Truck Driver Training – The Real Costs

What is the real cost of truck driver training? Is it really FREE! Social media is a funny thing, people include you in conversations that you didn’t start or reply to and drag you into the conversation. They do this so they can be noticed on your social pages and I often ignore commenting as I was not part of the original conversation. For some reason I decided to comment on a discussion post about truck driver training and was dragged into the conversation. Here is where we are in the conversation.

In the United States there have been many advertisements for FREE truck driver training. Students apply for the position, trained, and get hired by the carrier. They are then asked to reimburse $25,000 back to the carrier for training. Is the training really FREE? When I came into the conversation the discussion had moved to the value of training and is $25,000 too much to pay. Some replied that $25,000 was too much when you look at the fact that you have to stay with that carrier for two years. That’ assuming the driver quits, but still exists the industry. That is not the true value of training.

If training is for something like a licence or new skill the value has to be looked at over a lifetime. You get your commercial license and drive a truck for 20 years averaging an annual salary of $50-$100,000 then how much is the value of the training then. Training needs to be looked at as an investment in your life and not cost of doing business. If you are looking at a cost versus time signed in with a carrier then you are not evaluating your training correctly.

The other issue becomes the advertising for the training. False advertising is false advertising and if training says it is FREE then you shouldn’t have to pay anything to enrol. Make sure to read the fine print however as there may be stipulations in the fine print that has other criteria required. If the training is through a specific carrier and comes with employment then they generally want you to stick around for at least two years so investigate the carrier as well.

Never sign up for a course based on price no matter how low a price they show you. If the price is inflated then ensure you know why; Is there additional training included, special licensing, travel, or more? It is common for trucking companies to train potential new employees as long as they are doing it above board and transparently. Just make sure the carrier has a good safety record as bad performance out of the gate can hurt your career.


If looking to get started as a truck driver in transportation then start with an association such as TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) and their certified schools or carrier group. This way you will be working with reputable carriers and training facilities. Remember the value of your new skill is based on a lifetime of income opportunity if used well, good luck!

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 specialist in the industry producing a number of programs for the trucking industry such as his trucking podcast The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers at 


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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