When I went to the first C.D.L. school meeting with a recruiter he gave me the usual lies, you can come home every weekend, you will make a lot of money and can’t forget the simulator that was going to make it so simple to learn. Most schools are the same and trucking is not rocket science any one can teach it. So schools are not important but what they teach is extremely important. If a company dose not teach ally docking or offside backing, the basic backing knowledge you will not be able to back up the truck in company training. So many new driver are being ripped off by schools, not teaching the most skilled part of trucking.
Any one can driver down the road or shift, but backing in tight places is a art that takes time to learn. When you hit the road in company training you should know at lest the basics of backing. If you don’t know the basics you will do extend time with a trainer tyring to get you too the starter level and some companies will send you home or back to school.
Ask will they help you past graduation for free and if sent home from a company because of backing or any thing else. Make sure you write down all the things that they say they will help you with and for how many month or years after graduation. Get all names of the people who are supposed to help you. If any of this is super ruff to get, don’t go with that school. The most important, after graduation help is job placement, because if a school is having a problem with a company they will hear about it first and save you a bus trip.
Graduation should not take years or two weeks, you need around about four to six weeks. The first part should be going ovrer regulation and explaining Pre-trip inspection. Pre-trip inspections are important and you should have a lot of time doing them every mourning. When I was in school I loved the fact that they gave use a Pre-trip book, that we used every mourning. It had pictures of every part we needed to inspect and how to inspect it. You will have to do a Per-trip on your state test to get your license. That’s why it is so important to do every day, also after school to make sure you don’t break down.
The yard training is usually next and the most fun. I had a lot of laughs in the yard, one guy forgot where the break was and almost hit the fence, the yard trainer had to jump on the truck while it was moving, to explain were the break was. Expect to see lot of screwing up and learn from them. The yard is were you practice basic maneuvers like, ally docking or offset backing and straight line backing. The yard trainer should be helpful and be ready to stop a out of control student. Before you sign ask if you can watch how they teach the yard training or sometimes you can see it from the parking lot or other places on the property. You are looking to see are the trainers helping or doing nothing.
Next is road training, that were I looked like a jack ass, in road training I stalled the truck five time at one red light, we all have a time to get laugh at. I was not a master driver in the beginning so don’t let laughter stop you from winning. Road training at most schools start on abandon roads or there’s not a lot of traffic on them during the day. This is were you should learn shifting. Some schools try to cheat you by not training you in manual transmission truck or with a trailer less than 53 feet this is unacceptable. Ask about it before you get in to any contract or loan deals.
Most trucking companies have school reimbursement programs. Call some first employment companies and see how much they pay back. You can try Werner, C R England, and Swift there the top first hire companies and will give you idea. They also have schools but remember company schools come with a huge danger, what if it doesn’t work out with the company and you are contracted to work for months or years working for that company.
Usually if you leave you will have to pay what ever the value they place on the schooling but go to a independent school and be free to do what you want. C.D.L. school can be fun but you have to make sure there not screwing you out your money, so ask question about all the above and talk to people who went there.