Truck Driving School
Choosing a Good Truck Driving School
So, you want to be a truck driver. Well, since you've made your decision, it's time to go to truck driving school! But, where do you start? When choosing a truck driving school, there are a variety of factors to consider. For one, you want to look for a school that offers the best possible training. Another factor to consider is the type of job placement that the truck driving school offers. In essence, you want to get the best "bang" for your buck.
With that being the case, there are a few tips to keep in mind while researching a suitable truck driving school to attend. For one, do some research! Look for school references, reputation, etc. Try to get a good feel for the school. It's also advisable to visit and take a tour of the school, if possible.
Additionally, take a look at the programs the truck driving school offers. Don't just assume that a school has exactly what you're looking for. Finally, review the school's enrollment agreement. Don't pay any tuition or fees until you have a contract in writing.
Now that the simple basics have been addressed, lets go deeper and get into the specifics in choosing a truck driving school which is right for you and your needs. As always, the first thing to consider is price. Money is always a factor and should be a consideration; but not the ultimate deciding notion. Remember, you often get what you pay for. If you find a school to your liking, but the price seems out of reach, look into financing, grants, scholarships, etc.
Another factor to consider is school location and your ability to get there. However, don't just choose a location for its convenience. By doing so, you may be asking for trouble. That other truck driving school that's a further away than you hoped may be a much better option, in terms of quality. The point being, choose your school on merit, not necessarily convenience.
After investigating various factors, there's one that must be addressed . . . the overall quality of the truck driving school. What makes a school stand out above the rest? First, investigate the amount of driving time you'll receive. Drive time specifically means you being "in charge" of the operation of the truck. While schools vary in drive time offerings, about 32 hours should be a minimum in which you're willing to accept. The old adage "practice makes perfect" fits well here. The more driving time you're given, the better driver you'll become.
Continuing, the quality of instruction should be a major component, in making your decision. For instance, an adequate instructor to student ratio is approximately 4:1. This student to teacher ratio allows for quality instruction to take place. Instruction should occur while you are behind the wheel. An instructor should be present to observe you driving; thereby, enabling them to address any mistakes you may make, and offer guidance in "real time."
Conversely, the flipside to instruction quality is the proficiency of the instructor. Instructors should be knowledgeable, experienced, and care a great deal for the students they are instructing. They should be well-versed in the workings of the trucking industry; and be experienced in the operation of trucks, as well. Furthermore, a good instructor is a caring one. They should care for the students they are teaching; realizing that their students are going to be operating heavy pieces of machinery, and should want them to do so safely.
Another area to research is whether the truck driving school offers job placement after you've completed your required coursework, drive time, etc. Believe it or not, there are some schools that will let you walk out the door without offering a bit of help regarding truck driver job placement. Be sure to inquire about job placement opportunities, before you decide on a school. Your chosen school, after passing the required testing procedures, should assist you in getting your first truck driving position. As a prospective student, you could ask whether recruiters are allowed to come to the campus to interview student drivers. Good truck driving schools will offer assistance in filling out job applications, resumes, understanding employment packages, health benefits, etc.
In the end, a little bit of "leg work" will go a long way. Do some research, ask questions, inquire for references, assess class offerings, and placement assistance. By covering all of the aforementioned, you're more likely to find a truck driving school that is right for you!