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  • The Best Trucking Schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico (A 2023 Guide)

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Ready to begin a career in trucking? That’s awesome!

Part of becoming a truck driver is completing your education requirement. That means undergoing a CDL program.

There are two ways to go about this — either attend a private truck driving school or find a company-sponsored program. 

Both allow you to comply with the state’s requirements, but it pays to know your options. And that’s what we’re here to do.

We’ve put together a list of your truck driving schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Each offers something different, so make sure you consider your options carefully.

Are you ready to begin? Here we go!

Best Trucking Schools in Albuquerque

Your first option is to attend a private truck driving school. There’s no perfect option, so this has advantages and disadvantages.

Private trucking schools specialize in education, so you’re assured that the instructors know the adult education techniques. Most of them were former truck drivers, so you know you’re in good hands.

However, private truck schools require you to put up payment upfront, and these fees can get pretty hefty. That’s probably the biggest drawback. 

Some do have financing options. But generally speaking, get ready to pay a considerable amount if you choose to go down this route! 

If you’re going for it, here are our recommended private driving schools in Albuquerque.

Phoenix Truck Driving School in Albuquerque

(1) 301 Airport Drive NW, Albuquerque, NM

Also known as Phoenix Truck Driving Institute, Phoenix Truck Driving School has 11 years of experience. 

The first segment of the Class A CDL program tackles your classroom training, while the rest focuses on applying what you learned. Don’t worry — experienced drivers will be with you the entire time. You’ll have access to modern trucks and practice your driving skills using the newest technology and equipment. It ensures you’ll always be ahead of the curve when you begin looking for a trucking job.

Aspiring truck drivers can learn extensively from their instructors. Your teacher has practical experience since he’s a former truck driver himself. You get what you need to know to pass the written portion of the CDL exam and receive tips and techniques based on his experience.

They also offer options for class schedules. Not all students can complete their CDL training during the week — some have jobs or other obligations. But Phoenix makes getting your education possible because of weekend options. However, studying full-time means completing the program in as little as four weeks.

Phoenix supports its students in their careers, not only in their education. They begin job application processes even before you graduate, so it’s possible to have a job the day after you graduate.

We found that the following makes Phoenix Truck Driving School stand out from other trucking schools in Albuquerque:

  • Hosts open houses so potential students can see their facilities and get a feel of their facility
  • It shares a terminal with Swift Transportation, so you’ll see the work that goes on at a trucking terminal
  • The school offers weekend classes
  • A Job Placement Coordinator helps graduates find jobs
  • Includes endorsements for Tanks, Doubles/Triples, and Hazardous Materials

You can reach Phoenix Truck Driving School at (888) 204 0405 or train@hdsdrivers.com.

160 Driving Academy

(1) 2501 Alamo Avenue, Albuquerque, NM

160 Driving Academy has 113 locations across the country, and one of them is located right in Albuquerque. Taking your CDL training nearby allows you to join your family for dinner at night after every training day.

They offer a Class A CDL program that runs for 160 hours. The first 40 focus on classroom instruction. You’ll learn the trucking road rules and other information you need for the written portion of the CDL test.

Once you’ve completed the theories, you’ll move to the hands-on segment of the program. 160 Academy ensures that you have enough time behind the wheel to hone your maneuvers. 

You’ll start within their facility to make you get the basics right. Once you’ve got that sorted, it’s time to bring your truck outside. You’ll get driving hours on local and interstate roads.

160 Driving Academy purposely keeps its class sizes small (only four students to one instructor) to ensure you get the needed attention and support. They’ll also help you find employment through their job placement program. They’ll match you with large trucking companies that may even reimburse the cost of your training!

There are several truck driving schools in Albuquerque, but 160 Driving Academy stands out because:

  • Very accessible, with over 100 training facilities nationwide
  • Besides Class A CDL training, they also offer a refresher course to licensed truck drivers
  • Maintains a small instructor-to-student ratio (1:4)
  • Provides job assistance after you graduate
  • You may have your tuition reimbursed when a trucking company hires you

If you feel like it’s a good fit, contact them at (505) 560 1854.

NNCT CDL Training

(1) 6713 4th St. NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

NNCT’s mission goes above and beyond helping aspiring truck drivers achieve their career goals. They wanted to establish a learning environment that fosters teamwork and core family values.

They are currently part of the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. For those wanting to get into the trucking industry, taking one of NNCT’s courses fulfills the new Entry-Level Training requirement. 

Unlike other driving schools that only focus on Class A CDL training, NNCT offers a menu of courses. They have three programs that include theory and behind-the-wheel segments. These are on Class A CDL, Class B CDL with Passenger Endorsement, or a Passenger Endorsement.

You can also take endorsement courses on Hazardous Materials, Takers, and Doubles & Triples Endorsements. They also offer refresher courses for current truck and bus drivers.

NNCT allows you to take the theory portion of a CDL program online if you’re from out of state. Students may also qualify for a federal grant from WIOA, which saves you thousands of dollars in tuition.

NNCT stands apart from other trucking schools in Albuquerque due to the following:

  • They provide financial aid in the form of a federal grant for those who qualify
  • Offers grant assistance to registered members of the Navajo tribe who reside on the reservation
  • Allows students to take the theory portion of the program online
  • Offers various programs (some are theory only, others include behind-the-wheel instruction)

If you’re interested in NNCT’s programs, you can inquire further by calling them at (505) 721 9071, (855) 920 0900, or email info@nntccdl.com.

Additional Trucking Schools in Albuquerque

Although we recommend these schools, it’s crucial to know that you have other options. Here are three other CDL training provider alternatives.

ABQ Truck Driving School

  • Address:
    • Classroom and Offices: 3311 Columbia Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM
    • Practice Range: 3100 Princeton Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 
  • Phone: (505) 999 8607

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)

  • Address: 525 Buena Vista Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM
  • Phone: (505) 224 4CDL

Platinum CDL Prep LLC

  • Address: 2929 Coors Boulevard NW #201n, Albuquerque, NM
  • Phone: (505) 804 4376

Free Company Sponsored Truck Driving Schools 

On the other hand, you can choose to undergo company-sponsored CDL training. It’s a more cost-effective approach, and you’re sure to have a job after getting your license.

It might now give you as much freedom to choose an employer, but you can begin earning while you train. Unfortunately, there is only one trucking company offering sponsored CDL training — that’s Swift Transportation.

Swift Transportation: Swift Transportation is one of the better-known trucking companies in the U.S. and began its business in the mid-60s. That gives them over 50 years of trucking experience. What started with a single truck now operates 23,000 and is considered the largest common carrier in the country.

Swift covers your education costs, save for the permit and license fees and everyday expenses (like food) but requires you to join their ranks for 26 months after getting your CDL.

They also offer scholarships to veterans and their family members. After that, you have the option to join their Military Apprenticeship programs.

The other schools on our list aren’t in Albuquerque, but they’re willing to shoulder some of your costs so you can travel to their training facility. Here are a couple to consider:

PAM Transport: PAM transport doesn’t have a training facility in Albuquerque, but it can pay for your transportation and lodging to one of its training locations. It’s a solid option if you’re willing to train in Des Moines, Iowa, or Columbia, South Carolina.

They’ll shoulder your transportation and tuition costs, assuming you drive for them for a year after graduating. PAM’s CDL program runs for three weeks, and you’ll get a $100 Walmart gift card for each one.

You have the option to become a flatbed driver for OTR, dedicated, or local trips, as long as you’re eligible. But before you get assigned to your own truck, an experienced PAM Driver Mentor works with you for 14 days. 

PAM’s also mindful about ensuring you spend enough time with your family. Despite making deliveries nationwide, they’ll consider your home’s location when planning your trips. This practice makes it possible for 90% of their drivers to be home with their families on the weekends.

CRST: Another potential company-sponsored CDL training to consider is from CRST. Once you get your CDL permit from your home state, you can complete the rest of the program in one of their four training facilities. These are in California, Texas, Florida, and Iowa.

Their shuttle picks you up from the bus terminal and brings you to your dorm. CRST covers daily transportation to the training facility and even covers two of your meals (breakfast and lunch) for the three weeks it takes to complete their Class A CDL program.

In Conclusion

The decision to take private or company-sponsored CDL training depends on your available resources. Remember that both will help you get your commercial driver’s license and (hopefully) launch a new and successful career.

Now that you have education options, you can check out the ones meeting your needs and preferences best and start the process. Good luck!

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