Company offers free semi-truck driver training

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — In January, Dot Transportation Inc. debuted a new program for those who want to become a certified semi-truck driver.

“We started a CDL class the first of the year for folks to come apply for a driving job for Dot and obtain their CDL. So these folks may have already started life. They have mortgage, rent, car notes. This allows them to earn their CDL while also maintaining a good income,” said Andrew Sentell, the Director of Transportation for Dot Tennessee Distribution Center.

The training is four weeks long. Once the weeks are complete, students will receive their CDL. Then they’ll start a six week truck driving training, all free of charge.

“It gave us an opportunity to provide a driving job for the community who may work at different settings and had interest in driving a tractor, yet wasn’t able to financially meet that need to bridge that gap,” Sentell said.

As soon as you get accepted to the program you become a Dot employee. Student Ladarius Osler was one of the first students to complete the program. He says it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I heard him talk to a guy having trucks and started a CDL class. So I asked him about it and I thought about it for a while and then I called him again and I was like, ‘I want to take this opportunity to become a driver,'” Osler said.

Osler encourages those who want to get their CDL to do so. However, he says his first time by himself was a bit nerve racking.

“I never drove a truck in my life, but I had the concept of it because I carry trailers on the back of my truck. So I got a concept of it, but I never drove a semi before. So the first week it was pretty scary,” Osler said.

You can apply to the program anytime. So far 14 people have completed the program. That number is expected to grow.

If you’re interested in applying for the program, click here.

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