A career in truck driving can be extremely enriching. We’ve before about the benefits of this path (check out, too) and on our free truckers load board, but today we want to focus on an essential aspect of truck driving — training.
To become a truck driver, you must complete truck driving school, which is similar to other careers: you must go through training, learn from experts, and gain the skills necessary to be a successful driver.
Depending on where you live, you may have a lot of options for driving schools, but keep in mind that they’re not all the same. You should keep a few different things in mind when choosing where to study, like costs, time commitment and depth of training. Apart from these aspects, we’ll walk you through some other crucial considerations to take into account before choosing your truck driving school.
Choose the Best Truck Driving School
When you’re looking at truck driving schools, the first thing you have to decide is if you’re looking for a private training school or a company-sponsored program.
Some quick notes on these options: private training schools typically require high upfront costs but don’t hold any contractual obligations upon completion of the training. While company-led programs may be little to no cost, but you will have to work for that company for the agreed upon term when you signed up. Each company has different programs and requirements, so be sure to ask.
Most of the time choosing between private CDL schools and company-sponsored programs will come down to your finances. Both hold benefits and can be great stepping stones into your new career driving truck loads.
- Avoid “Free Training” Language: First things first, protect yourself. Nothing worth having is free, and that’s especially true when it comes to this industry. Trucking is expensive: there are fuel costs, equipment, maintenance, and a lot more that go into being a trucker. If you see CDL schools or programs offering “free” classes, there’s likely fine print involved. Always ask questions and get all agreements in writing before you sign anything.
- Seek Reputable Schools: When looking for a school, you should look at how long it has been in business. Be wary of ones with short track records. They may not be around for long, and you could find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place.
- Trainer to Student Ratio: Obviously the lower the ratio, the better. One trainer for every 4 students is standard and ensures you’re getting the necessary attention and guidance that will make you a great driver.
- Go Visit: If you are in an area with more than one school, we recommend taking the time to visit a few. CDL training is a smart investment, but it’s also a big one. You want to be sure you are comfortable with your choice. Take time to compare rates, curriculums and speak to the trainers.
Finding the best truck driving school for your needs will vary, but these four tips by can help you get started, especially if you get your own authority and start using loadboards. If you’re looking to get started with a career in truck driving, we have some other helpful resources that can help you on this journey.
Take a look around FreeFreightSearch.com for more information, tips, and access to the world’s largest FREE load board!