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Preparation & Road Test for CDL Class A

Future class dates:  July 13, 8/10, 9/7, 10/5, 11/2, 11/30 - Go to "Register Here" button below to register for any dates.

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Armored Trucking Academy LLC at Austin Peay State University

ATAYou may call the office and/or email to discuss financial arrangements for this course. The cost is $4,800.00 but you may be eligible for scholarship monies through our funding sources. Jerry Spencer 931-221-1030 (office) or 714-310-4559 (cell - text or call)


Financing Your Training

Instruction Schedule



Detailed breakdown

Academy Trucking Schedule and Student Expectations

Week 1 – During this week the student will be immersed in classroom activities studying the basics of safe operations, defensive driving, anti-lock brake systems, backing, shifting and other classroom materials that prepare the student for their CDL A Permit Test. The student will receive 2 straight days of classrooms and then will follow up with a third day of testing through paper exams and electronic apps which will prepare the student for their permit test that they take Thursday of week 1. After permit testing is complete on Thursday the student spends a whole day on Friday with an instructor going over their pre-trip and in cab inspection that they will be tested on by the examiner.

Week 2 – During this week the student works with our backing instructor. They will learn the basics of how to set and release the brakes, how to go forward and backwards, understanding the clutch and brake. They will also understand which way to turn their wheel to correct the trailer, so they can back in the correct way. Then the student will be trained on their straight line, offset and 90-degree alley dock backing procedures. They will learn how to do each and by the end of the week they will be tested on their backing abilities and will complete their Pre-Trip final. During this week there will be some down time as all students are taking their turn in rotation to learn their backing. It is the expectation that during this downtime the students are studying their pre-trip or observing and learning by watching.

Week 3 – During this week the student has already completed their pre-trip and backing and now it’s time to learn to drive. For this week the student will be in a “bobtail” a truck with no trailer. They will be driven to a designated area and learn how to shift from first gear to tenth gear and back down over and over. After they have learned this process they will repeat the process by utilizing the double clutch method which our instructors will teach. The goal of this week is that by the end of the week they can shift, know when to shift, how to shift without having to look at the gears.

Week 4 – During this week the students have passed their pre-trip, backing and bobtail gear shifting. What they do now is start pulling a trailer for the week. They learn how to make proper left and right turns, as well as, emergency stops, what to do with rail road tracks and sign recognition. It’s putting everything they have learned and applying it to driving the truck with the trailer. This is also the week where we put everything together with student finals. Every student goes through their pre-trip, backing and driving final testing just like they would with the examiner they will be testing with.










To provide the safest and most thorough instruction and experience possible for successfully obtaining a CDL-A on the following:

• Orientation (includes drug screenings)

• Basic Operations

• Safe Operation Practices

• Advanced Operations

• Related Non-Driving Activities such as pre-trip inspections and how to properly document hours of service as required by law

• Upon successful completion of course, student will be given Road Test by a state-certified third-party examiner to obtain his/her CDL-A



Earnings Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers

Median annual wages, May 2017

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers:  $42,480

Total, all occupations:  $37,690

Motor vehicle operators:  $35,910

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

The median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $42,480 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,510, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $64,000.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Truck Transportation:  $44,020

Wholesale Trade:  $41,540

Construction:  $40,320

Manufacturing:  $39,990

Drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers usually are paid by how many miles they have driven, plus bonuses. The per-mile rate varies from employer to employer and may depend on the type of cargo and the experience of the driver. Some long-distance drivers, especially owner–operators, are paid a share of the revenue from shipping.

Most heavy tractor-trailer drivers work full time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the hours that a long-haul truck driver may work. Drivers may not work more than 14 straight hours, comprising up to 11 hours spent driving and the remaining time spent doing other work, such as unloading cargo. Between working periods, drivers must have at least 10 hours off duty. Drivers also are limited to driving no more than 60 hours within 7 days or 70 hours within 8 days; then drivers must take 34 hours off before starting another 7- or 8-day run. Drivers must record their hours in a logbook. 


Job Outlook 

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers:  Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations:  7%

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers:  6%

Motor vehicle operators:  5%

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

The economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and keep supply chains moving. As the demand for goods increases, more truck drivers will be needed. Trucks transport most of the freight in the United States, so, as households and businesses increase their spending, the trucking industry should grow.

Technological advancements should result in trucks that are more fuel efficient and easier to drive. For example, automatic transmissions, blindspot monitoring, braking assistance, and variable cruise control are all recently developed features that may become more standard throughout the trucking industries within the next decade. In addition, technological advances may lead to further developments in platooning, which is a method of transport where several trucks form a line and automatically mimic the speed, braking, and steering behaviors of the lead truck. These technologies can help ease driver burden and create a safer driving environment for all vehicles.

Job prospects for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with the proper training and a clean driving record are projected to be very good. Because of truck drivers’ difficult lifestyle and time spent away from home, many companies have trouble finding and retaining qualified long-haul drivers. In addition, many truck drivers are expected to retire in the coming years, creating even more job opportunities.

2026 Employment Projections

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

SOC Code 53-3032

2016 Employment 1,871,700

2026 Projected Employment 1,980,100

Over 100,000 new heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers will be needed over the next 10 years......more than 10,000 new drivers per year between 2016 and 2026.