So, you have made the decision to become a truck driver. The call of the open road, being your own boss, the freedom of going where you want, when you want. Man, it’s just what you always wanted. To be in charge of a powerful rig running down the highways and byways of this great country. Having people praise you for bringing them the goods and products they need.
There is only one thing standing in your way of accomplishing this dream. It’s the one thing that can break you down and make you run screaming back to the house, never to even think about trucking again. What could destroy your dream? Well, it’s the trucking schools, you know, the places where they prepare you to be an over the road driver. Yes, over the road, or as we drivers lovingly call it out here, OTR.
That recruiter for that trucking school you are thinking about probably told you that you will have a local job after a short while of OTR or maybe you will be an “owner operator” just out of school. The promise of “Big Money” and business ownership probably drew you into the snare of going ahead and signing up for the school. Yes, you are on your way to financial freedom and you are just chomping at the bit to sign up and get your career in gear, or so you think.
The truth is that most companies that hire from trucking schools will go ahead and pay for your schooling. This is in return for a year or so of your life where you are basically “enslaved” to do their bidding. Your pay will be lower than most out here until you get your schooling paid for. If you want to go home once a month or so then forget that plan. Most of the companies that train students don’t care where you live, they just want their freight hauled for as cheap as they can get it done for. Being a slave means that they are profiting greatly from your time away from home so they will keep you out on the road as long as possible. You have to pay them back for the schooling they put you through.
But wait, did you know that those trucking companies that hire students already have gotten paid for your schooling? Yes, that’s right, they have already received as much as 6,000.00 for you to become a truck driver from the government. Why should you pay them anything then? Because this is the way the system is set up. God forbid that you quit while in training because you haven’t been to your home to see your wife or kids or husband. If you decide to do that then they can put a judgement against you for the unpaid costs of putting you to school. But they already got paid. Hmmm…what a scam this is.
My suggestion to anyone wanting to get into the business of truck driving is to consider geting your training through a community college and don’t let anyone hold you hostage for getting your CDL (commercial drivers license). You will probably still get treated like crap for the first year or so because you will be classified as a “trainee” but at least if you do want to go somewhere else after you get experience you won’t have your credit ruined by a trucking company.
One more thing, these so-called ”training” companies who pay for your school would love nothing more than to have you get your schooling financed through them. And they would like you to quit after only being there for a week or so. Why? Because they not only get as much as $6,000.00 from the government but now they have a judgement against you for another 6,000.00. They made up to 12,000.00 dollars off of your sacrifice and you didn’t even have to drive for a week. One company that I know of (and I won’t mention the name) hired over 17,000 students in 09. The shame of this is that they only have 5,500 trucks. If you do the math then that’s 3.5 people per truck when they can only have two in it legally. Is there something wrong with this picture? I sure do think so.
In closing, don’t fall for the lies the recruiters and trucking schools are telling you. Get your training paid for before you enter into the business if that is what you want to do. You’ll be way better off and you will hold the cards to your future and your finances.
Stay safe, stay smart and prosper,