In this video, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of getting your CDL via a local trucking school versus getting it from a company sponsored trading program. So let’s jump in and let’s look at the differences.
These days with the driver shortage many larger companies now have their own training programs. These are great because it basically means that once you finish the course and obtain your CDL, you have a guaranteed job waiting for you. However, just like your mama taught you, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and that holds true for companies sponsored training. The first thing, it’s not really for free, especially if you only get a little bit into it and you decide trucking’s not for you. If that happens, you might be required to pay the entire cost of training or a prorated amount back to the trucking company.
Also, even with some companies, even though you’re not paying for the training, you might end up in the beginning working at a lower rate so the company can recoup the cost of your training. So actually it is costing you.
The downside of a company sponsored training is that it might not be local to you and you might have to travel to be trained. If that’s the case, you need to find out who’s paying for that travel, food and lodge and during this time. Is it coming out of your pocket or is it included?
Now, besides the lower upfront financial cost of a company sponsored training program, one good thing is most likely going to be trained on newer equipment and something very similar to what you’re actually going to be driving every day once you obtain that CDL. The other option you have is to attend a local driving school. The advantage to this is you can probably find one that’s nearby and not have to travel. It also means that you can train on your own schedule. If you choose to go the local route and a local school, I suggest your research and talk to more than one and don’t just jump in at the very first time you go to interview one.
The disadvantage is going to be cost. This training is going to be coming out of your pocket and it can be several thousand dollars. The good news is you might be able to qualify for a student loan and the school can give you information if this option is a possibility for you.
Also, some trucking companies who do not have their own in house training programs may offer to reimburse your tuition, if you attend one of those schools. This is a good option too, but again, there is no free lunch trucking companies who do that are going to want some kind of guarantee from you so they can recoup the costs that they’re going to be paying out of their pocket for you.
Also, another major difference in learning at a local trucking school is the equipment. You might be trained on something that’s not exactly what you’ll be driving once you get that CDL or it might be a little older. So there you have it, both options are viable ways to get your CDL. Take the time to do some research to find which one’s going to be best for you.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.