Truck Driving Schools – What They Won’t Tell You
I have lost count on how many “new” drivers have contacted me explaining that they have completed a truck driving course and now have their CDL, but they cannot get hired. The reason is always the same . . . they do not have enough experience. Many of these drivers are not understanding the reasoning behind this before they pay the thousands of dollars for a truck driving school.
The truck driving schools will always tell you that you will have no problem getting hired after you achieve your CDL. This in fact, is true to a certain point, but what they don’t tell you is the key factor you need to know BEFORE you enter into a truck driving school.
Laws concerning the commercial driver have gotten very strict in the last several years, especially after 911. New drivers are always telling me that the company wants at least a year of experience before they can hire them. So now, they have spent thousands of dollars for a CDL, but have no driving experience, so they cannot get hired. It really is not the company that won’t hire them, but the problem lies with their insurance company.
The trucking company’s insurance carrier is actually the one that requires the year of experience. So how can the truck driving schools claim that you will have no problem getting hired? The answer lies with the mega trucking companies. These giant companies offer their own “truck driving schools” that will land you your CDL, and then you will be required to work for them and them alone, usually riding with a “trainer” for 6-8 weeks before being allowed to “go it alone.” In addition, during all this time, you will be at the low end of the pay scale. Also, many of these massive trucking companies are their OWN insurance company! Therefore, they can “bend” the rules so to speak.
If the truck driving school tells you that you will have no problem getting hired, asked them about the six months to a year of experience that the insurance companies require and see what they say. Most all of these “schools” have contracts with certain trucking companies that will hire you after you complete your CDL course. But you can only work for them, therefore you are stuck with that company only. If you believe you can go to a truck driving school and immediately go anywhere and start working locally, chances are you will be wrong. Your only choices will be to go with the giant trucking companies working over the road, until you can build up the experience required by the insurance companies. There are hundreds of these trucking companies that will hire “new grads” and get them “pushed” through on “their” insurance. The only problem is that over the road may not have been in your plans.
Also, keep in mind that while you are at the mercy of these giant companies, you will be at the low end of the pay scale . . . usually between $400-$450 per week. Thereafter, the raises will be slow coming. This is how trucking companies can get their freight moved cheap . . . by constantly hiring “new grads” and weeding out the drivers that are now at the top end of the pay scale.
If your plans are to work locally as a professional driver and you have no experience, chances are you will have to attend a truck driving school and be forced to work for one of the larger trucking companies as an over the road driver. These schools provided by the trucking companies can run as high as $4000 or more. There is a much cheaper way to go than using these trucking company’s so-called “schools.”
Only after you accumulate at least one year of driving experience, two years is better, meeting the criteria of the insurance companies, will you be able to go anywhere and get a job . . . including a local one.