New partnership hits the road to train big rig drivers

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

River Parishes Community College (RPCC), has launched Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training and testing services in partnership with a private company called CDL Certifiers. RPCC will provide space, equipment, classes, and administration while professionals with CDL certifiers will provide a specially equipped tractor/trailer, teachers, and examiners.

RPCC courses are designed for individuals who have no experience or training as an “over the road” tractor trailer truck driver. The courses prepare students for entry level employment in the transportation industry. This standard course is four weeks long (160 hours), however the College also plans to offer two- or three-week programs.

Modern truck driver/tractor-trailer drivers must be highly skilled and be knowledgeable of commercial driving regulations in order to transport all types of goods from livestock to car parts, to industrial process materials over long-distance hauls. They must know how to maneuver the truck into the unloading and loading positions, and be able to drive in any weather condition.

Truck drivers must complete a CDL (Commercial Driver License) class and must have a CDL-A license to drive a heavy truck. This course will prepare students for both. Good drivers can earn from $16 to $38 per hour or $35,000 to $72,000 annually, based on experience and the driving region.

RPCC will offer differing levels of classes to meet the requirements of desired jobs or industry of interest.

Students may apply online at by using the workforce application under “Workforce Training – CDL Training – Apply Now for Workforce Training-Transportation,” or by visiting the campus at: 925 W. Edenborne Parkway, Gonzales, La., or by calling 225-743-8500 or 225-380-3813. Future applicants may also e-mail questions to

River Parishes Community College focuses on building the workforce of today and tomorrow through specific skill training and providing transferrable courses and curricula leading to certification and associate degrees. RPCC works closely with its communities to provide programs for personal, professional and academic growth.

Contributed by RPCC