#1 rated truck driving school claim is FAKE
As the marketing director for a major truck driving school program, it’s part of my job to keep tabs on the competition. That means I regularly check a large directory of trucking schools to see what type of tactics these schools are using to attract student truckers. In general, I feel a lot of schools are honest in their advertising; what their recruiters do or say is all together a different story (and could be an ongoing series of articles). But for this post, I want to bring attention to a CDL school that uses a very misleading claim. It’s time for me to call their bluff. Read on if you want to learn how a truck driving school disguises the truth to bully students.
The truth behind truck driving school ratings
I received an recruiting email from a school recruiter. As a pretty standard informational email, I had no complaints about my competitor’s message. But under the recruiter signature & school name, was the line “#1 rated truck driving school.” On the surface, the rating makes a positive impression. Who wouldn’t want to attend the top-rated school for truck drivers? However, let’s pull back the curtain. To make the training program ranking appear legitimate, the school cites a reference to trucking school directory that the school owns! Yes, you read that correctly, this outfit created an entire website with the purpose of ranking its own CDL training as #1 rated of USA truck schools. While the claim about being “rated as the #1 trucking school” isn’t unnecessarily false advertising, as this company-owned site does state the claim. However, closer examination shows zero independent evidence offered to support the ranking.
How a trucking school gets the “editor’s choice” ranking
Many people may never realize the truck school’s USA directory of ratings and reviews is complete fiction. Why does this tactic bother me so much? Actual customer testimonials and third-party reviews help validate a decision. Have you ever used Yelp.com to check out a new restaurant for dinner? Asked a friend about his experience with a business? Or spent some time reading Google reviews? As a society, we want to share experiences and accept reviews from our peers.
Unfortunately, someone is going to make a decision to attend CDL training because of the false information offered by a fictional review and testimonials. The web is full of misinformation, but creating a website to perpetuate fictitious superlative claims is simply wrong. It’s an egregious case demonstrating the lengths a truck school will go to manipulate a potential customer to sell tuition. Don’t be bullied by a truck driving school making outlandish claims.
Why ranking a trucking school #1 is just doesn’t work
College and school rankings have existed for years, curated by reputable independent publications such as Forbes and Business Week. They do the research and analyze the data to determine rankings. It works because universities teach very similar subjects taught over a similar time frame (semesters, trimesters, etc). That makes comparison much easier.
In trucking, school standards don’t exist across the board. It’s very difficult to compare the curriculum and experience between CDL training programs. Some schools are 1 week (gulp!); or 2 weeks; some are 3 weeks; while a few community colleges offer 3 to 6 month programs. Which program is better? It’s hard to say. A longer length of time doesn’t necessarily mean the training instruction is better or that a student leans more. The argument is about quality over quantity. Some might argue quality is behind-the-wheel time, while others might claim the student to instructor ratio. Yet others might herald the equipment or the training materials. There are so many variations between schools providing CDL training, but comparisons are difficult. Truck driver school rankings can’t be accurately assigned so one should be suspect of any school making that claim.
As the saying goes, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’ The takeaway here is that some recruiters and trucking schools will sometimes resort to shady schemes to promote the reputation - even creating a pseudo school directory site and awarding an editor’s choice award to their own school. If a school is as good as it claims, it should be easy for you to verify through legitimate student testimonials and reviews, including Google Reviews.
Know how to sort the good from the bad trucking school reviews
Not every review will be positive and every school should have a fair share of good and bad reviews. A trucking school review left by a previous student is the best way to understand how a school works. In today’s society, it’s much easier to lay the blame for failure on someone else. I see this a lot when a student fails to accept responsibilities for his own actions and/or poor judgment. Keep this in mind as you review ranking, ratings and reviews of truck driving schools.