Truck driving has emerged as one of the most lucrative industries in recent times. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor-Statistics, a truck driver in the US earns an average of $0.28 – $0.40 cents for every mile covered. Regulations stipulate that a truck driver should only cover between 2, 000 and 3, 000 miles every week.
However, the pay is still comparatively higher than what many other employees in the transport industry earn. But all these come at a price. For one, to become a trucker there is obviously a rigorous training course as well as other licensing procedures to go through. In this post, we shall discuss some of the things you need to know about truck driver training.
6 Things to Know About Truck Driver Training
1. Professional Truck Drivers Must Be Trained In CDL
For you to qualify as a professional trucker, you must possess a CDL. A CDL basically stands for commercial driver’s license. Therefore, any truck driver training program is only viable to the extent that it offers CDL training. Also, some schools, such as Swift trucking school provide free CDL training.
Remember, the US government [and many other governments for that matter], will only recognize a CDL-issued truck driver. In the US, the license is issued by the Department-of-Transportation, upon graduating from a truck driving school.
2. Training Must Be in an Accredited School
There are many small CDL training-schools that come up every other day. These are normally schools started by professional instructors who leave an established school in favor of starting their own businesses. Usually, these schools are not accredited and contain poor training facilities and environments.
Such schools must be avoided at all cost. At the very least, ensure you train in an institution that’s not only licensed but also accredited by both the state and the federal government. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of enough training trucks, a quality-checked environment, and professional trainers.
3. You Must Check the Reputation of the Institution
As we have already mentioned, there are many truck driving schools coming up every so often. But that does not mean that the reputation of all these schools can be vouched for. At the very least, insist in a school that has a well-grounded foundation and a solid track record. In order to do this, you will have to check online and see how the school is talked about through reviews or on community forums.
Another thing that will help you determine the reputation of a school is the pass rate. To be on the safe side, go for a school with at least 60 percent student pass rate. Settle with a truck driving school that has been in business for much longer and boasts lots of positive reviews. This does not necessarily mean that new entrants are to be shunned. However, you want the peace of mind knowing you have invested in a reputable school.
4. Third-party Testing
As a truck driver trainee, there will come a time when you will be tested. Testing usually happens at a state facility and happens right before you officially begin your truck driving career. However, there are truck driver training schools that are usually licensed to employ on-site CDL testers. Well, this does not come easy.
Usually, there are rigorous quality checks that must be performed to ensure the school is in compliance with all regulations. However, it is important to opt for a school that is a licensed third-party tester. Otherwise, you will be subjected to long queues along with other graduates when you finally need to take your CDL exam.
5. How Do You Graduate From A Truck Driving School?
As is the case with any other course, graduation comes only after successfully completing the training and passing your exams. After completing all the driving lessons, you will be expected to take your CDL exam. When choosing a training school, it is important to consider the package they offer upon graduation before enrolling with them. At the least, the package should include a graduation letter as well as a certificate-of-completion.
The school should also be able to offer copies of the grades you attained, then possibly a specialized Diploma though this may not always happen immediately. But the most important thing is a list of local jobs available. It is important to remember that after graduating, you will need some sort of placement assistance. But with a local directory of potential hirers, you can have a head-start with your job search.
6. What is the Cost of Training?
The cost of truck driver training is often high, especially depending on the specific areas you train for. For instance, schools that offer training for all the major carriers are likely to charge you a little more. Also, schools that offer placement assistance could charge you extra.
But of course, you still need a school that offers fairer rates without compromising on quality. You can do an online check and compare prices before enrolling with a school. While at it, be keen to avoid schools that offer ridiculously-discounted prices.
And there goes our guide on some of the things to expect when you go for truck driving training. Without meaning to be repetitive, a background check on any truck driving training school will give you a clearer picture on what to expect.