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What Can You Expect to Learn at a Truck Driving School?

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Although it is not mandatory to attend a truck driving school in order to find employment as a truck driver, there are certain advantages that can be earned from attending one. So what types of skills can you expect to learn at a truck driving school?

For starters, a good school can give you an excellent overview of the industry itself. You can learn what it’s like to drive a truck, what qualifications you need in order to become a driver, how to go into business for yourself, and possibly even find employment opportunities.

There are basically three types of schools that are available for truck drivers. A private school is a for-profit institution that exists in order to train their students to be the best truck drivers possible. They also have very high passing rates for CDL licenses. A public institution, on the other hand, is operated by the state or government. You might find these in community colleges or vocational schools. They could be cheaper than private schools, but might not offer the classes that private institutions provide. Lastly, there are training schools that are typically operated by the companies that are doing the hiring.

Privately owned schools, as well as most public institutions, are usually licensed or registered by a well-known state agency. If a school has a state license it means that the state has approved the school and that it meets certain standards. Accreditation, on the other hand, is usually a little more complicated but very important.

Most schools will have a classroom as well as a practice area for driving. There might also be a break area with vending machines as well as a library with books and videos that can be watched or checked out.

The driving area should be large and leveled and well lit since students will practice driving at nighttime as well as during the day. Students will be put through a variety of road conditions and traffic conditions so that they will be better prepared when handling a large truck on busy sections of the road.

In the classroom aspect of the school, students will watch videos and listen to lectures. They should be prepared to take, and hopefully pass, the CDL licensing examination. State laws, regulations, and other pertinent information will be covered in regards to driving large vehicles.

Sometimes, a school will offer an “externship.” This means that some of the learning will be completed at the school while the rest of the process will be carried out in an actual trucking company. This is done so that the student actually gets real hands-on experience with the truck driving lifestyle and career path.

There are truck driving simulators as well. These have been around for a while and are a popular form of giving the student experience in driving a truck without actually putting them on the road with it. A driving simulator is much like a video game in that it gives the student experience in encountering various road conditions and traffic problems without actually operating a real vehicle. A shifting simulator, on the other hand, teaches the student how to operate the shift and the clutch before actually getting behind the wheel of a real vehicle.

There will be some required textbooks regardless as which type of school you choose to attend. You will probably find that you receive a manual of basic information pertaining to truck upkeep and maintenance, a copy of the federal motor carrier safety regulations (FMCSR) which are essentially the rules that drivers and companies must comply with, and a logbook. You might also receive an atlas or road map.

The curriculum itself will vary depending on the school that you choose to attend. Some classes that you might expect to encounter include: Skid Control & Recovery, Orientation to School and Trucking, Career Planning and Job Search, Space Management, Hazard Perception, Handling Cargo, Night Operation, Accident Procedures, and DOT Rules.

In the best case scenario, the school that you choose will also have an employment placement service which will also work to match you with a prospective employer. This can certainly be helpful in your job search and might be something that you want to look for when looking into the various schools.

Schools Offering Truck Courses:

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