Choosing a truck driving school can be a daunting task. I got my CDL on the first try and was out the door on my way to being a student driver at a large trucking company after completing a six week class. When I was at orientation for the company I was starting with I had the opportunity to speak with a lot of recent graduates. I was surprised to hear that many of them took six and nine month classes that they had to get loans for.
Why choosing a truck driving school can be easy
There is three main points I would concentrate on when choosing a truck driving school. I do not view truck driving school as “school”. It is just a way to get your CDL, DOT Medical Certificate and your foot in the door of a large company. Everything else that you need to know will be either be learned during new driver orientation at the company you work for, from your driver trainer or online. Do not feel like you have to be an “expert trucker” when getting out of school.
#1. Cost of driving school should not be expensive
There are schools out there charging $12,000 – $20,000 plus 18% interest. DO NOT pay this much. I think that $4,000 to $5,000 dollars for a four to six week class is the top of what I would pay to a truck driving schoo
l. Just get your CDL and then head to a company that will pay for your tuition. Do not let someone rip you off!
With that being said make sure the school has a good reputation, has been open for more than two years and that everything looks professional.
#2 . Choose a truck driving school that guarantees your CDL
The school I attend had a guarantee that you would have your CDL no matter how long it takes you. I think that this is extremely important because if you attend school and do not get your CDL you have lost a lot of money and now have nothing. The schooling its self in the real world means almost nothing.
#3. Choose a driving school with enough trucks
Make sure that you know the truck to student ratio. It is very important to get as much time in as possible. Backing will be your biggest hurdle and the only way to get better is practice. Use your time wisely even when you are not in a truck. Pay attention and watch other students back up. Pay attention to their mistakes and listen to the instructors.
Basic classes your school should cover
-Driving -Log Books -CDL Test -Safety -Backing -Permit Test
Remember also that some companies offer free CDL training as well.