What to Look for in a Truck Driving School

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

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.

Proper Equipment

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.

Competent Instructors

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.

Drive Time

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.

Appropriate Ratio

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!

What are the Highest Paying Truck Driving Jobs?

Truck driving is a financially rewarding job, although it comes with some stresses and sacrifice. With that being said, there are truck driving jobs that come insanely high compensations. Make the most out of your skill – and your hard work – by looking into these highest paying truck driving jobs.

1. Ice Road Truckers

Unless you are living under a rock, you have probably heard about the show “Ice Road Truckers.” Shown at the History channel, this series chronicles the lives of drivers who risk their life and limb, just to deliver goods to the remote parts of Alaska and Canada.

And why not? It is one of the highest paying truck driving jobs. The brave souls who cross through the frozen lakes of the Arctic can take home as much as $120,000 for a mere 2-3 months of work.

Since it is one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the world, it comes with a handful of risks. As an ice road trucker, you will be putting your life in danger. Skids, frostbite, and wild animals are just some of the common occurrences in the frozen arctic roads.

2. Truck Driver in Iraq

As it has been said, there are many lucrative sectors in the truck driving industry. However, the handsome pay often comes with numerous risks. As such, truck drivers in Iraq have one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the world.

Truck drivers in this war-torn country can earn anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000. To get this hefty pay, you need to know that you might get kidnapped or targeted by terrorists. These are inherent possibilities, as truck drivers in Iraq keep the bases stocked with food, ammunition, among many other needs.

3. Dump Truck Driver (Mining Industry)

If you don’t mind relocating to Australia, then you’ll surely get your hands on one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the world. Here, dump truck drivers in the mining industry are well-paid, largely due to the nature of the trade.

The mining industry is one of the most profitable sectors in the ‘Land Down Under.’ It only follows that dump truck driving is one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the country – even the whole world. What’s great about this profession is that it comes with lesser risks, compared to trucking in ice roads and Iraq. If you are skillful in driving enormous dump trucks (weighing as much as 340 tons,) you can earn as much as $100,000 every year.

4. LTL Truck Drivers

LTL stands for less-than-truckload. In this driving job, a driver carries multiple shipments – and delivers it to different clients – based in different destinations. This service is favored by companies that need small shipments every time.

Because LTL truck drivers have to service multiple clients, it remains to be one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the world. For this challenging yet rewarding occupation, you can earn as much as $84,000 every year.

5. Regional Truck Drivers

As the name suggestions, a regional truck driver works in a certain ‘region.’ It can be the Midwest, the East coast, or the West coast. Some only have to drive through a handful of states, while some need to pass through the 48 continental states.

Because regional truck drivers traverse through different states, they can only be home for the weekend – or another set period of time. These long driving hours associated with the job make it one of the highest paying truck driving jobs in the country. As a regional truck driver, you can earn about $67,000 every year.

More often than not, the highest paying truck driving jobs come with occupational risks – a million miles away from home. But if you are willing to risk these for fast cash, then you ought to try any of these highest paying truck driving jobs.

Truck Driving Jobs for Felons

If you have a felony under your name, then you know how hard it is to find a good-paying job. But even if you have a rap sheet, you can still have a good life for you and your family. Here you can learn tips on how you can get a rewarding truck driving job – even if you have a felony charge under your name.

Know That There’s Hope

Of course, good truck driving jobs for felons are hard to come by…but they exist! Companies have different approaches to applicants with felony charges.

Of course, those with 2 felony charges will be met with some challenges. Some employers, however, can consider you depending on a) what your misdemeanors were and b) when they were charged.

Take a CDL Course

Most states require truck drivers to have a CDL or commercial driver’s license. If you really want to get truck driving jobs for felons, taking the CDL should be your first step. Enroll in a private CDL school or a community college in order to learn the basics of truck driving. From here you can finally get the CDL that can take you to places (literally.)

Ace the Interview

First impressions last. So before the employer decides to change his mind because of the background check he has rendered, show him that you deserve the job. Of course, the best way to do that is to impress him during the interview.

Just because the job entails you to drive all the time, it does not mean that you should answer the questions with disregard. Treat the interview as if your life depends on it (because it does!)

Dress to Impress

Take the saying ‘dress to impress’ literally. Even if you are applying for a job that does not come with a strict dress code, show the employer that you are a professional. When attending interviews for truck driving jobs for felons, dress in casual business attire. Save the graphic tees and jeans for when you get hired.

Surf the Net

In this modern day and age, you do not have to go from one company to another to apply for a job. Just search online and you can stumble across companies that offer truck driving jobs for felons. In fact, there are threads and forums dedicated to such a topic. Make sure to browse through the posts to learn more about the companies that give second chances to former law offenders.

Be Flexible

Because of your felony charges, you might not be given as many choices as that of a record-free driver. However, you should take that in stride and try to be flexible. If you have a job opportunity in another city or state, why not try to move to these areas? The adjustment might be hard at first, but these experiences can give you an edge, should you decide to look for a better truck driving job in the near future.

Show that You’re Committed

Everybody makes mistakes – and a handful of employers know that. So if you want them to take you under their helms, then show your commitment. Express your regret for the felony that you have done, and establish that you do want to start a new life with their available truck driving jobs for felons.

Try and Try…Until you Succeed

Truck driving jobs for felons may be hard to come by, but you will surely find one if you are perseverant. Don’t be disheartened by the employer’s apologies and the rejection letters. Know that there are truck driving jobs for felons like you. Keep this in mind – as well as some strength and determination – and you will surely get a trucking job, regardless of your rap sheet.

How to Find Truck Driving Jobs with Training

Fact: there is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States. According to research, there are about 35,000 vacancies for qualified drivers. However, to become part of this in-demand workforce, you need to have a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL.

Unfortunately, to get a CDL, you need to enroll in a truck driving school. You have to pay for the tuition, which can range anywhere from $1200 to $3300. If you don’t have this kind of money, you don’t have to abandon your dreams of becoming a truck driver for good. Here are some tips that can help you in your quest on how to find truck driving jobs with training.

Attend Truck Driving Job Fairs

Because of the shortage of qualified truck drivers, numerous companies have set up truck driving job fairs in different states. If you want to know how to find truck driving jobs with training, then you need to make a mad dash for these fairs.

When it comes to truck driving job fairs, remember that patience is a virtue. There are many people looking for how to find truck driving jobs with training. Like you, they might not have a CDL or the right experience. But as long as you show that you are determined and right for the job, you just might come across a company that can give you a truck driving job with training.

Search Online Job Portals

If there are no truck driving job fairs near your area, you do not have to worry. With the help of the internet, you will eventually know how to find truck driving jobs with training.

There are many websites that can help you get truck driving jobs with training. One is indeed.com. Through this portal, you can browse through multitudes of offers throughout the state. It’s as easy as typing “drivers paid CDL training” beneath “what:”

If you wish to stay in your state – you can type in your preferred city, state, or zip at the text box beneath “where.” But if you don’t mind moving out of your home state, you can leave the text box blank – and let your fate guide you through a new, exciting job opportunity.

You can further filter out your job search by clicking the categories on the left pane. Your search can be sorted according to salary estimate, title, company, job type, and employer/recruiter.

Getting started with this website is very easy. First, you need to register for an account so you can post your resume. While you can make a job search even without a profile, it’s better if you have one. You might not know it, maybe an employer is just waiting for someone of your caliber.

Apart from indeed.com, there are other websites that can help you in your quest on how to find truck driving jobs with training. A good example is nationaltruckdrivingjobs.com.

Visit Truck Driving Schools

A lot of truck driving schools offer CDL training sponsored by companies. If you want to have sponsored schooling, you can ask these driving schools about the agencies that sponsor them.

Once you have a list of the institutions that finance CDL training, try to contact them through phone/e-mail or visit the establishment personally. Once you are able to do so, make sure to inquire about their requirements for sponsorship. Who knows? They might be looking for somebody to sponsor, and you might just be the lucky one to get a company-financed CDL education.

Companies are in need of many truck drivers, so make sure to respond to this demand. By employing these ways on how to find truck driving jobs with training, you will surely find one sooner or later.

Tips for Hotshot Truck Drivers

There are many truck driving opportunities available in the market. But if you want to be independent – and work the hours that you desire – then what you need to do is try hotshot truck driving.

What is Hotshot Truck Driving?

Hotshot truck driving is characterized as freelance truck driving. In this business, the truck driver can transport goods and products without entering an obligatory agreement or contract.

As for the pay, the cut is usually 75/25. 75% of the profits will go to you, the hotshot truck driver. The remaining 25% will be relegated to the carrier company, since it is in charge of setting up the contract and accomplishing the needed documents.

hotshot truck driver

Why Should You Become a Hotshot Truck Driver?

Hotshot truck driving is something you should consider, largely because of the following benefits:

  • You can receive more compensation. Since hotshot trucking businesses are on an expedited basis, you can expect the consignee to pay more for your driving services.
  • You can drive on your own schedule. No need to miss your children’s recitals or family outings because of truck driving work. You can pick up and transport the cargo according to your desired timeframe.
  • You can drive your own route. You do not have to follow a company’s set plot, as you can create your own. This can give you a faster and safer driving experience.
  • You have the choice of picking the carrier service you want to work with.
  • You are virtually free of tedious paper works, forms and contracts. You can leave the signing and what not to the carrier company you had chosen.

Tips for Hotshot Truck Drivers

If you want to give hotshot truck driving, then be guided by these tips that can help your work easier and better.

  • Make sure to get an International Registration Plan or IRP License.

This will allow you to transport goods between two or more member jurisdictions. This encompasses all U.S. states, except Washington DC, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canadian locations, excluding Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.

  • Be familiar with different types of trucks.

As a hotshot truck driver, you need not necessarily own a truck (although it is better if you have one.) You can always get a truck from the carrier company you are working with. Since the trucks might vary, it will be best if you are familiar with driving the most common hotshot trucks, which include tractor-trailers and 1-ton truck trailers.

hotshot truck driver

  • Purchase Insurance.

Because hotshot truck drivers are required to deliver goods at an expedited time rate, you can be at risk of accidents and property damage. Apart from protecting yourself and your business, insurance can be an attractive point for your trucking firm. After all, most companies require hotshot truck drivers who have $100,000 worth of cargo insurance.

  • Be Well-Informed.

As a hotshot truck driver, you must be knowledgeable about state laws, as well as cargo carrier requirements. You have to know the proper weight bearing limits, as well as the licenses, documents and tags that you need to have. This will keep you immune from violations and expensive penalties.

  • Be prepared – physically and mentally.

While hotshot truck driving can be financially rewarding, its demands can be taxing. You have to prepare yourself physically and mentally, as most companies need their cargoes on an ASAP basis.

  • Be patient in looking for companies to work for.

Finding a corporation that will hire you as a freelancer might be tough, but with dedication and passion, you can surely find one that will hire you as a hotshot truck driver.

Hotshot truck driving has its fair share of benefits and disadvantages. That is why you need to keep these helpful tips in mind. As long as you are fully aware of its workings and requirements, you can succeed as a hotshot truck driver.