Five Weeks To A New Career

“When they get their CDL, and they come with that smile on their face. That’s our payday because we know we helped,” said Larry Stark, Truck Driver Training Instructor.

If you’ve had the opportunity to work with the Truck Driver Training (TDT) program at Rock Valley College, you know the heart that fills the program. With cohorts only lasting five weeks, both students and instructors make the most of their time together.

You may think that such a short program would require previous experience – that is not the case. Zero experience is necessary before joining the program. Because of that, driving a semi for the very first time can come with a bit of anxiety, but RVC does all they can to relieve that.

Before a student gets behind the wheel, they have the opportunity to learn on a state-of-the-art truck driving simulator. The simulator helps students learn shifting patterns and gives them a variety of driving experiences to prepare them when they get into the truck for the first time.

One of the best parts of the program is simply driving. Patrick, a recent graduate of the program, said, “I always wanted to be behind the wheel. When another student was driving, I wanted to be in their seat. It was exciting.”

The RVC TDT program sets students up for successful employment immediately after completion. Truck Driver Training Specialist, Craig Baker, said, “We are always going to push you a little bit past your comfort zone, but never past your ability.” That push is what makes students so successful in just five weeks.

“I got a job one week after completing the program,” said Patrick. Recruiters visit classes while students are still in the program to show them all their job options. Many students receive job offers before the program is even over.

With the current truck driver shortage, now is the perfect time to enroll in RVC’s program. Whether you’re about to graduate high school or looking for a career change, truck driving can be for everybody.

Maybe you are interested in the program but are still thinking to yourself; there’s no way I could ever drive one of those big rigs. Truck Driver Training Program Coordinator, Dave Willis, has this word of encouragement, “Was there ever a time you didn’t know how to ride a bicycle? Probably. The thing is, right now, if we were to take you and put you into a truck, you’d be right. You couldn’t drive it. But if you had five weeks of training on how to do it, it becomes pretty easy.”

To learn more about Rock Valley College’s Truck Driver Training Program, visit or call (815)921-2076.