Newbies - How To Get Training
Choosing A Carrier-Sponsored Driving School
Choosing an appropriate truck driving school is one of the most important steps in beginning your career as a truck driver. There are two types of truck driving schools you can attend--the private school and the carrier-sponsored school. This article addresses the carrier-sponsored truck driving school and how to choose that carrier school. Looking at carrier driving schools should not be taken lightly as the investment of time, and possibly money, is fairly significant and your future success depends on this choice. So then, how do you choose a carrier-sponsored truck driving school?
Let's talk about cost for a minute. The cost of attending a truck driving school is definitely a factor in determining which school you should attend. Yes, there are options for financing truck driving school, but even if you do choose one of these options you will still have to come up with the money eventually. One of the benefits of a carrier-sponsored school is that the carrier usually pays for it. Yes, that's right. You, in all likelihood, will not have to pay for any of the school if you attend a carrier-sponsored school. This is something you want to verify though and not take for granted. There are some carrier-sponsored schools that will deduct fees from your initial pay settlements to pay for the school. Know upfront what is going to happen. You can find this out by asking the carrier schools.
The true cost of the school comes in the form of a commitment from you to drive for the sponsoring carrier for a given amount of time. The good part about this is that you will already have a job when you graduate and you won't have to spend time looking. The bad part is that if you don't meet the commitment you will be required to pay for the cost of the school.
In addition to the cost or commitment, it's important to have a good understanding of what the course will be like. Is the majority of the time spent driving or in the classroom? How long does it last? Is there any flexibility in when you can attend? Typically, the carrier schools are full-time, lasting varying lengths of time with little flexibility. Simply call the carrier school to find out what the course will be like.
With a carrier-sponsored school you will have a job at the end of the course. This is because, as mentioned above, the carrier will require a minimum employment commitment from you. This commitment may be one or two years, or possibly more. It varies by carrier. If you fail to meet this commitment you will be required to pay for school. Obviously a potentially negative aspect of this commitment is that it limits your choices of employers to one for a given time period.
If you do choose to utilize a carrier-sponsored school you will want to do a background check. Ask the school for a list of references and then contact them to see what they thought of the school and the carrier who sponsors the training. Since you will end up working for the carrier for a given time period, it's important to find out about the carrier not just the school. Go to the local truck stop and find a current driver for the carrier. Ask what you can about the carrier (take this information with a grain of salt though). Another thing to consider is whether or not other carriers will accept this school as adequate training. There is no guarantee you will like the carrier that is sponsoring the school. What happens if you graduate from that school, but decide it would be better to pay for the school and go to a different carrier?
When you look at choosing a carrier-sponsored driving school, it's important to make certain you have enough information to make an informed decision. As you review the suggestions above, you will undoubtedly be able to think of more items you are concerned with. When this happens, and it will, make sure you get the answers you are looking for prior to making a commitment. This is the beginning of your career and it will require a significant investment (of time, money or both) from you. Make certain you choose the carrier school that meets your individual needs. Make some calls, get some information and enjoy your future success!