Much like any college, not every CDL truck driving school is created equally. Unfortunately, for every legitimate, high-quality CDL truck driving school out there, there are many more that are scam operators. To help you avoid the scammy schools, we want to give you some tips on choosing the right truck driving school for you. So, here are 7 things to look for when deciding what truck driving school is right for you.
- How long have they been in business? How long a truck driving school has been in business tells a lot about their character. CDL schools pop up all the time and usually they’re only interested in taking your money. Often times they don’t even have a track record with the State Licensing Agency. Check to see if they have a history of graduation rates for you to examine.
- Does the truck driving school provide job placement assistance? Do they have full-time employees whose only job is to find you a job? Many schools offer only training and then throw you to the wolves to find your own job.
- What do they train for? Does the school train for all major carriers or are they a captive school? Some schools don’t advertise themselves as contract trainers, but when you see them, avoid them. These schools steer the vast majority of their students to one carrier who is their lifeblood. Beware of a school that doesn’t offer you job placement options and opportunities with a large number of carriers, it may be a captive school.
- What is their track record? Does the school give you quick and easy access to its graduation and employment numbers and percentages? If it doesn’t, the only reason is either because they are a fly-by-night operation or their numbers aren’t as good as they should be.
- Are they a third party tester? Some states allow a truck driving school to employ their own CDL testers on-site. Other states restrict CDL testing to only state facilities. If third party testing is allowed in your state, does the school offer third party testing on-site? Only the very best truck driving school is allowed by state governments to maintain third party testing due to the large amount of documentation and regulation necessary. If a school isn’t a licensed third party tester, you may find delays waiting in line with the graduates of all the other schools to take the CDL exam at a state facility and you will end up waiting to start your new job.
- What is the ratio of students to instructors? The number should never be more than four students to every instructor in the truck. Anything higher than a 4-to-1 ratio means you won’t get the hands-on driving time and one-on-one instruction you need to become a skilled and competent driver. If a school won’t discuss its student to teacher ratios, run away.
- Do they have a website? Is the website actually useful to you? Are they transparent? Do they provide you with all the information you need to evaluate them and to make an informed decision? Does their website answer your questions? If not, they are most likely either a small-time operation or a scam. If they do have a website, is it just nice and flashy? Does it actually provide you with their contact information, who they train for, and placement assistance? Look into their website and find these answers before you make any decision.
Before stepping into something you might regret later, really think these questions over and find the right school for you. Once you’re done, get ready for a great career by starting your driving career with Nagle.