Easy Commercial Truck Driving Lessons
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Being a truck driver is one of the hardest jobs in America. In fact, USA Today lists it as one of the most stressful and difficult jobs that one can have. However, despite the difficulties, it’s still a career that’s worth looking into due to the many perks that come with the job.
Most major trucking companies offer comprehensive driver benefits that include full pension, healthcare, and a company-matched 401(k). Now, considering that the truck driver shortage is still devastating the industry, there are quite a lot of opportunities for those looking to start a new career.
But how do you go about doing this? Well, you’ll need to make the proper preparations so you can equip yourself with the skills that can help you navigate the difficulties associated with a career in the trucking industry. To add to this, a career in trucking also requires a commercial driver’s license.
Luckily, there are training centers built specifically for this. Given the number of truck driving schools, how do you pick the best ones? To help you out, we’ll breakdown what to look for when choosing a school, as well as accessible options to help you kick off your career as a truck driver.
What To Look For When Choosing a Commercial Truck Driving School
There are a couple of things you’ll want to look for in a commercial truck driving school. To make this easier, we’ve put together the most important factors to look at when choosing where to take commercial truck driving lessons.
Offers Comprehensive Training
We’re not gonna sugarcoat it, the life of a truck driver can be quite difficult. Not only is the job physically taxing but also requires you to have the necessary skills needed for inevitable long-haul drives.
This is why you’ll want to choose a commercial truck driving school that offers comprehensive training. One way to gauge whether the school’s lessons are thorough enough is by looking at the program’s length.
A good rule of thumb would be to select a truck driving school that offers at least three weeks of training. This means you’ll have enough training and drive time to prepare you for a career in the trucking industry.
You’ll also want to make sure that the school you choose is accessible to you. There are different factors to consider when talking about accessibility.
One thing that you’ll want to take into consideration is the cost of the lessons. When evaluating the costs, you’ll want to examine any added costs that may come with the lessons. This includes but is not limited to drug tests, the cost of the permit, and insurance.
If you want to make sure that the school you’re choosing isn’t tacking on unnecessary insurance, Assured Standard is an invaluable resource that can help you understand this further.
Another factor you’ll want to take into consideration is the location of the school itself. Considering how many hours you’ll have to invest, you’ll want to choose a school that is a comfortable distance from where you live.
Optimal Student to Truck Ratio
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that the commercial driving school’s truck to student ratio is optimal for learning. The Professional Truck Driver Institute requires drivers to have at least 44 hours of behind-the-wheel experience.
Out of the 44 hours, 12 must be on the highway, 1 hour at night, and 6 hours of driving experience with a fully loaded trailer. While the minimum is set at 44 hours, the more experience you have behind-the-wheel the better.
This is why you’ll want to enroll in a commercial truck driving school that has a 1:1 student to truck ratio. This will give students the best learning experience that will help prepare them for the challenges that they’ll encounter on the road.
Best Commercial Driving Schools
There are a lot of commercial driving schools that offer easy to understand commercial truck driving lessons all over the country. To help narrow it down, we’ve put together a list of the best commercial driving schools that you should definitely consider.
Sage Truck Driving Schools
The Sage Truck Driving Schools are one of the longest-running commercial truck driving schools in the country. They’ve been around since 1989 and have been proving students with the skills to launch a career in the trucking industry.
Their programs run for around 150-160 hours and will take 4 to 6 weeks to complete. This could go on for longer but that is dependent on the number of enrolled students.
An important thing to note is that regardless of the number of students enrolled, the school ensures that there is no more than one student per truck. This may be the deciding factor for potential students, as it makes for a more effective learning experience.
Roadmaster Driver Schools
The Roadmaster Driver Schools have been training truck drivers for over 25 years. Their 3-4 week classes are geared towards maximizing the chances of getting hired once drivers complete the commercial truck driving lessons.
Roadmaster Driver schools provide career services to their students, that’ll help connect them to major companies in the trucking industry. The schools also have on-site recruiters making it as easy as possible for students to land their first truck driving job once the lessons have concluded.
Roadmaster Driver schools also make sure to use the latest trucks during their training program. In fact, the average age of their trucks is 2.5 years old. This will help truck drivers have a better feel of the types of trucks that they’ll be driving once they are hired by major trucking companies.
Regional Truck Driving Schools
Both of the schools mentioned above have locations all over the country but there is a chance that no branch will be near where you live. For instances like this, your best option would be to enroll in a regional truck driving school.
While many of these schools may not be as established as the two schools mentioned above, they are often more affordable. This could be a pretty significant factor especially if you’re planning to do this with minimal resources.
For regional truck driving schools, it would be best to do your own research about the commercial truck driving lessons near your area. Just be sure to be thorough so you can make a more informed decision about which school to go to.
Benefits of Commercial Truck Driving Lessons
Considering that you’ll be investing a lot of time and resources into the lessons, what can you expect to get out of them. Here are a few significant benefits that come with taking commercial truck driving lessons.
Not only is it impossible to land a job as a truck driver without undergoing proper commercial truck driving training, but the job itself also requires hours upon hours of preparation.
Commercial truck driving schools also prepare you to get a commercial driver’s license. And while may opt to attempt to learn all of these things by yourself, it may not be the most practical and effective option.
Remember that these truck driving schools make use of tried and tested programs that were specifically made to prepare drivers for jobs in the trucking industry. This makes these lessons vital to your success in your career as a truck driver.
Opportunity to Go Independent
Given that you’ll be picking up a lot of valuable industry knowledge from these commercial truck driving schools, this also opens up the possibilities of one day becoming an owner-operator.
Owner-operators fulfill the same duties as regular truck drivers but do so independent of any company. This means that they’re in full control of where and when they work. If this is something that you are planning to get into, it would be best to start preparing for it early.
Other than attending proper commercial truck driving lessons, you’ll want to be aware of the technicalities in owning a truck. Insurance, in particular, can be quite confusing for some people. This is why you’ll want to read up on commercial truck insurance,
Jumpstart Your Career
Lastly, we can’t emphasize how helpful these lessons will be when it comes to helping you jumpstart your career as a commercial truck driver. Enrolling in these schools gives you a direct line with major companies in the trucking industry.
Many schools also offer specific programs that help their graduates land their first jobs. Some schools, such as Roadmasters Driver Schools, are even heavily involved in the screening process for major companies in the trucking industry.
This, along with the training that you’ll receive, will increase the likelihood of you landing a good job once you complete their training program and get your commercial driver’s license.
We hope that the information we laid out will help you make a more informed decision about how you start your career as a commercial truck driver. If we missed anything or if you have things you want to clarify regarding commercial truck driving lessons, leave a comment below!