Many people dream of becoming a truck driver. It is said that even Elvis Presley’s goal in life was to become a truck driver before his singing career took off. Truck driving schools help to make this dream possible for thousands of people every year. Driving a truck is a complicated and risky job. And, there is much more to being a truck driver than knowing how to drive a truck. With the number of hours truck drivers spend on the road, they will all eventually be faced with a situation where their truck is broken down. A professional truck driver is expected to be able to fix certain problems on their own to get their vehicle back on the road.
Millions of dollars of freight is transported by truck every day. Moving freight is one of the backbones of the economy. Even in an economy that is sputtering, there is a need for truck drivers. The United States government expects jobs for truck drivers to grow by 9% over the next 10 years. With this kind of expected job growth in down times, it is apparent that truck driving is a stable career choice. The best way to get prepared for this career is to go to a reputable truck driving school.
Free Truck Driving Schools
There are no truly free truck driving schools. While there are schools that do not require you to repay the tuition, these companies recoup their investments by locking you in to driving for them for a certain number of years at a salary that is advantageous to them. Many of these so-called free schools are really just situations where the student does not have to put up any money up front to get training. Instead, the company recovers the cost of the classes through repayment of the tuition upon completion of the course or through the productivity of the new driver.
Companies that offer their own CDL training run what are known as company sponsored CDL training programs. These programs provide a win-win situation for the company and the driver. The driver receives training that they might not otherwise be able to afford, and the company receives a qualified driver to add to their fleet for a certain period of time, usually one to two years. Should you leave the employment of the company that trained you, you will then be liable for a prorated portion of your training. Should you complete your employment obligation, then you training is essentially free.
Best Truck Driving Schools
All truck driving schools consider themselves the best. The best school for you might be the one that is closest to you home and the most convenient. A good way to find out which schools are the best is to speak with experienced drivers. Current professional drivers can speak about the quality of training they received. They can also comment on the other drivers they know, and which ones seem to have received the best training. This kind of information is an invaluable resource if you can get it. State trucking associations can also be a great source of information regarding truck driving schools.
Everyone is certain to have their own opinion as to what school is best. You will ultimately have to make the decision based on your own circumstances. Can you afford to pay for the tuition yourself, or do you need a school that will pay the up-front costs for you in return for an employment commitment? Will you be able to receive government assistance? All of these factors must be determined in order for you to choose the best truck driving school for you.
Trucking Companies That Train Drivers
There are many trucking companies that will train you to drive for them. These companies will ask you to sign a one year commitment, or longer, to drive for them. In return, the company will cover the cost of your tuition for CDL training. This training is often done by the company for which you have agreed to work. This can be very advantageous to someone who cannot come up with the $4000 to $6000 it can take to pay for CDL training. This can be a much better option for people who cannot get credit or qualify for government tuition assistance to a paid truck driving school. The kind of financing for people with bad credit usually comes with a high interest rate on the loan. Having the company you are going to work for cover the expense for you saves you the hassle of paying back a suffocating student loan during your first years on the road.
J.B. Hunts is a company that also has a sale/leaseback program for drivers who want to become owner/operators. An owner/operator actually owns their own truck. Payments on these trucks start at about $275 a week, and they have several lease-purchase plans available.
Sage Truck Driving School Cost
Sage Truck Driving School is one of the most well regarded trucking schools in the nation. They have several locations throughout the country based out of local community colleges. Their driving instruction is one-on-one, focusing on grooming the skills of their students, and they have a variety of programs from which to choose. Sage has financing available even for students with bad credit. There are also a number of state and federal programs for students who qualify.
If you are considering trucking school, then you might want to compare Sage vs Swift truck driving school and others. The average tuition to attend Swift is about $3000. With Swift, if you sign a contract to drive for them for a year or more, then they will pay your tuition for you. Be careful of promises made by the recruiters for these schools. Their job is to get you to enroll so that they can make money. To this end, recruiters will often inflate your expectations. Make sure you reach out to truckers who have attended these schools in your area before making a decision. This will help to keep you grounded while you make an informed and intelligent decision regarding your future career path.