Private trucking schools can be large with many locations or small time operations run by owner operators. Generally private truck driver training centers provide CDL training in the shortest amount of time and have classes starting frequently. Often they can also cost more than other options of getting your CDL. But the benefits might make up for the extra costs. See the advantages below.
The smaller private CDL training
operations might not start as often or they could be flexible depending
on the needs of an individual or several students. Some drivers stop driving over the road and put the truck to work training students. Some as a legitimate business and others more as a side hustle.*
Be careful to do a search on any private truck driving school and see what type of feedback and reviews are given by previous students.
Getting trained at a private trucking school will be your most expensive option in most cases. If you need to get trained and get on the road with the flexibility of being a commercial driver for what ever company you want, the private trucking school could be a great option.
When you call the trucking schools to protect yourself, ask if they are PTDI certified. This ensures that there are at least a certain level of standard and quality to the training for class a commercial drivers license.
Private trucking aren't governed by the same principles as public schools like your community colleges that may also train for CDL.
Because of this lack of accountability, without organizations like PTDI, obviously you will have some businesses that simply want your cash and will do what ever they can to get it. So they may claim to train you for a class a drivers license but you really are just a $dollar$ sign filling a seat. You might not leave there actually ready to operate a big truck.
That's not to say that there aren't some great private trucking schools which are not certified for whatever reason.
It's just that finding out that one is certified should provide you a certain level of comfort. If you find a trucking school that costs dramatically less than the others around it, do some careful research on what they provide.
If something seems too good to be true, it what? ......riigghht probably is. (Keyword, probably. Exception, if you happen to run across an owner op or small operation recommended by someone who is training personally for a much smaller fee, that may be a different story. Do some snooping around online and around the area of that operation to see if you can get any feedback.
However, if it is not an established or legitimate training you may be penalized even with your Class A CDL when it's actually time to get a job. If you already have an employer lined up ready to hire you as long as you have the CDL, your good.
Always compare the amount of hands on time behind the wheel, hours of class room training and the policy for refresher if you fail the test. These things could vary greatly among different private trucking schools as well as the costs.
Make sure you do your research on the private truck driving school that you are looking into attending. Not all are created equal. Look for trainers are actually passionate about training new drivers.
Lack of passion could indicate an operation that only exists due to the lure of profits without concern for you being prepared to safely get behind the wheel and operate a tractor trailer on the highway system.
Realize that some people are not good at training. This might seem to apply mostly to small single truck operations. You need to search on them and even larger schools.
Ask small operations for references. Speak to the references and ask if they are working.
Also note: Getting your training and CDL from a non establish side hustle might make it harder for you to actually get hired at a good company. They won't be comfortable with what they feel you have been taught.
Drivers where did you get your CDLs and how do you rate the training program you attending on a scale of 1 to 10.
10 being the highest.
Based on what you learned, the equipment, the instructors ability to keep your attention in class and the quality of the information he or she delivered. How well did they prepare you for going over the road as a trucker.
Also if you don't mind how much did the training cost.
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CDL Training (Summary)
The best route to your CDL depends on your situation.
If there is a community college near you, it may be your best choice.
However, there are many good private schools programs too. Some people will have no choice but attending trucking company training and many of those are good too. Some questions to ask...
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