What about Truck Driving Schools?
The need for truck drivers is increasing every week and right now there is just not an ample supply of them. Unless something changes there will be significant a significant truck driver shortage in the future unlike anything we have seen up to this point. This is not a scare tactic, just the facts.
Because of rising insurance rates and restrictions it is almost impossible for all but the largest of trucking companies to train new truck drivers. So what is the option? The only thing left right now is truck driving schools, which can be somewhat expensive and even then there are limited transportation companies that can hire a new driver without any experience.
Some colleges offer truck driving training and more are beginning to add it as the demand for a new truck driver’s rise, but can they keep up with demand? If they do, will insurance companies enable trucking companies to hire a new driver?
All of these questions need to be answered, probably by the Government eventually unless we want our economy to come to a grinding halt.
Right now, probably the best choice is a Truck Driving School either offered as part of a college program or a professional Truck Driving School.
What will you learn while in truck driving school?
- Hands on practice driving a truck. Unfortunately most of the driving will be in a limited area so it is not quite the same as cross country. Unless the school is located in a major city like Chicago you will also not get the experience in dealing with traffic in a confined area like a major city.
- You will get experience in maneuvering your truck and trailer such as backing into tight areas like docks, parking, turning around and proper signaling. But, these things take a lot of experience so don’t expect to leave your truck driving school an expert.
- An introduction to proper cargo loading, distribution and securement. You need to make sure the school you go to can teach you the skills you need based on what type of trailer you plan on using when you start your career. Flatbed and heavy haul take a lot more instruction than Dry Van.
- Introduction to traffic laws and regulations that affect commercial drivers.
- Courses in how to read maps and properly plan your trips.
- Courses in commercial driver logs. Now that we are on ELD’s this is a little simpler but you still need to understand all the rules.
- Proper record keeping to keep up with your delivery records.
- What Bills of lading are and how to read them.
- How to do pre and post trip inspections and the importance of them.
- Hopefully, your truck driving school will also teach you about personal health habits. Because trucking requires long amounts of time just sitting you need to watch what you eat and find time to exercise.
After all of this, you will still need to pass your CDL exam if you want to be a professional truck driver but these courses will help you to achieve that.
The best truck driving schools will also help you find job placement. In fact, many truck driving schools probably get some of their funding from the trucking companies they place you at. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t have to sign any sort of contract saying you have to work for a particular program or can’t leave school to work for any company you desire. There are some exceptions to this if a trucking company pays your tuition.
How long each school lasts depends a lot on the school but you should figure at least seven weeks or so for a full time program.
Assuming you can pass your CDL without a truck driving school you should take a look at trucking companies that will train you while you work. You may have to agree to stay with them for a period of time but this is probably a cheaper way for you to enter the trucking business as a driver.
Let us know what you think below.