When looking for the best truck driving school to get the proper theoretical and practical education before you hit the road, location is one of the deciding factors. After all, you don’t want to drive two hours every day to reach the training facilities and start your lessons for the day.
This can be especially challenging if you already have a full-time job and are pursuing a truck driving career while working eight hours a day.
If you’re looking for a truck driving school in Louisiana, chances are you’ve seen Coastal Truck Driving School training centers, as the school has six locations across the state. It’s clear that this school has made it their priority to help their prospective students reach their facilities without having to travel great distances.
In this article, we will be going over some of the specifics of this Louisiana-based truck driving school.
Coastal Truck Driving School Admission Requirements
In addition to filling out an admission application, having a driver’s license, and a social security number, to enroll in the Coastal Truck Driving School, you have to meet some state-specific legal requirements. These include:
- You have to pass the Department of Transportation physical exam and a drug test
- You have to meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), section 391
- You have to be at least 21 years old. Applicants who can prove that they can benefit from the program and provide a pre-hire letter may also be considered. These applicants have to be at least 18 years old
- You must have a clean driving record – no DUI/DWI violations in the last 5 years, no more than two moving violations in the last year, and no more than three moving violations in a three-year period
- You have to provide a verifiable work history covering a period of the last 10 years (if precluded by age, you have to provide your work history since you left school). Any periods of unemployment also have to be verified
- Applicants with felony convictions will be individually reviewed
Coastal Truck Driving School Campus Locations
As we mentioned before, the school has six locations spread across the state of Louisiana.
- Alexandria, LA – 7516 Coliseum Blvd, (800) 443-3780
- Baton Rouge, LA – 2064 North Flannery Rd, (800) 286-8066
- Hammond, LA – 42226 S Airport Rd, (800) 345-7511
- Harvey, LA – 1182 1st Avenue, (800) 486-3639
- Lafayette, LA – 2419 I-49 South Service Road, (800) 982-8455
- Monroe, LA – 450 Hwy 151 North, (800) 255-5533
All of the numbers provided above are toll free, so you can call a facility you’re interested in and get all the information you need. Furthermore, if none of these locations works for you, the school offers free housing. The rooms are nothing to get excited about, but if you’ve ever been in a dorm, they will work just fine. All rooms are furnished with a large refrigerator, TV, and microwave.
Job Placement Assistance
Getting the proper education is just the first step in your truck driving career. Some would argue that learning how to make a good impression on interviews and fill out a job application is as important as your skillset. That’s why the Coastal Truck Driving School has a Placement Assistance Program through which they help you complete job applications, and schedule interviews and follow-up calls.
The program begins during training and goes on through graduation. The school is also well connected with many companies from the industry and recruiters from those companies are often present in the classrooms, recruiting students. Each campus has job placement personnel who are dedicated to helping aspiring drivers reach their potential and find new job opportunities.
Many prominent trucking companies cooperate with the school – Werner Enterprises, Melton Truck Lines, U.S. Xpress, and TMC Transportation, to name a few. If a job at any of these companies seems appealing, enrolling in this school may be a good way to get noticed and make connections.
Opportunities for Veterans
As a veteran, you may be eligible for post-9/11 GI Bill benefits if you meet certain criteria. This allows you to qualify for different types of financial aid packages, including those where the state pays for your entire tuition. You can also get a monthly housing allowance (MHA) which depends upon the location of the school, as well as up to 83 dollars for books and supplies. You get the payments every month, once you complete the training.
Another benefit for veterans is that many trucking companies are interested in hiring employees with a military background. Veterans are highly valued by trucking companies for their discipline, work ethic, and attention to detail, and many of these firms have special veterans’ programs.
The school’s staff is also trained to help you build on your military experience with their hands-on approach and add some marketable skills to your military skillset.
Coastal Truck Driving School Cost
One of the main things that can prevent you from achieving your goals is high tuition costs. Fortunately, if you’re thinking about applying to this school, there are many state and federal programs that can help you with funding. The school is approved for providing training for these federal and state programs:
- Louisiana Rehabilitation Services – LARehab
- VA/GI Bill
- Motivational Education and Training, Inc. – MET
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – WIOA
Another way to get funding can be to approach a trucking firm directly. Many of these companies are willing to finance their prospective employees with a tuition reimbursement package up to 7,000 dollars. In addition to helping you pay for your training, this would also be a good way to secure a job before even graduating.
Here is some more valuable information about the Coastal Truck Driving School that can help you decide if this school is the right one for you.
The program lasts for 160 hours, or four weeks, if you’re taking the weekday course. If you have a full-time job or can’t make it to weekday classes for any other reason, the Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Harvey training centers offer night and weekend classes. These classes last for eight weeks.
CDL License Holders
Coastal also offers a “refresher course” if you already have a CDL license but you haven’t been driving in a while. This course can get you back on track, help you regain confidence and security, and be hirable again.
The school is approved by the state of Louisiana as a third-party tester, which means you can just do a test for a new or renewal Class A, B, or C license. To do this, you need a valid driver’s license, DOT physical, and a CDL or a CDL permit.
The school also offers company programs that address some of the common CSA issues like driver fitness, unsafe driving, vehicle maintenance, as well as safety and driver training for Class A and Class B licenses.
One of the main reasons why this school could be right for you is its convenience – if you’re from Louisiana, chances are at least one of their locations is close to you. And, if it’s not – you can always get free accommodation for the duration of your training.
If you’re interested in what Coastal has to offer, you can contact them via the contact form on their website or visit their nearest campus to see their training firsthand.