If you want to get your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and work in the trucking industry, you can get professional training and hands-on experience by completing a truck driver training program. Professional truck driver schools prepare students for a rewarding career in this industry with fast-track training programs. Students enrolled in a program at truck driver schools get to work closely with a driver trainer, prepare for the CDL exam, and also learn all the ins and outs of the industry.
You can find a CDL school that offers a paid-training program. These are often sponsored by a trucking company or a truck manufacturer. These schools can make it easier to find a job after completing your training program, and also provide some financial relief as you fulfill your education requirements.
Training Programs at Truck Driving Schools
The types of training programs available vary only slightly from school to school and from state to state. Reputable schools offer a combination of classroom training, driving range instruction, and on-the-street driving experiences. Training programs may also include:
- Interactive presentations
- Presentations by master drivers and professionals in the industry
- Map reading and trip planning activities
- Learning low-speed driving maneuvers on the road
- Safety protocol training that is compliant with The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986
- Appropriate log book practices
Students are able to get hands-on training on the road when their instructor feels that they can demonstrate the skills needed to handle real-world situations. "Street training" is an important part of the program and better prepares students for the CDL certification exam.
Types of Truck Driver Schools
If you want to be successful in your truck driving career, you will need to choose a school that has a good reputation and some of the best instructors in your region. Even though truck driver schools have similar curriculums and training programs, every school will have a different style of teaching and will provide students with safety protocol and training that is relevant to the states they will be driving in.
There are essentially three types of driving schools you can attend: public schools funded by local and state governments; private schools offered by independent training professionals; and trucking company schools that usually offer paid training programs. The type of school you choose will depend on your location, your budget, and how much of a time commitment you can make to complete your CDL training requirements. If you're currently not working for a trucking company, ask your employer about advanced training programs available and employer-sponsored training programs.
Some schools offer relatively short programs that last anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks and help students prepare for the CDL exam, while others are several months or up to a year in length and offered at a community college or vocational school. Private schools often offer specialized training programs in particular types of trucks, giving students a chance to obtain advanced skills and training in their field. Programs offered by trucking companies usually involve driving company trucks and learning how to fulfill job duties with a specific company.