This post was last updated on July 22nd, 2016
Great Lakes Truck Driving School is a premier truck driving school located just 30 minutes outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The school is situated on over 10 acres of land, and offers a state-of-the-art facility that provides the industry’s latest equipment to ensure students have a lifetime of success.
Ample acreage allows the school to offer enough space for truckers to be able to practice difficult backing maneuvers and perfect their driving skills without worry of an accident.
Privately held, the school is located in Columbia Station, Ohio and was founded by Ms. Doris Young, who has 27 years of training and experience as a Truck Driving School Administrator.
The school has won several awards for excellence and is a member of numerous truck driving associations.
Great Lakes Truck Driving School Program Guide
Great Lakes offers primarily truck driving education, which will be discussed in-depth shortly. But the school also offers:
- Heavy Equipment Training: Training needed for heavy equipment, such as construction equipment. The school offers a focus on NCCER Certified Heavy Equipment Training.
- Forklift Training: Aerial platform work and rough terrain training is offered at the school’s facilities.
- Oilfield and Pipeline Safety: The school offers an in-depth program aimed at educating students on proper safety measures in oil fields and on pipelines.
But these classes are part of the school’s larger focus on trucking. Truck drivers will have a variety of programs that they can choose from to better suit their needs.
Class A CDL Training Classes
There are six Class A CDL courses offered, and many of these courses are hybrid courses that may offer oilfield safety as well as other training that can be used for your career betterment. The courses available are as follows:
- Premier Driver Development Program Option 1 (600 hours): A 15-week course that is broken down into numerous different courses and an externship. The first 8 weeks will consist of training for your Class A CDL as well as oilfield safety certification, aerial work platform and rough terrain forklift training. The remaining 7 weeks of the course will consist of an externship to gain vital experience at a trucking company.
- Premier Driver Development Program Option 2 (600 hours): Another 15-week option that aims to provide you with Class A CDL training, and training for various heavy equipment, including: excavators, skid steer, front-end loaders and backhoes. The program also includes aerial platform and forklift training as well as oilfield safety certification. There is no externship offered with the second option.
- CDL Skills/Heavy Equipment Training for the Drilling Industry (400 hours): An 11-week course, this program offers Class A CDL training, oilfield safety certifications, and training on front-end loaders, bulldozers, backhoes, excavators and skid steers.
- CDL Skills / Heavy Equipment Training Program (360 hours): A 10-week course is offered that is similar to the last course mentioned, but this course does not include the oilfield safety certification.
- CDL Skills Training for the Drilling Industry (240 hours): In just 5 weeks, this program will prepare you for your Class A CDL and oilfield safety certifications.
- CDL Skills Training Program (200 hours): This 4-week course focuses only on Class A CDL training.
The classes vary in terms of instruction. All courses do provide road training and miles behind the wheel, with the basic course offering 40 hours of road training and total miles of 450 on average driven behind the wheel.
Class B CDL Training
There is a class offered for upgrading from Class B CDL to Class A CDL, which is 160 hours in length and takes place full-time over a period of 3 weeks and 1 day.
How Much Does The Great Lakes Training Cost?
The basic CDL training program costs $5,595 for the course, while the Premier Driver Development Program Option 2 costs $19,795.
Great Lakes Truck Driving School believes every student has a right to financial aid to ensure that they get the education they want and deserve. There are two main ways of paying for the schooling:
- Non-Federal Loans: The existence of non-federal loans will be discussed with all prospective students. This is lending provided by financial institutions, and the school does not guarantee that a loan will be granted.
- Training Grants: The school’s financial aid department will look toward grants that may be used for low income, disabled or unemployed persons. These grants are free, but eligibility varies from grant to grant.
Veterans will find special programs available from the school. The school is in the top 20% of schools in the country for being military-friendly. Much of the staff are veterans, too, with assistance offered to place veterans in a program that will allow them to excel in a career in trucking.
Lodging is offered to all students that do not reside in the area.
Lodging will be just a 12-minute drive from the facility and is within a mile from the Great Northern Mall, Wal-Mart and numerous eateries.
Previous students of the school note that the teachers on the road and with hands-on training are often brash and yell often. Despite the complaints, the school maintains a high graduation rate with a high rate of students obtaining their respective licenses.
Experiences seem to vary with the teachers, and the majority of students enjoy their time at the school.
Great Lakes Truck Driving School is one of the industry’s most prestigious trucking schools, and there are ample programs available to help students of all backgrounds land a career as a truck driver.