If you’re seeking to enter the transportation industry as a truck driver, your first order of business should be learning how to find a truck driving school. Instead of signing up with the first school you find, take some time to compare your options and consider various aspects of the programs. For example, how much does each school cost? What subjects do the curriculums cover? Is the school well established and respected? How much professional driving training will you receive? Take your time when learning how to find a truck driving school, because the education you receive could greatly affect your future career prospects.
How to Find a Truck Driving School
When you’re ready to get started, search online for reputable truck driving schools with excellent reputations and high ratings from the Better Business Bureau. The schools should also be licensed and certified by your state. Once you have a few contenders lined up, you can begin comparing and contrasting their education programs. Most commercial driver’s license (CDL) programs last between three weeks and three months.
Evaluating Your Potential Schools
To decide which truck driving school best fits your needs, research their education programs and study their curriculums. You can find a lot of this information online, but don’t be afraid to contact the school for more specific questions and in-depth answers. As you evaluate your contenders, consider these elements:
- Strong Curriculums: Firstly and most importantly, you need to look at what the school teaches its students. They should offer a thorough, comprehensive curriculum to ensure that when students graduate, they are ready to jump behind the wheel and start their new careers. Review the course descriptions to ensure that you will learn everything you need to know.
- Extended Curriculums: Consider programs that offer an extended curriculum. For example, you may wish to receive hands-on Doubles and Triples skills training to improve your job prospects. Although you may not need this training right away, it never hurts to have some extra education under your belt.
- Behind-the-Wheel Training: A class may teach you what to do, but getting practice behind the wheel lets you put that newfound knowledge to use. Hands-on training is important in many fields, but it is especially crucial in truck driving. How else can you master the skills necessary to drive and maneuver an eighteen-wheeler? Find a school that complements a rigorous curriculum with plenty of behind-the-wheel training.
- Staff Member Experience: Professional drivers with many years of experience can give you insight into the trucking industry, as they will provide expertise based on real-life situations. So as you peruse truck driving schools, ask about the staff members’ experience. Their knowledge and knowhow will help prepare you for life on the road.
- Small Class Sizes: When a class is small, the teacher is able to spend more one-on-one time with each student. You can ask more questions, get to know your fellow students, and develop a trusting relationship with your teacher. Ask each school about the size of their classes to gauge the level of personalization you would receive there.
Review the Admission Procedure and Tuition
To enroll in a truck driving school, you must meet their admission requirements. Before you select your school, review the admission procedure to ensure that you’re ready to sign up and begin your education. Common requirements include the following:
- To apply, the applicant must provide a valid driver’s license, a Social Security card, and a birth certificate or passport.
- The applicant may not have any DWI/DUI violations within the last three years.
- The applicant may not have any felony convictions involving the manufacture and/or distribution of illegal drugs.
- The school may evaluate the applicant’s motor vehicle record.
- The applicant must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical and drug screen.
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
The application process varies from school to school, but you will likely apply online, in person, or by phone. Before you commit to a school, remember to ask about tuition, financial aid, and additional costs. For example, in addition to tuition, you may be required to cover the fees for the DOT physical, DOT drug screening, a Class A CDL permit, and a Class A CDL license. Some programs offer housing and food allowances for out-of-town students as well.
Sharpen Your Skills with a Refresher Course
Just because you once had a successful career as a professional truck driver, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to jump behind the wheel again. If you haven’t driven a semi-tractor trailer in a year or more, consider sharpening your skills with a refresher course. You can bring your skills and knowledge up to date, impress employers with your new qualifications, and demonstrate your commitment to your education. With a current CDL, you can better compete for coveted jobs by proving that you have the tools and knowledge to work in the modern trucking industry. In addition to the tips above regarding how to find a truck driving school, look for a program that helps drivers sharpen their rusty skills.
To jump-start your re-entry into the world of truck driving, look for a school that offers a quick but comprehensive refresher course. Typically the course will take about one to two weeks, and the school will evaluate the driver’s skills before the program begins.
Now that you know how to find a truck driving school, are you ready to get started? You can learn everything you need to know at the Truck Dynasty Driving Academy. Our professional truck driver training program involves 120 clock hours and 3 weeks of professional driver training. In addition, current drivers can use the refresher course to sharpen and develop their skills. To get started, please give us a call at 417-831-8188, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!