  • Teaming up with Driver Solutions, they will finance 100% of the schooling and pay for the majority of the tuition cost over the course of 1 year.

PAM Transport Headquarters:
297 West Henri de Tonti Blvd
Tontitown, AR
Ph: 800-879-7261

Swift Transportation is one of North America's largest trucking companies. They offer truck driver training with very little money up front and in only 21 days you will have your CDL.

  • Swift Transportation began operations in 1966 by transporting imported steel through the ports of Los Angeles to Arizona with one truck
  • Swift has 32 terminals in 27 states
  • Swift generates over $2.5 billion in revenue and operates over 16,000 trucks
  • Direct quote: "Swift is unquestionably the largest truckload motor carrier in the world."
  • Have won many "Carrier of the Year" awards from such companies as:
    • Wal-Mart
    • Quaker Oats
    • Ryder Logistics
    • FedEx
    • Target
    • Dollar Tree
    • Lowe's
    • Rite Aid

Swift Headquarters:
2200 S. 75th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ

Founded in 1985 and employing over 4,000 associates worldwide, Celadon Group Inc. (NYSE: CGI) is one of the largest and most progressive transportation and logistics companies in North America with revenue exceeding $600 million. Through its subsidiaries, Celadon provides long-haul and regional full-truckload freight service across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

  • Founded in 1985 and employing over 4,000 associates worldwide, Celadon Group Inc. (NYSE: CGI) is one of the largest and most progressive transportation and logistics companies in North America.
  • With approximately 110,000 annual border crossings, the company is believed to be the largest provider of international truckload movements in North America.
  • Celadon maintains one of the youngest fleets in the transportation industry with an average tractor age below 2 years, compared with the industry average of 7 years.
  • Celadon has been recognized with the 1st Place -- National Fleet Safety Award, the industry’s most prestigious safety award, three times.
  • Transportation to the school, meals, and housing are provided to their students at all locations.
  • Guaranteed job placement
  • No upfront costs to worry about, food, housing and transportation included.

9503 East 33rd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46235
Ph: 800-235-2366

Prime is one of North America's most successful carriers with a variety of opportunities including refrigerated, flatbeds, and tankers.

  • Robert E. Low started Prime in Urbana, Missouri in 1970 with one dump truck
  • One of the largest trucking companies in North America with over 4,000 trucks and 6,000 trailers
  • They have refrigerated, flatbed, and dry van divisions with regional or OTR options for most
  • 40,000-square foot "Millennium" complex. The Complex includes a fitness center, convenience store, gift shop, movie theater, child care center, styling salon, and an expanded cafeteria
  • There is no cost for the training if you stay for a full year
  • Operates in all 48 Continental States and Canada
  • Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri

Prime Headquarters:
2740 N. Mayfair
Springfield, MO

Roehl Transport was established in 1962 with a single truck and now operates over 1,900 tractors and 4,600 trailers including dry-van, reefer, flatbed, curtainside, and step-deck.

  • Roehl is family-owned and was started in 1962 with a single truck
  • The company now operates more than 1,900 tractors and 4,600 trailers
  • Very diverse trucking company specializing in dry-van, reefer, flatbed, curtainside, and step-deck transportation
  • Roehl has a mixture of freight including local, dedicated, regional, OTR, LTL, and TL operations
  • Received awards for service and safety including various "Carrier of the Year" awards and Top Truckload Carrier awards from multiple organizations including the American Trucking Association
  • Roehl has a tremendous variety of different home time opportunities

Roehl Headquarters:
1916 E. 29th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449
Ph: 800-826-8367

Knight Transportation was established in 1988 and now operates over 3,600 tractors and 8,500 trailers including dry-van, reefer, and container trailers. The company operates 100% debt free.

  • Knight runs its own CDL school through a sister company called Squire Transportation
  • Unique hometime opportunities are available such as 7 on / 7 off schedules
  • Abundant regional and dedicated driving opportunities available
  • No team driving. All training is done with one-on-one instruction in a solo dispatched truck
  • When accepted to the Squire CDL Training Program, you are a paid employee earning $300 / week during CDL school
  • On average, trucks are no more than 2 years old.

Knight Transportation Headquarters:
5601 W Buckeye Rd
Phoenix, AZ

Founded in 1983, Carter Express has been delivering world-class customer service. Our objective is to supply transportation services to our customers in an efficient, economical, and timely manner- and to accomplish this while being a great place to work.

  • Carter Express currently has a sponsored training program at several truck driving schools that is paid 100% with no out-of-pocket expense to the applicant.
  • Founded in 1983, Carter Express employs over 800 people supporting Truckload Service in the Continental United States & Eastern Canada.
  • They have one of the lowest accident ratios in the nation, and for the past three consecutive years (2008-2010), the Truckload Carrier Association has ranked us first in the nation for safety.
  • One of the youngest fleets in the country.
  • Excellent home time opportunities.

Carter Express
4020 West 73rd Street
Anderson, IN 46011
Ph: 800-738-7705

USA Truck is a dry freight trucking company headquartered in Van Buren, AR. They began in 1989 with just 10 tractors and have expanded to more than 2,500 trucks and 7,200 trailers.

  • Founded in 1989.
  • Started with just 10 tractors and have expanded to more than 2,500 trucks and 7,200 trailers.
  • They are a medium-haul dry van carrier specializing in hauling general commodities such as industrial items, electronics, automotive parts, etc.
  • Most of their drivers remain within 500 miles of their home and within 6 to 12 months, the majority of drivers are placed on some sort of dedicated or regional account.
  • The CDL schooling, handled through a third party called Driver Solutions, appears to be well run with a decent tuition structure which includes financing 100% of the schooling.
  • While USA Truck operates in all of the lower 48 states, the majority of their freight is in the Midwest and east coast.

USA Truck Headquarters:
3200 Industrial Park Road
Van Buren, AR

CRST is a predominantly team-operated dry van company out of Cedar Rapids, IA which boasts a 1,500 mile average length of haul with more than 1,100 company-owned tractors, 2,500 van trailers, 2,000 team drivers, 350 solo drivers, and more than 250 independent contractors.

  • Founded in 1955
  • Predominantly a team-operated dry-van company
  • A non-union and family owned trucking company which has been in business for more than 50 years
  • Classes begin weekly to obtain your CDL class A license
  • One of the shortest company-sponsored obligation periods (only 8 months)
  • Contracts out their training to 30 different CDL schools across the country
  • Guaranteed home time. If they can't get you home using your truck, they'll find another mode of transportation
  • Longest average length of haul in the industry (1,400 - 1,500 miles)
  • 99% no-touch freight, 80% drop and hook, no forced NYC

CRST Headquarters:
3930 16th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406
Ph: 800-553-2778

YRC Freight was created when Yellow Transportation (Founded in 1924) bought and merged with Roadway Express (founded in 1930). Subsidiaries include Reimer, Holland, and New Penn. They are primarily a terminal-to-terminal LTL carrier with numerous safety and achievement awards. They own over 8,400 tractors, and run mostly doubles trailers, and also own over 12,000 48' and 53' vans.

  • With more than 28,000 employees, YRC Freight is the largest operating unit of Overland Park, Kansas–based YRC Worldwide, and one of the largest trucking companies in the United States.
  • YRC boasts a fleet of approximately 8,400 Company-owned tractors and 34,500 trailers. They also have 12,000 48’ and 53’ vans, and more than 20,400 28’ trailers
  • YRC Freight was named one of the Top 100 military-friendly employers for 2015.
  • YRC Freight also works in partnership with Women in Trucking (WIT), an organization that promotes women’s employment in our industry.
  • 1st year top pay between $65,000 to $70,000.
  • Completely free CDL school, for qualified drivers living in the Chicago metro area.
  • They also offer Driver Development Program, with CDL training for dock employees.
  • Free health care insurance.
  • Excellent home time.

YRC Freight
3500 Booth Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64129

XPO no longer offers company-sponsored CDL training. The truckload division (formerly Con-Way), was sold off and is now (again) CFI.

XPO Logistics, Inc., incorporated on May 8, 2000, is a provider of transportation logistics services and a provider of engineered, technology-enabled contract logistics in North America. XPO recently acquired and assimilated Con-Way Freight, giving it actual ownership of an asset-based transportation segment.

  • XPO Logistics, Inc., incorporated on May 8, 2000, is a provider of transportation logistics services and a provider of engineered, technology-enabled contract logistics in North America.
  • XPO recently acquired and assimilated Con-Way Freight, giving it actual ownership of an asset-based transportation company.
  • Priority hiring status to service members and ex-military, XPO operates it's own apprenticeship program.
  • With a 12-month commitment to drive for XPO, qualified students can now receive fully paid tuition to attend driving school in Missouri, including room and board.
  • Average annual income for solo drivers is $50,617 and for team drivers is $111,410 (per team).
  • The average annual income for student drivers is $37,835
  • Uncapped home time, 1 day for every 7 days out.

XPO Logistics, Inc.
Five Greenwich Office Park
Greenwich, CT 06831
Ph: (855) 976-6951

C. R. England is the nation's largest refrigerated trucking company with a long history. They have five trucking schools across the US and offer 3 weeks from the time you begin until you'll have your CDL.

  • Founded in 1920.
  • Family owned and operated for four generations.
  • Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Service provided throughout North America.
  • Five driver schools located nationwide.
  • More than 5,600 drivers and independent-contractors.
  • Over $1.5 billion in revenues in 2013.
  • Over 4,500 late model tractors, and 6,500 trailers in service.

CR England Headquarters:
4701 West 2100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84120
Ph: 800-453-8826

Growing up in the transportation industry and learning the lessons of the trade from his steel-hauling father, Chairman and CEO Steve Williams went into business for himself and formed Maverick Transportation in 1980. Today, almost 2,000 employees back every load we haul. We operate approximately 1,500 units coast-to-coast.

  • Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Maverick was formed in 1980 and is privately held.
  • Boasting one of the nation's largest open equipment fleets, we are proud to be expanding into the temperature control market as we celebrate 36 years of success.
  • Industry leading training, unmatched pay and home time, top of the line equipment, and a home with the best in trucking.
  • Regional, long haul, and dedicated opportunities available within several of our divisions.
  • We are now offering sponsored CDL training with a partner driving school in Arkansas.
  • Full tuition reimbursement available.

Maverick Transportation
13301 Valentine Road
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Ph: 800-289-6600

Millis Transfer began hauling freight after the end of prohibition and has since grown to more than 700 tractors, 2,200 trailers, and an additional 100 owner operators. They are a dry-van carrier with most of their freight originating and terminating in the Eastern half of the United States.

  • Founded after the end of prohibition
  • The majority of their freight is based on regional or dedicated customer contracts
  • Opened the Millis Training Institute in 1989 in Kennesaw, GA to more easily recruit and train drivers
  • In 1994, they opened another training facility in Trenton, OH followed by Richfield, WI 10 years later in 2004
  • Dry-van carrier with most of their freight originating and terminating in the Eastern half of the United States
  • NYC and Long Island loads pay an additional $100 but are never forced dispatched loads
  • They have more than 700 tractors, 2,200 trailers, and an additional 100 owner operators

Millis Headquarters:
121 Gebhardt Rd
Black River Falls, WI 54615
Ph: 800-937-0880

Driver Solutions is a recruiting company that matches drivers with an entry-level truck driving jobs working for a trucking company that will cover the upfront tuition costs of truck driver training.

  • Through the Driver Solutions Network, you can get your truck driver training by attending a company-paid CDL training program and when you graduate with a CDL, you'll go to work for the trucking company that paid for your training
  • Driver Solutions has helped over 20,000 new drivers get into the trucking industry
  • You will not have to worry about completing student loan applications, finding a co-signer, or paying a large tuition down payment
  • There is no credit check, no down payments, and no co-signer loans
  • The Hiring zone is throughout most of the Eastern United States as seen on their hiring zone map
  • There is no fee or obligation to submit the online application

Driver Solutions Headquarters:
3603 E Raymond Street
Indianapolis, IN
Ph: (317) 791-2901

Stevens Driving Academy of Texas has been preparing men and women for life-long careers in trucking since 1992 in locations across the nation. They are fully accredited and licensed by the State of Texas.

  • We train you to the high standards at Stevens Transport
  • We use the most up-to-date audio-visual training methods.
  • You train on top-notch factory-built training vehicles - not old, converted trucks.
  • Get the benefit of training on the exact same equipment you'll be driving when you hit the road.
  • Stevens will finance the cost of your training. All you have to do is remain employable and stay on the road as a Stevens driver for one full year.
  • There are no credit checks, no down payments, no financial requirements.
  • Very little out of pocket expenses. Housing is available to out of town students. We'll finance the total cost of the hotel lodging, plus meal assistance is available.

Stevens Headquarters:
9757 Military Pkwy
Dallas, TX

Central Refrigerated was bought and absorbed by Swift, and is now part of Swift's company-sponsored CDL training program.

Central Refrigerated is one of the largest temperature controlled truckload carriers in the nation with one of the fastest-paced training programs you'll find anywhere.

  • Central Refrigerated was formed in 2002 as a subsidiary of Central Freight Lines
  • In April 2002, Central Refrigerated acquired the operations and assets of Dick Simon Trucking
  • On December 31, 2002 Central Refrigerated Service, Inc. began operating independently of Central Freight
  • Ninety-five percent of their loads are food products
  • Headquartered in a 55 acre, seven building state-of-the-art facility in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • They currently have nearly 1,400 tractors and 1,950 trailers
  • There are no credit checks, no down payments, no financial requirements to attend their driving academy
  • 180 million total company miles driven per year with an average length of haul of 1,100 miles

Central Refrigerated Headquarters:
5175 West 2100 South
West Valley City, UT

MCT has suspended their company-sponsored CDL program, for now.

Midwest Coast Transport (MCT) offers 100% tuition sponsorship at a privately run CDL school in the Sioux Falls, SD area. While you must pay for transportation and lodging, there will be no cost for tuition.

  • Medium size company with 600 power units
  • Originally formed in 1949 with only 4 trucks
  • 100% tuition sponsorship through a local Souix Falls CDL school which is independently owned.
  • Majority of drivers are offered a regional or dedicated position within months after training
  • CDL school lasts 3 to 4 weeks followed by 3 to 4 weeks of company training
  • Liberal rider and pet policies
  • No payroll deductions for tuition and a guaranteed job upon successful CDL school completion
  • Financially backed by the Comcar Industries network of trucking companies

Midwest Coast Transport Headquarters:
1600 E. Benson Rd.
Sioux Falls, SD

Raider Express is a refrigerated truckload carrier specialized in hauling grocery and food products in the contiguous forty eight States. The main base of operations for Raider Express is located in Fort Worth, TX, with a drop yard in Houston, TX. Raider Express operates around 200 company owned tractors and 470 53' refrigerated trailers.

Note: Raider Express only hires drivers from Texas

  • Raider Express is a family owned and operated company.
  • Smaller company, with more individualized attention to driver needs.
  • Some of the best pay packages in the industry.
  • Low turnover rate compared to the rest of the industry.
  • All late-model equipment.
  • Completely free CDL training, with no contract.

Raider Express
2400 Cold Springs
Ft. Worth, TX 76106

FFE Transport has been in business for more than 60 years and is one of the industry leaders in temperature controlled LTL, Truckload, and Dedicated services nationwide.

  • FFE was taken over by the current family owners from humble beginnings in 1948
  • FFE became a publicly traded company in 1971
  • One of the nation's largest refrigerated trucking companies
  • The nation's only refrigerated transportation services company offering truckload, LTL, intermodal, and logistics services locally and internationally.
  • Consists of 1,800 company owned power units and 400 owner operators
  • Once named by Fortune magazine as one of the 200 best companies to work for in the United States
  • If you remain employed with the company for one year after graduating from training, your training is completely free!
FFE Headquarters:
1145 Empire Central Place
Dallas, TX

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