Truck Driver Training Program | Take the Wheel

Take the Wheel Logo

The Take the Wheel program is an excellent internal promotion opportunity at R+L Carriers.

The logistics industry has frequent job openings in various fields such as accounts, billing and customer service as well as a nationwide search for truck drivers. At R+L Carriers, we offer additional internal career change opportunities for workers looking to try something new. Last October, our truck driver training program, Take the Wheel, reached a new milestone with the successful graduate of its first female driver, Andrea Holt!

A Closer Look at our Truck Driver Training Program

What is Take the Wheel? This program enables R+L employees working in any department, or on the dock, a chance to earn their Class A CDL License and become a company truck driver for R+L Carriers. Prospective candidates need only be 23 years of age and have a minimum one year of service with R+L Carriers. A clean driving record, no moving violations, and no use of controlled substances are also required for consideration. Once enrolled in the program, candidates attend an approved driving school to obtain their Class A CDL license. Additional supplemental training may also be provided by the employees’ local service center manager.

An exclusive benefit for R+L Carriers employees, Take the Wheel is available nationwide to employees in any service center with an identified need for drivers. This program is an excellent opportunity for those looking to change their career path and learn new skills within the company. Our employees also receive a pay increase, giving drivers more financial security in their profession.

Andrea’s Journey to a Class A CDL Driver

In 1998, Holt joined R+L Carriers as a Data Entry Clerk in the Accounts Receivable Department. Since then, she has worked in multiple R+L departments including, Billing, Switchboard, Customer Service, National Accounts, and most recently as a Recruiting Specialist for Human Resources.

Andrea Holt in R+L truck Cab

Andrea Holt is the first female driver to graduate the Take the Wheel Program.

When asked why she sought out the program, Holt responded

“I wanted to build on my career experience…to feel like I accomplished something.”

Holt describes how her fellow drivers accepted her into the community,

“The support I had was amazing…people were so encouraging it gave me goosebumps!”

While female drivers aren’t new to R+L, the Take the Wheel program heralds the first time a woman has transferred to full-time truck driving from another department. With her impressive company history, Holt has added truck driver to her resume.

The sky’s the limit with R+L,” she added, “Take advantage of what the company has to offer.”

A Modern Solution

The Take the Wheel program presents a solution to a now 15-year problem for trucking fleets. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a driver shortage is the No. 1 issue facing the industry and has remained the greatest concern for three years.

Bob Costello, chief economist of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) believes the shortage will increase to 105,000 drivers in 2023 and 160,000 by 2028 in the United States. 1.1 million drivers must be hired over the next decade to offset the loss of retiring drivers, roughly 110,000 a year. The average driver is 46 years old, 35 for a driver in training, making it critical to encourage a new generation of workers.

Take the Wheel and You

This is an exciting opportunity for current employees to “take the wheel” as a company driver and experience further career growth. Should your terminal be approved for the Take the Wheel program, employees are encouraged to reach out to their Service Center Manager for information.

No matter where you start at R+L Carriers, there’s always the potential to shift gears and start driving for the company. R+L Carriers currently has multiple job openings at our service centers around the country. Check out our career site now and join the team of a transportation industry leader!

The next time the R+L Carriers Hometown Showcase visits your town, be sure to ask about the Take the Wheel program. Who knows, one day you may become the hauler’s official driver!

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