Thursday, July 26, 2012
Truck Driving Schools, to go or not to go
I'm sorry, but I have to totally disagree with that statement as it shows a narrow knowledge about just how large and diverse this industry is.
What do I mean by that? Well its pretty simple, and I'll start it out with a short story on how I got into trucking.
Way back in 93' I had just gotten off of active duty, and I was looking for a new career. I had heard about a local owner/operator who had a few trucks along with a brokerage. He needed a new driver since his son was getting his own truck. He took me under his wing and a few months later I was the proud owner of a CDL. I drove for him for 2 1/2 years learning all I could. He was the type if your truck needed any work on it, the driver at the bare minimum would assist with the repairs. Suffice it to say I became very knowledgeable with the basic mechanics of 18 wheelers. I then decided to drive over the road and the first company I contacted eagerly hired me and put me through a 3 week training program to learn that dreaded Qualcomm lol.
My point, is that a CDL school is not for everyone. I live in Oklahoma and the vast majority of drivers that I know where I live never went to a school to learn how to get their CDL. Your construction, oilfield or other local hauling industries usually will train drivers and help them get their CDL as part of their condition of employment. I do agree most major trucking companies either want you to have experience, or to graduate from a certified CDL school before they will hire you. One thing a person has to remember is that over 80% of the trucking companies in the US are considered 'small operations' of 1-50 trucks. A lot of those companies will also help you get your license.
The biggest thing about going into the trucking industry is that you just need to do your homework. Talk to the local companies in your area. Ask lots of questions. The only dumb question is the unasked question. I am not trying to downplay the CDL schools and they have their place. But a person just needs to keep in mind that there are other options out there and it doesn't hurt to 'shop and compare' before you decide.