If you search for "truck driving schools" on Google, you'll find thousands of results for different schools and read plenty of reviews from those who’ve attended training. You will also find a lot of information from different sources on the financing options available for trucking school. Among those, you’ll read about state and federal grants, loans and company-sponsored CDL training. As is the case with many things in life, over time there are industry myths that develop.
Today we’re going to dive a step further into our “History of CDL training Series” by taking a look at a couple of these myths. Since company-sponsored CDL training is what I’m most familiar with as the owner of Driver Solutions, I’m going to attempt to debunk two of the biggest myths out there related to these programs. Let’s get started…
Myth 1: After You Complete Training, Your Sponsor Company Owns You.
A common myth associated with company-sponsored CDL training is that after you graduate, you become “property” of the company that sponsors your schooling. Many people are led to assume that if they go the sponsored route, they’ll be bound to the same company forever and future job opportunities will be limited. This is simply not the case and I’m going to explain why.
The first thing to realize here is that the company sponsoring your training is taking a chance on you. The fact is that most drivers attending training programs are entry level drivers with little to no industry experience. While the company hiring you (the driver) is doing the necessary background checks to make sure company qualifications are met, there’s still some type of risk involved in hiring an individual who hasn’t yet proven themselves to be a safe and reliable driver. This means there has to be an agreement in place if any good company is going to be willing to invest time and money into new drivers with little experience.
Most agreements or contracts will require that the driver go to work for the sponsoring company for a certain amount of time following training. This time period is typically around 1 year. While 1 year may seem like a big commitment at first, it really makes sense for both parties involved – the trucking company needs to know it’s getting a qualified driver and you (the driver) need the experience. After your commitment to the sponsor company is successfully fulfilled, you are free to work for whatever company you want, in whatever job position you so choose.
So you may be thinking - what if you want to leave the company within the first year (or other contract terms)? Well, you can still do that but you must remember that just like they made a commitment to you by investing time and money in training, you made a commitment to them. There will likely be training costs that need to be repaid to the company and that’s something that will be your responsibility.
Either way you look at it, the company does not own you and you always have options. This is a new career and things aren’t always going to come easy – so stick with it if you can. Remember, your sponsor company is giving you a chance to start a new career. Proving that you’ve made the same commitment to them that they’ve made to you is always a good idea.
Myth 2: Trucking Companies Will Take Anyone & Trucking Schools Only Care About Numbers
There’s always someone out there saying that truck driving schools only care about getting as many people through the program as possible. Some will even say trucking companies will take anyone as long as it’s a warm body. While there are many job opportunities available in the trucking industry right now, if the trucking schools aren’t providing well trained drivers to these companies, no one wins.
For example, trucking companies such as PAM Transport are investing a great deal of money in the drivers that go through the Driver Solutions company-sponsored CDL training program. They’re spending the time to do background checks and make sure future drivers are sent to reputable trucking schools throughout the U.S. The ultimate goal is ALWAYS a well-trained, safe driver. It’s up to us to continue to provide them with drivers that meet their standards; otherwise they’re unable to keep things running.
As with the agreement between the driver and the company, the agreement between the company and the school is equally important. When everyone is on the same page, we’re able to successfully help a lot of people start a new career that means not only a better life for them, but also their family.