Disadvantages of “Free” Truck Driver Training
The appeal of the truck driver lifestyle is undeniable. The work schedule is flexible, the income can be quite handsome, and there’s the opportunity to explore the country. The truck driving industry is a very important aspect of our economy and so the workers are greatly valued. Seventy percent of our nation’s goods are transported by trucks and, every year, the U.S. uses trucks to transport more than $670 billion worth of goods (both manufacture and retail) throughout the country.
Unfortunately, in the past few years, there has been a huge decrease in the number of truck drivers. As a result of this, many companies are cutting costs on nonessential shipments and other disposable costs. This could hurt the entire industry in the long-run. Trucking companies are in desperate need for new drivers.
The cost of proper CDL training has had a big role to play in this decrease of drivers. Depending on what type of license you want (a Class A or Class B, for example) the price ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. This can be a deal-breaker for some people. So much so that they’ll give up the prospect of working towards this career entirely.
For people who are determined to work in the industry, they might come across some free CDL training being advertised, or maybe news of trucking companies with tuition reimbursement. There are even places that offer paid CDL training, where you will be compensated for the time spent in that particular program. It might seem like the perfect solution to their problems, but it is not always the best option. There are unforeseen commitments that are tied to the driver for years to come.
One of the main issues of free and paid CDL training is that they are typically company-sponsored. This means that the school that offers the free CDL training or paid CDL training is owned and operated by a specific trucking company. Most times, when drivers sign up for that course, they are signing away their right to work for any other trucking company for a set amount of time. The time frame can be more than a year. So in exchange for that paid truck driving school the drivers are tied into a tight contract with that company.
Another possibility that comes with a seemingly innocent paid CDL training is that, after the course, the driver will be paid significantly less than if they were to have paid for their training out of pocket. For people who are new to the industry and who are trying to make a stable income, this can be a major issue.
A lot of times, the contracts that tie you in with some idealistic paid truck driving school hide a lot more than you think. In exchange for that paid CDL training, the driver gives up their freedom to work for who they want, when they want, and their right to a proper truck driver’s salary.
Although the cost of a truck driving training program may be a bit steep, it is an investment in your future career. Sometimes you just have to put in a little more effort to get that perfect end result. If you’re interested in truck driver training, call us today to speak with a knowledgeable staff member who can walk you through the process.