Prior to employment, some states require aspiring drivers to enroll in a truck driving school. However, it’s not enough that you enroll in just any institution, especially if you want to pass your Commercial Driver’s Licensure exam with flying colors. Get the best education possible by considering these factors when looking for a truck driving school.
Truck Driving School Accreditation
Accreditation is an important thing to consider when shopping for a truck driving school. When a school is accredited, it means that it has met the highest standard required by US agencies.
Another good thing about an accredited school is that it provides access to student loans and grants. So if you are strapped for cash, an accredited institution can be your portal to achieving affordable yet quality education.
Course certification is another thing to look for in a driving school. When a school’s program is certified, it means that it has met the three standards (curriculum, knowledge and skills) put up by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI,) the only governing body that certifies truck driving courses.
Truck Driving School Facilities
When looking for a driving school, you should make sure that it has all the facilities that you will need. Of course, it should have learning-conducive classrooms. The area should be clean and well-lit, with adequate heating/cooling. Enough desk space and comfortable seating should be provided to the students as well. All the needed learning aids should be accessible to the students as well.
A good truck driving school should also have a practice driving area, preferably with a space of half an acre per truck. It should be closed to public drivers to promote the safety of the drivers and instructors.
Since you want to learn how to drive a truck, it is but essential that you choose a school with well-maintained trucks. The school should have a variety of vehicles, ranging from trailers and tractors to weighted trailers.
In order to get an excellent education, you need to pick a school with competent instructors. The minimum requirement for teachers should be three years of driving and educational experience. Add to that, the school should help make sure that their instructors are updated with the latest practices by requiring them to attend professional development programs.
Prior to enrolling in a truck driving school, you have to make sure that you receive 44 hours of curriculum instruction from the said institution. This should be outside of the observation time, or the time where you get to monitor another student driver. This is very important, as it is in accordance to the statutes of PTDI.
Studies have shown that small class sizes are more conducive for learning. So if you want to absorb all the info you can get, choose a school with a low student to instructor ratio. For classroom lectures, the recommended ratio is 15:1 (maximum of 20:1.)
As for driving labs, the ratio should be 5-10:1.
When it comes to actual driving, a ratio of 1-2:1 is best.
A low student to truck ratio is also recommended for maximum learning. A ratio of 1-2:1 is good because the instructor’s focus is not divided amongst many students.
Truck Driving School Cost
If you are short on funds, cost is another thing you should consider when browsing for a truck driving school. In order to get the best value for your money, make sure to analyze the following:
- The cost of the course in relation to the hours of instruction time.
- Any hidden fees you might incur for insurance, drug screening and driver’s permit, to name a few.
With the many truck driving schools out there, you might have a difficult time choosing the best institution for your needs. So if you want to get the best truck driving education and training in the country, make sure to consider the said factors. Happy school picking!