You read about it all the time, a student promised a job after completing a partial course by a trucking school and then in the end it falls through. You hear stories of students that were promised their licence to drive a truck for a mere $500. Then there are the stories of countless students that have been thrown into a truck with many other students for hours in a truck only to drive a small portion of that time.
On the other side we have the former owner operators who have decided it would be more lucrative to come off the road and start a training school with their one truck. They offer courses at low prices recruiting the next driver while training the one they have driving down the road. They show you the exact route that you will be driving for the test and have you memorize every turn. They save money by not teaching you the other important elements a driver needs to know such as Hours of Service, Defensive Driving, or Trip Planning. There are countless stories through the training industry and the internet for both small companies and large carriers. You can read some of them here right down to the ones that didn’t even offer training and were defrauding the system. https://www.google.ca/search?q=fraudulent+ruck+driving+schools&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-ca&client=safari
What does this mean for those that truly want to get their licence and have a meaningful career in the trucking industry?
It means you have to do your homework and look for certified schools with a good reputation. The reason you want to do this step properly and not get caught in some of the scenarios listed above is that the end goal and reason for getting your licence is to be employable in the industry. The one consistent fact we see in some of the fraudulent activity listed above is that often the recipient of the training is not employable after getting their licence.
If you think about it someone training you for $500 on the side doesn’t have the connections or association to get you into a proper carrier. Many of the carriers that I know that accept new drivers will only accept applications from someone going through a certified training program showing they have the minimum amount of training recommended by the Private Career Colleges Act. Insurance companies also will only approve students graduating from a certified program registered within the Province.
Carriers are being very selective as to who they bring on their teams and often have relationships with schools and associations. Many carriers I know will not even look at a resume from a student that hasn’t gone through a registered or certified school and the industry is littered with people licenced to drive, but can’t find a job placement. When you consider the natural dangers of being a truck driver and the professionalism required to get the job done safely and professionally you realize it can’t be done for $500 by anyone.
Where do you start your search for a proper certified school? A good place to start are places like the Truck Training School Association of Ontario or another similar association in your area. You could ask someone that is in the industry and active with groups and associations. Possibly one of the best ways to find a school is to go to the carrier themselves. If you have a carrier that appeals to you then go in and talk to their recruiting department. Ask them which schools they work with and ask for verification that the school is a certified facility with training equal to other certified schools in the area. Always be careful of schools that make promises or offer low cost licence attainment and it is suggested you get the opinion of two different people before deciding on a facility. A good school will give you the foundation for a good career and give you the tools to get started with a reputable carrier. You don’t want to be one of the horror stories mentioned earlier.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work and his trucking podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only. Please contact any groups mentioned individually for specific information.