Trucking School

Topic 15469 | Page 1

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Josh L.'s Comment
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I am looking into trucking schools. I have heard some horror stories about some not being what they say they are. i would like to work for TMC after i get out of school and i was wanting some pointers on a good school. and wondering if Truck Driving Institute was a good one or not. and do they take the FAFSA loan?

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Look here. Paid CDL Training Programs

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving That should give you a good start.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Matt H.'s Comment
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A company school should be at the company's expense, so no need for a loan. You get hired with them once you pass their school, so even if it is a poorer school, you have a job when you are done. If you don't make it very far with that company though, leaving or being let go withing a few months, you could have some difficulty being hired.

For FAFSA loan, you need a Nationally Accredited School as I understand it. When looking at schools, if they don't specify openly on their website, ask them what their accreditation is. It works just like colleges and universities. If they are accredited, it means that they meet some level of requirement for education that is satisfactory to whoever does the accreditation. There are other financial aid programs available through the government also, and the school should be able to list those and help you figure out if you are eligible for them.

Now if the first thing out of their mouth at the school, after you ask about financial assistance, is that they offer a great low interest loan to pay your tuition, you might want to start heading towards the door. That should be what they talk about after government programs and after going and getting a loan from your bank. Loans through a school are typically going to be in the teens, or even up near the state limit, for interest. I am pretty sure all schools have some sort of loan program setup internally through a lender, but that should be the thing that they start talking about seriously after you have crossed all the other options off your list. Unless it is at or below bank loan rates, it should be something that they only recommend once you have exhausted all other options.

Your own feelings can be a good indicator also. Once you find out if they are accredited, start asking them some basic questions. Then head on over to visit them in person. They should sit you down, have you do some preliminary paperwork so they can get things rolling on their end, ask you some questions about your goals from both trucking and their school, and then walk you around a little to look at and talk about their program, facility, and equipment.

For myself, selecting a school, I did look for online reviews but I ultimately chose a school that fit criteria that I had laid out for myself. I looked for a school that was close enough to commute. I wanted a school that had state certified skills testers as their instructors. A real big one for me was also a school that didn't sit me down to be lectured at a lot. I know some things require a lecture, but I wanted a school where I could come in with having studied the manual on my own and be able to get the most value from them. I can pick up a book and study it, whenever. I cannot hop into a Freightliner and be instructed as I am maneuvering and driving, whenever. When I found a school that hit all my points, and required me to have a CLP and know the manual so I could get right into a truck on day 1, I knew I had the right one.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Well, your education is not at the company's "expense", you'll be paying for it. But first, they want a good school so they'll be able to hire good drivers. Then, by the contract you signed, they'll get their "training money" back from your paycheck.

It's still a good deal for all involved.

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