programs Gaston College - Got a Question? Ask GC Welcome to Gaston College - Opportunities For Life

Future Students |  Student Resources |  Programs |  EWD/Continuing Education |  Online Learning

Home  Engineering and Industrial Technology >      Truck Driver Training

Truck Driver Training











Registration Admissions Requirements Tuition and Fees

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


Placement Test Additional Cost News


Tutition Increase - The new Cost of Tuition is $1882.00 (Effective 1 July 2013)


The Truck Driver Training Program at Gaston College gives a student the necessary training required to drive tractor-trailer rigs, get their commercial driver license and become a professional driver.

Graduates of the program will have the opportunity to be employed by commercial trucking companies, become an owner-operator or take advantage of local jobs.


Gaston College Truck Driver Training

Location of Campus
201 Highway 321 South
Dallas, NC 28034-1499

Traveling on I-85, take exit 17 (HWY 321). As you exit the ramp, take a left at the red light and travel north on Highway 321. You will pass two traffic lights and pass over a bridge. About 1/4 mile past the bridge, you will take the Gaston College exit ramp. At the top of the ramp, turn left and follow the road to the traffic circle. Take the first exit right off the circle to go to the main part of campus.

Site address:

 Gaston College Truck Driver Training Center (Old Carolina Freight Site)

1201 E. Church St.

Cherryville, NC  28021



Training Provided By Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Hudson, NC

CCC&TI’s truck driver training program started around 1990 with one truck and a few students. CCC&TI now has over 60 pieces of equipment and has graduated over 2000 CDL drivers in the past 10 years. CCC&TI offers full-time day and part-time evening classes to fit most schedules. Day classes require 8.5 weeks to complete, evening classes 15 weeks.

Satellite or off-campus day classes are also available at several locations such as Gaston College, Dallas Campus, Mitchell Community College, Statesville Campus, Mayland Community College, Newland Campus and Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory Campus.  

Employment Outlook

The trucking industry continues to be a major employer in the United States, with almost 9 million people employed in trucking-related jobs. Over 3 million of these are drivers of tractor-trailers operated by over 550,000 interstate motor carriers. More than 80% of U.S. cities receive their goods exclusively from trucks.
There is already a shortage of about 20,000 long-haul heavy-truck drivers and experts say there will be over 500,000 drivers needed in the next 10 years to meet economic expansion and replace drivers who are retiring.   
CCC&TI has a very successful job placement program with numerous local and national trucking companies recruiting graduates during and after each class.

During the April 2008 – March 2009 reporting period, CCC&TI graduated 160 students with 60% of those being pre-hired prior to graduation. During the April 2010 - March 2011 reporting period, CCC&TI graduated 188 students with 81% of those being pre-hired prior to graduation.
Graduates from the program can expect to average $34,000 or more their first year and up to $50,000 or better with one year of experience.



Back to top


Red Flags That Hamper Employment

It’s true; companies are looking for qualified drivers. However insurance requirements and the new security environment have caused most carriers to tighten their hiring criteria.

It’s not so easy! Companies today will conduct a thorough and detailed check on an applicant’s driving, criminal, and employment history. Any red flag that gives reason for concern may cause that applicant to be passed over in favor of a more qualified one. Here are some red flags to consider:

  • Felonies & Misdemeanors: This is a huge issue with trucking companies. A felon is not allowed into Canada. If the trucking company runs Canada they probably can’t use you. With most felonies you won’t be able to get a Hazmat endorsement on your license. A Hazmat endorsement is required by many trucking companies. Some companies do not allow a felony in a lifetime, others it has to be 7-10 years old (based on completion of sentence). No major misdemeanor convictions in 7 years or minor in 3 years (based on completion of sentence).  
  • Automatic Denial: Multiple felony convictions; child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment, sexual conduct with a child; sexual assault; domestic violence; sales, manufacturing or transportation of controlled substances; embezzlement; theft, robbery or burglary will probably eliminate you from most transportation jobs.
  • Drug & Alcohol Charges: Charges within the past five years are a bad mark on your record. Some companies require no DUI in a lifetime, others it must be 5-7 years old or if 2 convictions both need to be over 10 years old. 
  • Traffic Violations: Most companies have a standard of no more than two moving violations in the last three years. Refusal to take a chemical test, hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, open container or careless and reckless driving will also not be allowed within the past 3 to 5 years. 
  • Disqualifying issues: Other than the normal physical requirements there are two issues that seem to reoccur in almost every class that will keep someone from getting a Class A CDL Permit. (1) The student will have an old unpaid ticket from one of the 50 states that he thinks was forgotten. (These tickets only show up when applying for a CDL) or (2) the student has an eye problem (lazy eye) that only shows up during the eye test at DMV.
  • Employment Gaps: You must account for the last 10 years of employment.. This includes all contact information. Any gaps in employment for over 30 days must be accounted for. This includes unemployment and self-employment. 
  • Health Concerns: There are many health problems that will eliminate you for driving over-the-road. These include vision problems (lazy eye, Amblyopia etc), hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin-dependent diabetes and physical handicaps.  

 Keep in mind that these are “basic requirements”. Disqualifying issues are far more detailed than listed above but this should emphasize the importance of keeping a clean record if you intend to be a professional driver.  

Back to top



Truck Driver Training Curriculum
Collaborative Program with Caldwell CC & TI (C60300)Truck Driver PTDI

The course involves extensive training, divided into 3 parts. Some examples of the training provided in each part are shown below. 

Classes at the Hudson TAPS Center, Gaston College, and the Hickory Campus are certified by PTDI.

The Truck Driver Training Program at Gaston College gives a student the necessary training required to drive tractor-trailer rigs, get their commercial driver license and become a professional driver.

      Class Lab Credits
TRP 100 Truck Driver Training


18 12
    TOTAL HOURS 6 18 12

Graduates of the program will have the opportunity to be employed by commercial trucking companies, become an owner-operator or take advantage of local jobs.


  • CDL Permit & Endorsement Instruction.
  • Driver Qualification
  • Driver Wellness
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
  • Hours of Service & Map Reading
  • Truck Driver RangeVehicle Inspection
  • Air Brake Training
  • Defensive Driving
  • Cargo Handling
  • Whistleblower Protection

Range Driving

  • Pre-trip Inspection
  • Basic Vehicle Control
  • Proper Backing Techniques
  • Coupling/Uncoupling

Road Driving

  • Defensive Driving
  • Vehicle Control
  • Different Roads and Conditions
  • Observation of Highway LawsTruck Driver_road
  • Loaded trailers
  • Night Driving






Back to top

Admissions Requirements

You must:

  • Be at least 18 years old: (Graduates under 21 years old can drive only within North Carolina.)
  • Hold a valid North Carolina Driver's License.
  • Be able to read and speak English well enough to take instructions from highway signs, to converse with officials, and complete the required reports. (FMCSR 391.11)
  • Take a Prerequisite Reading Placement Test: (Placement Testing Guide included in this packet) You must pass a Reading Placement Test with a minimum 8th grade reading level or better to register. Please bring an official copy of your test results with you to registration.
  • Acquire a North Carolina Class A permit before the highway-driving portion of your training or no later than hour 135 of the class.
  • Pass a DOT physical and/or hold a valid (12 month minimum) DOT medical card: This should be completed by the 1st day of class. A current medical card is required to drive on the road.
  • Pass a DOT drug screen: (Drug screen information included in this packet) This should be completed by the 1st day of class. Negative results are required to get onto a truck and remain in class.
  • Have a Seven year Motor Vehicle Record (Driving Record Request included in this packet) with no convictions in the past 3 years of: DUI, refusal to take a chemical test, hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, or careless and reckless driving.
  • Obtain a High School or College Transcript (Request for High School or College Transcript included in this packet) Send this form to the last school you attended. Do not send the form back to us. -------------------- (A High School Diploma or GED is not required for admittance).
  • Complete a College Application for Admission: (To be completed with the Reading Placement Test)
  • Show proof of permanent residency: All immigrants must have proper paperwork.

Due to strict requirements and restrictions of most trucking companies you must also have:

  • A current Motor Vehicle Record with no convictions in the past 3 years of: DUI, refusal to take a chemical test, hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, careless and reckless driving, a preventable accident or speeding 15 mph over the limit.
  • No felony or major misdemeanor convictions in the past 5 years, based on completion of sentence.

Note: Meeting these requirements will not guarantee you a position as a driver after course completion.

Each trucking company has their own list of requirements; some more strict than what's listed above.

Back to top


Placement Testing Guide


you must meet certain requirements before entering the Truck Driver Training Program. An important requirement is the Reading Comprehension Test. A minimum 8th grade reading level score is necessary before you can register in any truck driver training classes.

Description and Administration

The Reading Comprehension Test measures how well you understand what you read. 
The test is administered through the use of a personal computer but computer experience is not needed. Take the test very seriously. It is not timed so don’t rush.  Read the questions carefully.  Read all choices for answers before picking one.  You cannot go back to a previous question, so make sure you answer correctly. You will need approximately 1 hour to complete the Reading Placement Test. You must bring an official copyof your test results with you when you register unless tested at CCCTI in Hudson.

Gaston College, Dallas Campus: (Accuplacer reading test – Minimum score 40)

1. Schedule the Reading Portion of the placement test here or by calling 704-922-2433.  If calling, be sure to specify that only the Reading portion of the test is required for truck driver training.



CC&TI Truck Driver Training Schedule
Gaston College


Registration will be from 10 am – 12 pm and will continue for the designated time or until the class is full. The last day to register will be 1 day before class starts.

GASTON COLLEGE                                 (Dallas Campus)               (8.5 Weeks)     

Orientation Date

Class Starts

Class Ends



 July 25, 2013

 August 15, 2013  October 18, 2013  Monday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm

 October 1, 2013

 October 15, 2013  December 20, 2013  Monday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm

November 19, 2013

January 8, 2014

 March 13, 2014

 Monday - Friday

8 am - 5 pm

February 18, 2014

 March 18, 2014

 May 21, 2014

 Monday - Friday

8 am - 5 pm

April 17, 2014

May 22, 2014

July 28, 2014

Monday - Friday

8 am - 5 pm

Register for Class


Bring the official copy of the prerequisite reading placement test score with you.Register and pay for your selected class on the registration date and times shown on the training schedule.

Registration for classes is available on a first-come first-in basis.You cannot register before the registration date shown on the training schedule but you may register after that date until the class is full or until the day the class starts.

Back to top


Tuition and Fees

The total cost for tuition and fees is $1882.00 (for NC residents living in the state for the past 12 months) payable to CCC&TI at registration. CCC&TI accepts most all forms of payment.

(However, when registering at any location other than CCC&TI in Hudson; checks or money orders are preferred, cash must be of the exact amount and credit cards cannot be accepted unless personally taken to the business office at CCC&TI in Hudson, NC.)

Students may be eligible for sponsorship through the ESC, TAA, or WIA programs.

The total cost for out-of-state tuition and fees is TBA.

Tuition is set by the North Carolina Legislature. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

Back to top


Additional Costs

Additional costs not included in the tuition and fees listed above are shown below. Some of these costs are approximate and should only be used as a guide. 


DOT Physical

 **$50.00                 Due 1st day of class

DOT Drug Screen (not part of the physical

** $50.00                 Due 1st day of class


   *  $8.00                 Due 1st day of class

Class A Permit                               

   *$45.00                 Due 3rd week of class

CDL License

*$75.00                    Last week of class

                                             (5 years @$75.00)


*$3.00 per year Purchased with license

**Paid to physician *Paid to DMV

*Paid to DMV 


Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:  Do I need a GED or high school diploma to enroll in the course?

  • No, but you must pass a Reading Placement Test with a minimum 8th grade reading level or better to register.
  • Schedule the test by calling the appropriate Testing Center. You must bring the test results when registering.

Q:  Do you have financial assistance?

  • A scholarship fund is available to assist students with tuition costs up to a maximum of $200.Call 828-726-2386 for more information.  Veterans’ benefits may apply.  Call 828-726-2714 for more information.  Job training programs may apply.  Contact your local employment agencies for eligibility.

Q:  What type of equipment will be used during training?

  • We have single axle day-cabs, tandem axle conventional sleeper tractors with 48 & 53 foot semi trailers
  • Several trailers will be loaded during the road driving portion of the class.

Q: Do all class schedules include night driving?

  • All PTDI certified classes are required to have at least 1 hour driving at night. Night driving for the day class will be planned after normal scheduled hours.

Q:  Do you do job placement?

  • We work with many major carriers and local trucking companies that will hire our graduates.  Recruiters from these companies also visit our classes.  

Q:  Do you offer off-campus classes?

  • Yes, we offer several off campus classes.  Please check our schedule or call for information.

Q:  When should I have my DOT physical and DOT drug screen done?

  • A DOT physical and DOT drug screen should be completed no later than the first day of class.
  • NOTE: Please be aware that the drug screen is not part of the physical. You will need to request and pay for the drug screen separately. A positive result will cause you to be dropped from class.

Q:  Do I have to get my permit before I enroll in the class?

  • No, the first several days of class are spent in the classroom preparing you to get your permit, but you must have your permit before hour 135 of the class.

Q:  Do I have to do my final road test for my CDL at the DMV?

  • No, at the conclusion of the class, our third party testers will administer the CDL final test.

Q:  Are all courses certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)?

  • All courses offered at the Caldwell Community College TAPS Center in Hudson, Gaston College in Dallas, and the East Campus of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory are certified by PTDI.
05/04/12 - Gaston College approved and certified by the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI). For more information regarding PTDI please visit their website at:

To learn more information about the employment outlook and work environment for the Truck Driver Training field, go to:


Jeff Switzer
Industrial Technologies

For more information refer to the Gaston College website at


Roger Chester, Director

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute website


Back to top



Powered By Revize  Login