Going to truck driving school means a lot of studying and a lot of hours learning how to drive a truck, and also memorizing over 200 of the parts on a truck for your pre-trip inspection, but it’s well worth the effort because getting your CDL license is your start to a great career.
Having been to truck driving school myself, I have put together a list of 10 questions you can ask your recruiter before you sign up for a CDL class. Each one of these questions was an issue that came up during my time in school by either myself or with another classmate.
1) How large is the class? – The more students to a class means less one on one time with your instructor. This usually happens with the smaller schools when the class is too large.
2) Are there any laundry facilities available? – If they don’t have any onsite, find out is someone can take you to a Laundromat if you did not drive yourself to the school. Working around the trucks can get you very dirty.
3) How will I get my meals? – If you are told that your meals will be supplied by the school, and you will have to fill out a menu, find out if you have the option to change it if you need to.
4) Are the classes backed up? – If they answer yes, then you can expect to find students from the previous class still in the yard.
5) How many students per truck? – The less students in the truck means more driving time for you.
6) How much actual drive time, not seat time will I get? – You will still be learning even though you are not driving, but actual drive time is what you need to pass your road test. Keep track of your drive time.
7) Where do I take my test? – Some schools have onsite testing. This is good because by the time you are ready to take your test you will know the area, and this will relieve some of your stress on test day.
8) Do I have the right to change trucks if the truck that I am driving is unsafe? – Yes you do. They cannot make you drive any vehicle that is unsafe. This could be a danger to you and to the DOT tester that is testing you, and also to other drivers on the road.
9) Can I get extra help with practice exercises if I need it? – If you are in a good school, they will make sure you get extra help when you need it. Their job is to make sure you pass your test.
10) Will I be practicing my driving skills in the same type of truck that I will be taking my test in? – Some schools will make sure you do, but there are some schools that use whatever is available at the time you take your test.
Always do some research on any school before you apply to them. If they are providing transportation to the school by bus, take a copy of the CDL manual with you, that way you can start studying during the trip.