Six Things to Consider When Selecting a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training Facility

When it comes down to it, the best truck driving school for a student driver is the one that works best for them. With the vast amount of educational content now available to prospective students, it may be difficult to navigate through all the websites, search engines, recommendations.

With that in mind, CDL Training Guide has compiled the relevant information about each trucking school to assist with finding the best CDL training facility near you. When searching for the best truck driving school and CDL training facility, there are several factors to consider.

  1. Length of the CDL training program: One of the first things that a driving student should consider when selecting a CDL training facility is the overall length of the program. While a shorter training session might seem to be a more appealing option, it is not always the most advantageous. A shortened CDL training program may lack sufficient time behind the wheel, while other driver training programs may be needlessly long and just as disadvantageous.
  2. Cost of the CDL training program: The cost of a training program is something to consider when selecting a CDL training facility as it can be an important indicator of how effective training might be. The old saying "you get what you pay for" may be true with trucking schools. An intensive and thorough course should, in theory, cost more than one that gets drivers in and out in a shorter period. Also, in some states, the cost of a program may reflect the overall cost of living in that area, but most important is the quality of the training itself.
  3. Job placement after completing the training: No matter what the school's policy for assisting graduates with job placement, it is important that the school has a guidance or assistance program in place. Company owned in-house truck driving schools often have programs that funnel the students directly into their company. Other truck driving schools, such as independently owned schools and community college programs, often work with local and nearby companies to provide direct access to recruiters. Currently, the high demand for professional truck drivers means that there should be great opportunities immediately upon graduation provided that the student has the necessary training needed for the job.
  4. Location and where you want to work: Another important facet to consider when selecting a CDL training facility is the school's physical location. A driver may have an interest in hauling goods unique to a specific area or region of the U.S. or want to work in a particular industry. Factors such as weather, driving conditions, topography, proximity to a port or an international border, nearby natural resource production or specific industry manufacturing may play an integral part in the location of the school.
  5. Training schedule: If you are working and need to schedule school around your current work schedule, many schools cater to students who have jobs, so this may be a factor used to narrow down your list of potential schools to attend. There are many schools that offer evening and weekend options for students that work during the day.
  6. Training focus: Aside from the training at a company-owned truck driving school, some truck driving students will want to consider what type of carrier they will ultimately want to work for. Students may find that schools tailor their curriculum that has greater appeal with larger carriers. Often, the training will be less individualistic and focused on supporting a large fleet. Other schools train with a greater focus on one's personal driving style and promoting individuality with more freedom on the road. While both styles of instruction successfully prepare driving students with the basic skills required as a professional truck driver, it is something to consider when selecting a truck driving school.

In summary, there are many factors to consider when selecting the best truck driving school for you, and the priority of what's important will vary from driver to driver. Talk to instructors and program organizers to get a feel for what kind of classroom experience is offered. See what the curriculum is like, how many students are generally in a class, the ratio of students to instructors, and what type of opportunities are available to students after they graduate. And remember, do not settle on a program due to price or a shortened time in the classroom, if possible. Give yourself the advantage of a solid and useful training experience.