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160 Driving Academy Expands with 3 New Locations in New York

160 Driving Academy, the largest commercial driving school in the country, is expanding its reach in the Northeast with new locations in Buffalo, Liverpool, and Rochester. The company plans to train 35,000 new truck drivers next year, providing opportunities for individuals like Dave Howell, who is transitioning from self-employment in general contracting to starting a site development company. Howell is currently undergoing training at 160 Driving Academy in Rochester, where he will receive 120 hours of behind-the-wheel training and 40 hours of classroom instruction to earn his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

The demand for truck drivers remains high, with the American Trucking Association estimating a shortage of 60,000 drivers in the industry. 160 Driving Academy, with schools in 48 states, aims to address this need by providing comprehensive training and helping students land job opportunities right out of trucking school. The company reports that truck driver pay has increased by 18%, with the average driver earning $69,000 a year. Additionally, specialized truck drivers with specific skills and endorsements can earn higher salaries and have access to a larger selection of jobs.

Ashlie Smothers, general manager at 160 Driving Academy, notes the increase in student population and the growing interest in becoming CDL drivers, as individuals seek to contribute to the economy and facilitate the transportation of goods. The academy’s recent acquisition of former driving schools in Rochester, Buffalo, and Liverpool has further expanded its training facilities and capabilities.

The cost of obtaining a commercial driver’s license at a driving school can vary, ranging from $4,000 to $7,000 and up, depending on location and the chosen driving school. Some trucking and transportation companies offer sponsorship for CDL training. At 160 Driving Academy, students like Howell are learning the importance of safety and responsibility while behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, preparing to join the ranks of professional truck drivers.

Photo credit spectrumlocalnews.com


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