Qualified CDL drivers are in high demand. If you’re thinking about a career change, here are the top tips for choosing the right truck driving school.
1) Consider accreditation
There are three types of CDL training schools: licensed, certified, and accredited.
Licensed schools have met certain state requirements. Certified schools have met state requirements and also been inspected by a third-party company.
An accredited school is one that meets regulations and policies set by the U.S. Department of Education. If you want to become a truck driver whose license is recognized by all trucking companies, then consider choosing an accredited school.
2) Look at the school’s job placement record
Make sure the driving school has easy access to its graduation rates and employment numbers for alumni. Also check to see if graduates are being placed at leading trucking companies.
If the school has difficulty producing this information, it’s means the staff is disorganized with its record keeping, or they’re not proud of their graduation and job placement rates. Either situation is a red flag that should make you reconsider choosing that school.
3) Consider both automatic and manual transmission training
Commercial motor vehicles with an automatic transmission are common.
However, manual transmissions still exist in many trucks. At some point during your trucking career you will likely be placed in a manual vehicle. That means you should choose a truck driving school that offers both automatic and manual transmission training.
4) Find out the number of hours behind the wheel
There can only be a few students in a training truck at a time. So it’s crucial that you find out how many hours of actual driving time you’ll get when you sign up for a CDL driver training program.
The more hours you have, the more confidence and skill you’ll have on the job after you graduate. Also, comparing the number of hours you’ll get behind the wheel will make is easier for you to evaluate the value of a training program versus its cost.
5) Tour the facilities
Before making your final decision about which CDL training program to sign up for, visit the school in-person.
Talk to the staff and the trainer to see how professional and knowledgeable they are. Take a look at the trucks and trailers provided for the trainees. And talk to the current students to find out how happy they are with the program and whether they’d recommend it to their own friends and family.
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