When it comes to choosing what you want to do with your future there are a lot of deciding factors. Becoming a professional driver is a great way to earn a good salary quickly! If you are entering the industry with no previous experience and need to obtain your CDL license, this blog touches on some of the top criteria to consider when choosing a truck driving training program. It is important that you get the best quality education for the cost, and that you can secure a job immediately after the program is complete.
Remember – a good program should not only train you for any driving tests, but work hard to ensure you graduate with the skills you need to begin your career as a professional driver.
Here is a list of what we consider to be some important factors to consider when choosing a truck driving school:
Cost and What It Includes
It costs a lot of money for a company to operate a truck driving school in order to provide the best instruction possible for students and this is usually reflected in the overall school tuition. Most programs require an upfront deposit to secure a spot in the class to cover things like books, safety supplies, cost of your CDL license, drug screenings and a few other items. Some schools even offer to forgive the remainder of the school costs if you sign an agreement to drive with the company after you have successfully completed your training period.
For example – Witte Bros. Truck Driving school requires a fee to enroll and once training is completed and you are considered a solo driver, you can have the remainder of tuition forgiven if you agree to certain terms and agreements. We even give special enrollment fee considerations to veterans.
While the cost of a truck driving school can certainly impact your choice, not all driving schools and their fees are equal compared to the quality of instruction you will receive. In the end, it is worth it to invest in your future knowing that it will pay off.
Most schools average a few weeks of CDL instruction and then a few weeks of training once you have obtained your CDL. A reputable driving school should not be too short or too long because the instructors and company have a good grasp on how to teach the skills needed to become a professional driver in an appropriate amount of time.
Our professional truck driving school has two phases:
Phase 1: Approximately 5-weeks and consists of Monday through Friday sessions from 7:30am to 3:30pm. This part of school combines classroom learning and hands-on driving practice on our lot and out on local roads. Completion of this phase results in you obtaining your Class A CDL license, which you will test for on-site if you are a Missouri resident.
Phase 2: Approximately 4-weeks of over-the-road driving with qualified company trainers. Phase 2 training is paid, and this is the portion of the program where you will learn the most about what life as a professional driver is like. Once this part of the training is completed, you will have had a minimum of 9-weeks of training and then will be considered a solo driver!
Location and Reputation
Most of the time, you will be traveling to attend a truck driving school so program length has a big impact on how long you will be away from home. Over-the-road training time away from home should also be considered as well. Depending on how far away you live, some schools even offer housing accommodations like dorm rooms with other amenities. At Witte Bros. we offer free dorm-style housing to students who come from outside a 50-mile radius to ensure they aren’t worried about commuting to and from school each day which can impact training and studying time.
You can check the reputation of a school by reading some reviews from past students who have attended and even current employees. Reviews can be easily found online or on social media, but word-of-mouth reviews are also another great way to see if a certain driving school seems like a good fit for you.
Quality Instructors and Training
A reputable driving school will have quality instructors that are knowledgeable and have plenty of experience in the industry. Each of the instructors at Witte Bros. Truck Driving school has multiple years of real-life OTR experience and even classroom teaching experience. Do your research and speak to recruiters to get a good understanding of how knowledgeable the instructors are and to be sure you would benefit from their instruction.
Keep in mind that the trucks you use for training purposes most likely will not be the same trucks you drive OTR. When you are calling and applying, to driving programs, be sure the company you are planning to work for or go through school with has the style of trucks and trailers you would be comfortable working with every day. Whether you prefer regular trailers or reefers, manuals or transmissions, knowing this type of information should be a good deciding factor on which school you will attend.
Since you are most likely attending truck driving school to obtain a job in the industry when you complete the course, job placement should matter to you! When it comes to job placement, talk to the recruiting department, instructors, trainers, current drivers and peers to find out how job placement is for a company when you are done with your schooling. It makes sense to do this so you can be reassured you have a position waiting for you when you graduate. Our driving school has guaranteed job placement once you successfully complete our program. We notice how invested you are by choosing our driving program, so we want you to stay with us to begin your career.
Talk to a Recruiter
There are plenty of other things to be considered when looking at truck driving schools, but these are some of the main tips. You should also be sure to ask other important questions like what drive-time will be like during your training period, any relevant pay or benefit information you are interested in knowing about and much more.
Do your best research and consider all these tips when you are looking into choosing a truck driving school. Attending and following through with a truck driving school will prepare you for a future in a fast-paced and very rewarding industry. Throughout this whole journey it is important to have an open mind, be willing to learn all the skills needed to succeed and trust the process of testing, learning driving maneuvers and before you know it you will be earning a very nice living!
For more information on the Witte Bros. Truck Driving School please click here.
If you are interested in applying, fill out our online application.
Our team of recruiters is also available to answer any questions you may have about the school, the company or other driving opportunities. One of our recruiters would love to talk to you and give you more information. You can reach them at 1-800-325-8151.