We asked 3 Coca-Cola UNITED employees why it’s a great place to work—here’s what they said


Coca Cola 104 We asked 3 Coca-Cola UNITED employees why it's a great place to work—here's what they said
Just can’t wait to be on the road again. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Where can you earn a living and be trained for your CDL at the same time? Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED is the answer.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered right here in The Magic City, UNITED is known for an engaging and refreshing workplace—much like their beverages. We sat down with two CDL instructors and a recent graduate of the training program to hear about their experiences in the Coca-Cola community. Want to learn more about this career? Here’s what we discovered.

About CDL training

Coca Cola 101 We asked 3 Coca-Cola UNITED employees why it's a great place to work—here's what they said
Associates complete approximately 200 hours of training before their CDL test. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The Coca-Cola UNITED training program prepares associates to obtain their CDL-A (Class A Commercial Driver’s License). Each class lasts between 5-7 weeks, with approximately 200 hours of training. Upon graduation and completion of the training, each associate is then scheduled for a CDL test.

The best part? This is paid training, which means associates can solely focus on their development and education to obtain their CDL-A and continue to get a salary during their training. Coca-Cola UNITED is committed to seeing associates learn, grow and thrive.

To get a better feel on the UNITED atmosphere, check out Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED’s website.

Why obtain your CDL license? Or, why choose UNITED? To answer these questions, we sat down with instructors Richard King and Ray McPhaul about their time with UNITED and why they recommend the training program.

Meet CDL instructors Richard and Ray

Richard and Ray both started their journey with Coca-Cola in the late 1980s. At that time, there were no CDL requirements other than being 21-years-old. If you could prove to your supervisors that you could handle the truck, then you could drive the truck. Now, there’s a mandated amount of hours to obtain before taking the CDL test.

“The CDL schools charge anywhere from $4,000 to $14,000 for a 4-6 week class. Our company had a choice to make. Either we send them off-campus and pay for their education and salaries, or we form a school here.”

Ray McPhaul, CDL instructor, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Rumored the “happiest guys at Coca-Cola”, Richard and Ray continued to pour out their appreciation for this company and the training program.

“One of my favorite parts of instructing is seeing that “Aha” moment in the students. When they get to the point where it’s second nature, that’s when we know we succeeded.”

Richard King, CDL instructor, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Since becoming instructors, Richard and Ray have seen the growth, challenges and “I get it” moments over and over again.

Meet Tyrone

Coca Cola 113 We asked 3 Coca-Cola UNITED employees why it's a great place to work—here's what they said

To further grasp how the program works, we spoke with Tyrone Crosby, a recent graduate of the CDL training program.

Tyrone was not short on amazing things to say about his instructors, the training program and the Coca-Cola UNITED community.

“My instructors care not only that I pass, but they also want me to believe in myself. I was honestly blessed that these guys were my instructors. I’d vouch for them any day.”

Tyrone Cosby

When asked why he decided to go into this career, Tyrone shared that it not only provided him valuable skills, but allowed him to provide for the other people in his life.

“This program not only gives you the skills and knowledge to become a truck driver, but it also gives you the ability to provide for your family, so you’re not missing out on what’s important.”

Tyrone Cosby

When can I start?

Coca-Cola United
Become part of the team. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Training the next generation of truck drivers is important. It not only guarantees an income, but it’s a skill you’ll have for the rest of your life. Recognizing this, Coca-Cola UNITED donated two trucks to the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) to help train more drivers.

Ready to learn the applicable skills it takes to become a licensed CDL driver? See more on Coca-Cola UNITED’s program today.

“I can’t tell you what this company means to me. It’s rare to find this kind of family-oriented business with a company this large, and I think that’s a testament to the top-tier leadership here.”

Ray McPhaul, CDL instructor, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED

Keep up with Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

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