If you don't like your experience and the students coming out of the school aren't satisfactory to the companies they go work for, then the school is going to die a long, slow death. Nobody will want to attend their school. So they will get straight to work, filling you with information - and tons of it.
No matter which type of school you decide upon, the first week or two will be similar... classwork. Videos, slide shows, workbooks, charts, and a few written tests sprinkled in here and there. To be honest, the work is really pretty easy. But be aware, they are going to completely and totally overwhelm you with the sheer quantity of information... and they know it.
Being a truck driver, especially over the road or regional, requires far more knowledge than most people outside the industry would ever begin to imagine. Every state has its own set of rules, regulations, and procedures. Go from New York to Los Angeles and you will cross through about a dozen states. That's a dozen different sets of rules. Some rules will be common to each state but each state will have some unique rules you must be familiar with. Now don't let this scare you... everybody has learned to deal with it and you will too.
The learning curve is really steep in the beginning. The schools have to give you all the information they can because if you get out there and make a mistake, your company may call the school and say,”didn't you teach this?” The school can usually say they gave you the information but you must not have used it. That's the schools job... to give you the information. It's your job to learn it and use it.
Again, please don't let this scare you. It's intimidating at first, but you'll learn as you go. Everybody goes through this steep learning curve in the beginning and you will too.
So you'll spend a week or so in the classroom and generally the next couple of weeks will be a combination of classroom time and learning to back up the truck through a variety of different obstacles. Now if you're like me you may have never even been in a big rig until now... and let me tell ya it's really, really fun! Especially at a private school. Private schools will take their time and won't pressure you.
Remember, they want you to enjoy your learning experience so you will recommend their school to others. Trucking companies are hit and miss... some of them may push you and pressure you to keep their agenda alive. It's YOUR privilege to be working there so you BETTER perform.
Now not all of them will treat you this way. A lot it will depend on the individual instructors. But a lot of the instructors at the trucking companies have worked for these companies for many, many years and so feel like they're the king and you better revere them. It's just like anything else.... some people let a tiny bit of authority and experience go straight to their heads. Here's a story for you....