Truck Driving School Advice

Know Before You Go

When choosing a truck driving school there are quite a few things to consider. Among them, in no particular order, are price, location, quality of instruction, industry certifications and job placement assistance. Another factor for your consideration might be the choice between private, or independent, truck driving schools and schools run by trucking companies.

Of the above listed choices the most important, in my opinion, may be whether you want to train in a company-run program or at an independent school. In each instance there are a number of factrs to investigate. These two types of training differ in a number of ways. For example, if you choose an independent truck driving school the cost will be, quite likely, your responsibility. If you choose a company-run truck driver training program you will, in all likelihood, sign a work contract to be fulfilled after successful completion of training. In some cases the training will be "free" and in other cases the training costs will be repaid out of earnings.

Company Run Truck Driving Schools

At first glance, company run truck driver training might seem like a bargain but there are elements making this choice anything but the obvious. For one, most of the company-run truck driver training programs will require you to repay all training costs if, for any reason, you either become ineligible for hire or you decide to leave their employ before the end of the contract period. Another caveat rests in the fact that, after your training, you'll be teamed with a driver-trainer who may or may not be the most personable and enjoyable individual with whom to be paired, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in close proximity.

If you decide to go the way of company-run truck driver training make sure you do your homework regarding both the training and the company with whom you're considering as a choice. Here's a List of Company-run truck drivr training programs.

Independant Truck Driving Schools

My personal feelings regarding truck driver training lean more heavily toward independent truck driving schools. While I don't have any specific recommendations I do have a couple of suggestions when shopping for a school.

First, check for industry certification from an organization like The Professional Truck Driver Institute. Second, find out how successful the prospective school is at placing graduates in jobs. Ask them if they're able to point you in the direction of former students and interview those individuals. Third, find out a little bit about the prospective school curriculum. How many hours can a student expect to spend in class, lab and behind-the-wheel training and compare those numbers to other schools you're considering.

One other consideration. Many truck driver training programs are either directly or indirectly connected to community colleges. These programs might be your best choice.

After You've Chosen a School

Make certain, after choosing a school, that you gain advice regarding your training from a school representative. For example, do they recommend you wear or bring certain types of gloves, shoes or clothing? What kinds of equipment are provided and what are you responsible to bring yourself (flashlight, tire inflation guage, etc.)? If you're going to a school that's located some distance from your home you'll want to know about food, lodging and, if necessary, transportation to and from the school. And here's another piece of advice: Succeed at Truck Driving School.