Want to become a truck driver in Kansas? Or are you just curious to know if you can be a truck driver?
Either way, know that becoming a truck driver is easy.
Sure, you need to get a CDL (which is probably the more difficult thing to do), but other than that, you just need to get some training.
So the next question is, where do you train to become a truck driver in Kansas?
There are many options to choose from and we’re here to help you identify which ones are the best.
If you’re ready to get started, let’s begin!
Best Trucking Schools in Kansas City, MO (Private)
If you didn’t know yet, there are two types of trucking schools – private and free company-sponsored.
A private trucking school requires you to pay for your training up front and from your pocket.
On the other hand, a free company-sponsored trucking school offers free tuition for their training under their trucking company. The catch is that you will most likely have deductions on your salary when you’re hired but you will be reimbursed on the second year of being with them.
So depending on your financial capability, you might choose one over the other. For this post, we’re going to pick the best private trucking schools.
If you want to know more about the free company-sponsored trucking schools, scroll to the bottom of this post for our recommendations.
1. Roadmaster Drivers School
11903 Grandview Rd
Grandview, MO 64030
Roadmaster Drivers School is one of the most established and popular trucking schools in Kansas. It’s been around for 30 years and it has trained at least 160,000 truck drivers.
They offer a comprehensive Class A CDL Training that includes equal parts classroom learning and hands-on training. Their training approach is always focused on safety-first driving which helps in developing truck drivers that are careful and knowledgeable of the roads.
Once you’ve completed your application, you’ll start classes in Roadmaster’s facility. Here, you’ll be guided by instructors on map reading, compliance, and trip planning. You’ll also be trained according to the rules and regulations set by the state.
It’s clear that Roadmaster has been in the industry for a while now and they are masters in training future commercial drivers. But what we love about them are these things:
- Hands-on experience with state-of-the-art trucks
- Advance truck-driving skills using a 53-foot trailer
- Job placement assistance for newly graduated trainees
There’s no doubt that Roadmaster is one of the best out there as seen on Google Reviews and Indeed.
If you’re interested in their Class A CDL Training, fill up the online application found on their website’s homepage. You can also call them at 1-800-831-1300.
2. 160 Driving Academy
(1) 3427 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64111
(2) 9150 Marshall Dr, Lenexa, KS 66215
(3) 3201 E 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64132
160 Driving Academy is known for its 4-week CDL training program. Compared to other schools that offer more than a month’s training, 160 Driving Academy gives you a short but rigorous curriculum.
160 Driving Academy offers a comprehensive Class A CDL Training program which includes 40 hours of classroom instruction and 120 hours of behind-the-wheel training. If you’ll notice, only a fourth is spent in the classroom because the school believes in a lot of practice to make you an excellent commercial driver.
The start of the program is always a class lecture. Here you’ll be taught the rules, laws, and the skills to be a Class A Driver. After the first week, you’ll get started with hands-on training.
What’s unique about 160 Driving Academy that makes them stand out are a few things:
- Intensive training aided by patient and dedicated instructors
- Only a month’s worth of training to prepare you for the CDL exam
- Job guidance where the staff helps you look for the right trucking company that fits your needs and preferences
There are three facilities you can choose from and each facility has received high reviews on Google and Indeed from many people. Although, a lot of reviews further show that the instructors are strict and training is challenging.
Want an intensive take on CDL training? Book a slot at 160 Driving Academy by calling them at (816) 873-4466 or signing up on their online form here.
3. Apex CDL Institute
Just 10 minutes from downtown Kansas City is Apex CDL Institute. This trucking school is unique in such a way that it trains aspiring commercial drivers even when they don’t have a learner’s permit yet.
In this 4-week program, the first four days are spent with those who have no commercial learner’s permit. This is also where the orientation for the program happens.
For those who already have learners’ permits, they can just attend the fifth day (Friday) of the program. The first four days are already credited to them even when they don’t attend.
In the next three weeks, most of the time is spent on hands-on training. From teaching you the skills and knowing how to inspect a truck, everything is done on the field and guided by experienced instructors.
What else do we love about Apex CDL Institute? Here are a few things:
- Three-week hands-on training including pre-inspection, backing, and truck driving skills
- Assistance in getting a learner’s permit for those who don’t have any
- Partnerships with trucking companies that offer sponsorships
If you need any more validation, the 4-5-star ratings at Indeed, Google Reviews, and TrustReviewers are all that you need to help you decide.
You can contact Apex CDL Institute at (913) 794-3554 for inquiries and enrollments.
Additional Trucking Schools in Kansas City
Want more options to choose from? Here are some trucking schools in Kansas City:
Swift Transportation Truck Driving Academy
1775 North Universal Avenue TC226, Kansas City, MO 64120
New Reflections Technical Institute
6122 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110
9318 S MO 7 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO 64064
Free Company Sponsored Truck Driving Schools
If paying a full enrollment fee upfront is too costly to do, we recommend considering going to a company-sponsored truck driving school. Another obvious advantage of these programs is that you immediately have a job after you pass your CDL exam.
Since this is company-sponsored, the fees come off as “free”, but as you already know by now, there’s always a catch to these free things.
Nonetheless, this is still a practical solution for when you want to learn how to be a commercial driver.
Here are some that we recommend:
CRST Trucking School – CRST Trucking School is both a training school and a logistics partner. They have what they call an ‘Expedited Driving Academy’ where trainees are given free CDL training. They also stay in dorms and are provided with meals during weekdays.
Knight Transportation – Knight Transportation hires applicants before they learn trucking skills with them. Chosen applicants have to stay in one of their schools (the nearest to Kansas is the Tennessee Training center) and are given compensation during the training period.
Roehl – From a company that started with just one truck, Roehl has grown to thousands of trailers and trucks. And with their growing business, they have also started offering paid CDL programs. Once you’re accepted to the program, consider it as hired and all you have to do is aim to get a CDL!
Schneider – As one of the country’s most renowned trucking companies, Schneider aims to develop new commercial drivers through their paid CDL training. This program takes 5-6 weeks to complete and you have to stay at one of Schneider’s training facilities. During this program, the company funds your lodging and meals and gives you a balance of classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.
And that’s it! Depending on what you want to do and your budget, you can take a private or a company-sponsored CDL training.
If money isn’t an issue, private programs provide more comprehensive training that prepares you to be hired by any trucking company.
On the other hand, company-sponsored training gives you financial aid and a sure employment opportunity once you get your CDL.
So really, it all comes down to what’s more practical and what your preference is.