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Thursday, December 2, 2010

What to Look for in Truck Driver Training Programs

There are many different programs out there that teach you how to drive a semi truck. They often assist you with learning the written materials as well so you can pass both tests in order to get your CDL. It is important to look into the qualifications of such truck driver training programs though. You want a quality program that is going to teach you valuable skills. It can be very dangerous to place new trainees into the work force with a CDL when they don’t have sufficient training.

You also want one that is affordable for you to attend. Many of the accredited truck driver training programs offer financial aid to help assist with the cost of attendance. They will also work out payment plans to assist you with paying for the remainder or if you don’t qualify for any type of financial assistance.

There are many instances where you can get your truck driver training paid for by an employer. Yet you have to look closely at what they require in return. Most of them will require you to sign a contract that you will work for their company for a specified amount of time. Generally one or two years is the term of such a contract. If you are fired or voluntarily leave the company before that span of time you will be responsible to repay the company for the cost of your truck driver training program.

The length of the truck driver training program is very important. Some of them claim they can get you in and out in a couple of weeks. While this may seem appealing, keep in mind that there is plenty to learn about driving a semi truck. You don’t want to be rushed and you don’t want to be on the road on your own in one before you are ready. You want a program that is full time and is at least four weeks long.

Ask about the curriculum of the program so you can see for yourself what information will be covered. You should also ask about class sizes so you can find out if you will be able to get one on one attention for your specific needs in the program. Don’t be shy about asking about the qualifications of their instructors either. The more experience they have in the classroom and driving a semi truck the more first hand information they will be able to share with you.

The internet is a great place to find out information about different truck driver training programs. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Look online for independent reviews about the program from other students. This information will help you discover the pros and cons of any given truck driver training program before you commit to it.

Once you find the truck driver training program that suits your needs, find out what you need to do to get enrolled. Most of them will have specific guidelines and an application you need to complete. There are deadlines for getting in your application, applying for financial aid, and providing the requested verifications. Make sure you make this process a priority or you may find you can’t get into the program until the following term.

It can be very exciting to learn how to drive a semi truck, and it can open up many wonderful job opportunities for you. Selecting the right training program is essential for you to have a solid foundation to build on. Knowing the basics of how to operate a semi truck, the rules of the road, hours of operation, and being safe should all be a part of any quality truck driving training program. Don’t settle for anything less because it will result in you not having the skills you need to succeed in this type of career.