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News & Events

Path to CDL Program Helps ABC Supply Associates Become Professional Drivers

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Program paves the way to more professional opportunities for interested associates

Every day, our company’s safe, well-trained drivers deliver building products to thousands of jobsites across the country. Because truck drivers quite literally move our company and industry forward, we are always looking to add more of these skilled professionals to our fleet. However, a nationwide driver shortage is impacting nearly every industry, making it more important than ever to find creative ways to keep the driver seats of our delivery trucks filled.

Last year, we launched the Path to CDL Program to create a clear career path for both existing and prospective associates who want to become professional truck drivers.

Removing the financial roadblocks to career advancement for drivers

Anyone who wants to become a truck driver in the United States must first earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Passing the CDL test requires a considerable amount of training — and can be costly. The variability in pricing comes from factors such as:

  • CDL application fees
  • Road test fees
  • CDL skills test fees
  • Type of license (Class A, B, C)
  • Additional endorsements (e.g., hazmat, double or triple trailer)
  • Public vs. privately funded truck driving school

With the Path to CDL Program, ABC Supply removes the financial strain of funding driver training. Associates can fully focus on learning and honing their skills instead of trying to squeeze it in around their work schedules.

“When you’re in the Path to CDL Program, your entire day job is learning and practicing,” stated Jim Moore, delivery service compliance manager at ABC Supply. “Not only do we pay you for every minute of that time, but we also cover all the costs associated with earning the license.”

How the Path to CDL Program works

ABC Supply or L&W Supply associates who have worked at a branch for at least six months and have a good motor vehicle record are eligible for the Path to CDL Program.

“The first step for anyone who wants to be a professional driver is passing a written exam to get a CDL permit,” explained Jim. “After they get their permit, they can begin with the formal training process.”

The training process is completed in two phases. The first phase requires a driver candidate to learn important skills such as backing, parking and pre- and post-trip inspections using video modules.

After those initial trainings, the permit holder can begin phase two: behind-the-wheel training. Most candidates in the program are paired with a certified trainer in their branch or a nearby branch. This allows them to get true on-the-job experience.

“Safety is critically important to our company, so it’s important to know that we’re putting responsible drivers out on the road,” said Jeff Pettit, branch manager of L&W Supply’s Columbus location. “When a CDL candidate is getting real-time driving training at a branch, we can make sure that they’re meeting our high standards.”

If there is no trainer available in a certain area, the candidate will attend a local driving school.

“The entire process generally takes three to eight weeks for someone to earn their CDL after getting their permit,” said Jim. “Once they pass the road test, they are then ready to be a delivery driver for the company.”

Supporting career growth – and the American dream  

Candidates can further their training and earning potential by obtaining a drywall or knuckle boom certification — even more opportunities to broaden their skill set and advance within the company.

“We want to see everyone succeed,” says Jim. “The Path to CDL Program has the ability to change the trajectory of someone’s career, and we’re proud to offer that opportunity and assist them throughout the process.”

Twenty-nine associates at ABC Supply and L&W Supply have completed this program, but the first was Gerardo Delgado. Gerardo joined ABC Supply in 2021 as a roof load helper after moving to Texas from Mexico. When he earned his CDL in December 2022, he became the first ABC Supply associate to complete the program and is now a delivery driver at the Katy, Texas, branch.

Current associates interested in learning more or getting involved with the Path to CDL Program can reach out to their branch manager.

Professionals looking to grow their career are encouraged to search for jobs at ABC Supply or L&W Supply.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only. All information provided is in good faith, and is not intended as a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, legal, or financial advice for a professional accountant or lawyer. Any opinions expressed are those of the author. ABC Supply makes no warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding, the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information provided herein. Any questions regarding the information provided should be addressed to the author.