FAQ: Trucking Company Training & Trainers

Trucking Company Training & Trainers - Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have personality clashes with my trainer?

It really depends on what kind. You are there to learn how to drive a truck, though it's easier if you like your trainer. Personality clashes are normal, but every company will have a process for you to follow should it get out of hand.

What if my trainer is just a terrible trainer?

Most trainers will be decent, and in it for the right reasons. It's usually in your best interest to try to stick it out and learn how to drive, but if you end up with a trainer with whom you cannot work with, your company will have a process in place.

As a female, can I get a female trainer?

Usually, yes, you can. It may take a bit longer for your company to find a female trainer for you, however.

Is on-the-road training operated like a team, or as a solo truck?

It depends on the company. Some do training strictly as a solo operation, some throw the trainee right into team driving. Many will do it both ways. The trainee will do most of the driving while the trainer watches, for a while, then when the trainer is comfortable that the trainee knows how to handle the truck, they will operate as a team.

Do I have to go through company training?

Yes. Every company will require their new drivers, experienced or not, to go through some kind of training period.

Do I have to go over-the-road with someone else in their truck during training?

Most companies will do their training OTR in the trainers truck.

What if I'm uncomfortable living in the truck with another person?

Unfortunately, it's something that every new driver has to deal with. MAny drivers consider it the worst part of truck driving, so you have to kind of suck it up, and get through it.

What is company training like?

You will normally be sent out on the road with a company trainer, often a lease-operator. You will be living and driving in their truck, normally for around 6 weeks, for new drivers. Their job is to teach you enough about how things work on the road for you to be upgraded to a solo driver.

What is the difference between team training and training as a solo truck?

Different companies have different policies on how they train their new drivers. Some will run as a team truck, where one person drives while the other sleeps, and vice versa. Some operate as a solo truck, where the trainee drives while the trainer is in the passenger. Some companies will do both, switching to a team operation when the trainer is comfortable with the trainees skill level.

How much will I be paid during the training phase?

All companies handle training pay differently, but expect between about $400-$600 per week during your training phase.

How long is company training?

Usually the training period is from 4-6 weeks, though at some companies it can be considerably longer.

What should I bring with me for company training?

Keep in mind that you will be living on your trainers truck, which will already be full of his stuff. You normally won't have room for more than a duffle bag, and your bedding.


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.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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