Truck Driving School: Everything You Need to Know
The trucking industry is one that is often misunderstood from an outsiders’ perspective. On the surface, many people mistakenly believe that all truckers need is the ability to operate a vehicle and sit for long periods of time. However, as any truck driver would tell you, there is a whole lot more that goes into this profession, and not all of it takes place behind a wheel.
That is why many people opt for truck driving school. While truck driving school is not a requirement before taking the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) certification, it is a good way to make sure that you are prepared and ready for not only the exam but also life as a truck driver. In truck driving school, you will learn things that are a regular part of every truck driver’s job, such as:
- How to operate a large vehicle — driving any kind of commercial vehicle will be nothing like your everyday sedan!
- Pre-trip inspections — these are an essential part of any driver’s job, and you’ll learn the ins and outs of every check.
- Safety procedures — everything you need to know, including potential dangerous scenarios on the road and how to react.
- Logging and Regulations — there are a lot of DOT regulations that come with being a truck driver. You’ll learn about these and how to maintain a logbook.
- Coupling and Uncoupling — these are the phrases used to describe the process used of hooking and unhooking trailers. Regardless of whether you end up driving this kind of vehicle or route, it’ll be an important skill to learn.
As you can see, it is definitely worth it to attend truck driving school, as it can really give you a head start on your CDL certification.
Is truck driving school difficult?
As you might imagine, given that you’ll be learning all of the aforementioned skills and more, truck driving school is not exactly a walk in the park. Truck driving school is difficult at times, but worth it. This is because it is designed to prepare you fully for life as a truck driver, so that when you embark on your career, you won’t be taken by surprise — you’ll be fully prepared for everything that comes your way. And it won’t be simply driving a truck either. Here are some of the things that you will likely experience in truck driving sch
- Learning in a classroom setting
- Lessons in a stationary truck
- Practical training in a vehicle
Each school has a slightly different method, but you should always have some combination of the above.
How do you choose a truck driving school?
So then how do you decide which kind of truck driving school t
o attend? There are a number of things that you will need to consider — naturally, cost and schedule requirements may restrict your options — but aside from those, here are some of the main things to consider when choosing a truck driving school:
1. Length of the course
You may have the option of taking a longer course that is perhaps more intensive, but there are also shorter courses if you are more eager to get through it and get your certification. Just be aware that a longer course does not necessarily mean that it is better, but a shorter course may be more intensive or leave out some things by necessity. Check the exact course offerings to make sure they match what you are looking for before committing.
In order to be a truck driver, you must first meet certain requi
rements. As such, before you apply for a truck driving school, make sure that you: are at least old enough to drive in the state where you intend to work; are able to pass a drug test; have a clean driving record; and are a US citizen.
3. Financial considerations
As mentioned, cost is an important factor in choosing your truck driving school. Try to find something in your budget that offers all of the aforementioned training.
If possible, look into the level of experience held by cur
rent instructors at each potential truck driving school. If they do not have the information readily available, it might be worth reaching out for it. Online reviews may also help you to gauge the quality of teaching at each school.
5. Job prospects
How high is the rate of success for graduates of each truck driving school? Do many of the graduates go on to successful careers, and does the school aid them in finding a placement? These are all questions to consider. After you have gained at least a year of experience, you can apply for a job with Matheson.
What happens after truck driving school?
Life after truck driving school is even more important; now that you have your qualifications, it is time to get your career going. As mentioned, some schools will help set you up with placements. As with any job, the first job you get is unlikely to be your dream position. But after you have gained experience and have plenty of miles under your belt, you will have more freedom to choose the kinds of positions that you prefer.
As mentioned, all it takes is a year of experience and you can apply for a job at Matheson. Matheson drivers are able to enjoy benefits such as hourly pay (rather than by the mile) and set schedules week over week, which allows you to know exactly when you will be at work and when you will be at home. To view further benefits and requirements to become a Matheson driver, you can check out our careers page.
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