1. Lots of Time Behind the Wheel
If you're going to drive a truck for a living, you have to drive a truck during school. It seems like common sense, but many schools feature too much time in a classroom and not enough behind the wheel. Both components are important, but students should get a minimum of 44 hours maneuvering a big rig and 104 hours of classroom instruction during at least three weeks of schooling.
2. Healthy Student-to-Instructor Ratio
Look for a school with no worse than a three-to-one student-to-instructor ratio, making sure you get the individualized training you need from quality trainers. Instructors should have plenty of time to observe you and help you develop good, safe habits.
3. High Job Placement
Your ultimate goal in going to truck driving school is to eventually get a job as a truck driver, so check into the school's reputation in graduating successful drivers. It is not always best, though, to be committed to a carrier that offers its own driving school because it will limit career options. Find a school with a record of placing drivers at several leading trucking companies.
4. Up-to-Date Equipment
Equipment isn't just an afterthought for a truck driver — it's a significant part of the job. A truck driving school should reflect that, offering students the ability to train with industry-standard specifications like 10-speed manual transmissions (instead of older 8- or 13-speed transmissions) and updated technology.
5. Fair Tuition
Be sure to check if the school is certified Post 9/11 G.I. Bill through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cost shouldn't be the primary factor in picking a driving school, but it certainly is a factor. Rather than simply looking at the price tag, do some research to determine the overall value. A school with all of the above features might be a bit more expensive, but most trucking companies offer tuition reimbursement to cover the cost of high-quality driving training.
Click here to learn about Schneider's $6,000 tuition reimbursement program and find the perfect truck driving school for you.