We’ve all seen the ads in newspapers, along the sides of highways, and across the internet advertising different truck driving schools. They offer training, education and the possibility of job placement right after graduating. But, are they worth the investment? In this article, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of truck driving schools. We’re going to give you a full trusted report so you can see the benefits and failures of our truck driving schools here in America.
The Pro’s to Truck Driving Schools
1. They offer comprehensive training.
A huge benefit to going through truck driving schools is that they do have comprehensive training. You are sure to learn everything you need to know to pass the CDL test and obtain gainful employment. You’ll get both information as well as hands on training. It doesn’t matter if you learn from the book or you learn hands-on, truck driving schools do give you everything you’ll need for your CDL license. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a good seasoned veteran truck driver an instructor.
2. They provide trucks to practice in.
Going through a truck driving school means you won’t have to borrow or invest in a rig yourself. You will be able to practice and learn on one of their trucks. You’ll get in the required behind the wheel hours as well. This hands on training is very valuable as finding a truck on your own may be difficult and expensive. I suggest paying close attention. When you first get in a big rig, it can be a little intimidating. Don’t worry about it, you’ll learn what all the buttons and gadgets are for in due time.
3. They help guide you through the complicated process of obtaining a CDL.
There are several steps to getting a CDL and it can become confusing. Truck driving schools know all the in’s and out’s of obtaining a CDL and they will guide you through each step. They have been there and done that so many times before that you can trust they won’t lead you wrong. It can be a difficult process for some men and women. Don’t worry though, you’ll learn exactly what you need in driving school.
4. Some offer job placement opportunities.
Another huge benefit of using truck driving schools is that some offer job placement opportunities once you’ve received your CDL. As you may know, experience is one of the things most trucking companies require of their drivers. As a newly licensed driver, finding employment with a reputable company can prove difficult. Some schools work with companies to obtain jobs for their students. This is a huge perk when you’re a rookie driver. I’ve known a few guys and girls that were placed in great positions based on their skills in truck driving school. If you have that extra knowledge, don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage in driving school.
5. Some offer in house financing.
Truck driving schools are not cheap. Unless you have a few grand tucked away you’ll need to get a loan or other financing. Some schools offer in house financing, loan opportunities as well as company sponsorship for your commercial drivers license. You’ll be in debt but it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re willing to go that route. At some point and time, you’re going to need your own truck. More then likely, it won’t be right away but you may wish to go that route. Some truck driving schools offer this and it can be a huge benefit for you. All I suggest, think about it because you will pile up the debt quick. However, a successful trucking job can pay for it all.
The Con’s to Truck Driving Schools
1. They take a large chunk of time to complete.
Truck driving schools take a huge time commitment, lasting weeks and sometimes even months. Their comprehensive approach, well ensuring you learn what needs to be known, doesn’t happen overnight. Full day classes last a shorter amount of time while half day extends the time to complete. You’ll need to set aside six to eight weeks to dedicate to the school. This can be a difficult process for anyone. It can be a financial drain, really at a time that most can’t afford.
2. The hours/days required make having a job in the mean time difficult.
Because of the length and duration of classes, having a job in the mean time may prove difficult if not impossible. This means you’ll want to have enough money saved up to live off of until you’re first paycheck after getting your CDL. I would suggest saving as much as possible. If you can get a second job in the weeks before truck driving school, that may be a big help for you down the road. If you have a good parent, brother or someone that trust you, you may be able to borrow the money.
3. They are a large monetary investment.
As with other forms of formal education, truck driving school takes a large monetary investment that will have to be paid back. There will be interest on top of the principal loan and if you had a company sponsor you, there might be a two year or more commit to them as well. In the beginning, it’s tough, there’s no question about it. You have to remember, this is an investment. Truck driving school is an investment that will pay off in the end.
4. Their equipment may not be the best.
Yes, truck driving schools have their own equipment to learn on; however, that equipment may not be in the best shape. Hundred of other new drivers have learned on those same trucks, meaning the gears may be worn down, shocks may be blown and any number of other problems. This is a common issue with truck driving schools. Truck driving schools don’t have the best funding and their stuck with equipment that can be worn down. All you can do is the best you can do, it’s not your fault if equipment fails.
5. They may not guarantee job placement.
Not every truck driving school guaranties job placement. This means you may have to find a company willing to hire an inexperienced driver, which increases the risk of being unemployed for an unspecified amount of time. The good thing, our sponsors are always hiring and they hire new truck drivers right out of truck driving school. We have a lot of different resources that can help you find a good trucking job.
When deciding if truck driving schools are for you, weigh the pro’s and con’s carefully. Set up interviews with schools in your area and go in informed and knowing what you’re looking for. Truck driving schools may not be for everyone but they may very well be your ticket to the open road. If you ever have any questions, you can ask our veteran team of truck drivers and we’ll be glad to assist you. Be safe and good luck!