Truck Driver to Training Facility; What’s Involved?

With the implementation of M.E.L.T. (Mandatory Entry Level Training) a lot of drivers have moved from truck driver or owner operator to truck driver trainer. They see an opportunity in the industry to move to a model of teaching others, staying closer to home, and hopefully having a full roster of students to help make money. Those that make the transition find that it is not that easy a switch from being an owner operator to training school and either fall into the wrong type of operation or fail in business altogether. To be clear what we are talking about in this article is a single truck owner operator that now wants to train people to get their truck driver’s licence, not just an instructor within a school. We are talking about the school.

So you have a truck that you are willing to let people drive and learn on, now this may seem funny to hear but many owner operators buy a truck so that they can drive what they want. Letting a brand new driver drive their truck is a big adjustment and not for the faint of heart. When you hear them grind those gears will you be able to keep it together?

Assuming you have set up your business properly, and handled all the details that go with that such as location space and so on then registration with the Private Career Colleges is the next step. This is where you have a decision to operate in two different ways? You can be the type of operation that charges people a small amount of money teaching them the basics of driving under the table or you can register your course and facility and operate as a professional training facility. Registering with the Private Career Colleges allows you to be recognized as a certified training facility and allows you to offer certified courses. Those that decide to train under the table will have a hard time in the long run keeping their operation viable.

Starting a school isn’t about just having a truck.

Once you have completed the process of registering your facility then the next step would be to join an association that is recognized, that offers a way to keep you up to date on changes in the industry, and can help improve your operation through education. This step is completely optional but in my opinion recommended. There are a number of reasons for it;

  • It helps the brand of your school be recognized as a reputable training facility
  • It serves as a source for improvement of your operation.
  • It will offer access to other professionals in your industry.
  • It can help bring in students to your school.

The fourth point is something that is not necessarily put out there front and centre when joining an association but I can tell you from an instructor standpoint that when I meet people interested in the industry I usually point them to an association as a starting point for learning more about schools in the training industry.

If you are starting your journey to becoming a well respected training facility then deciding on the type of operation you want to be and registering your facility are the first steps. If you want to join a respected association as the next step then the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario is a good next step. You can learn what is involved in the process here.

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

Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only.


Membership in the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario can be of great benefit to you, whether you provide commercial driver training, employ drivers, or are in some other segment of the transportation industry. Join our association today to become part of this team of professionals whose goal is to improve and unify truck driver training standards, resulting in highly skilled, better prepared, entry-level and re-certified commercial drivers.

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