Premier Truck Driving School

ranking1v2Premier Truck Driving School has five locations throughout the U.S. and is one of the industry’s leading truck driving schools. They have been around since 1920, making them one of the industries oldest truck driving schools as well as the most successful.

Premier’s truck driver training course is 17 days in length, enabling their students to get out on the road sooner and start making money in a career in truck driving. The school has a mixture of both classroom and hands-on training that provides their students with an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to be a success on the road. In their program, Premier puts a special emphasis on safety that makes their drivers some of the best on the road. For those that already have their CDL, but need a refresher, Premier has just that; a refresher course that will help you regain all the skills and knowledge you once had.

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Driver Solutions

Driver Solutions has a few different locations throughout the nation and has been in business for more than 18 years. They are a bit different than some of the other truck driving schoolsout there because of the way their program works. The Driver Solutions’ program can only be entered by first being approved by one of their partner truck driving companies.

Because of this, your application with Driver Solutions begins with a background check. During the process, you will be working with a “Driver Agent” that will guide you through the process and work your application to make sure you fit all the requirements. Once you are approved to start your driver training, the program includes both classroom and hands-on training and takes about 3 weeks tocomplete. To successfully graduate from Driver Solutions, you will have to pass a CDL skills test in order to assess your driving skills. Once that is passed, you are ready for the road.

The companies you can work for with Driver Solutions are limited by whom they have a partnership with. At the moment, this is PAM and UST Truck. Because of their partnership and that you are pre-approved, once you graduate you pretty much have a guaranteed job.

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Roadmaster Driving School

Roadmaster Driving School has various locations throughout the U.S. and is one of the more widely known truck driving schools out there. Roadmaster began business in 1992 in Florida teaching local students. They started looking for a second location in 1995, and they have been growing ever since.

Their CDL program is 3-4 weeks and includes a mixture of both classroom and hands-on training. One thing that sets Roadmaster apart from some of the other trucking schools is the fact that they have day, night, and even weekend classes making it easier for students that work to attend class. They even have the classroom portion of their program available as an online course.

Roadmaster has classes for both a Class A or Class B CDL and their classes start on a weekly basis. They have programs for those that have never been in a truck before as well as those who just need to freshen up on their skills and knowledge. With Roadmaster, you can expect to learn everything you need to know to be a successful truck driver from backing to compliance with Department of Transportation laws.

Roadmaster has a well-developed job placement system and is often times even able to help students receive job offers before they graduate with their CDL. To get job placement, the school maintains a professional relationship with some of the top names in trucking including Werner Enterprises, US Xpress, Swift Transportation, and Schneider National. The school offers a number of placement programs such as trucking company recruitment events and on-site hiring events.

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SAGE Truck Driving School

SAGE Truck Driving School has various locations across the U.S. and is a well-known school throughout the trucking industry. Sage has been in business since for over 20 years and over that time, has developed six different driver training programs, catering to a driver’s experience, or lack thereof, and what their career goals are.

The most popular program, and for those who do not already have a CDL, is the Comprehensive Tractor-Trailer Driver Basic. This driver training program is 4-5 weeks and mixes both classroom and hands-on training to give their students both the knowledge and the experience they need to be successful out on the road. Other programs include Commercial Driver’s License Essentials, which is designed to provide tractor-trailer driving fundamentals to students who have minimal or no truck driving experience. They also have an advanced training course, a refresher program, and another class for those who wish to obtain their Class B CDL.

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Swift Driving Academy

Swift Driving Academy has been in business since 1966. They have five school locations, making it easier to find one that is closer to you. Their course is a total of 207 hours, taking place over 23 days. During that time, students receive both classroom and hands-on training by experienced truck driving instructors.

In the classroom, Swift Driving Academy will teach students subjects such as map reading, trip planning, and how to do proper logs. When students are out on the driving range, they will learn how to maneuver their truck at slow speeds, how to do proper backing, and how to do pre-trip inspections. As part of the truck driver training, students will go on the street with a certified instructor and try their hand at freeway and back road driving.

Swift Driving Academy is a part of Swift Transportation, and as such provides students with a job upon successful completion of their truck driving school. Once a student has their class A CDL, they will go out on the road for their over-the-road training where they will be paid at a trainee rate.

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C1 Truck Driver Training

C1 Truck Driver Training has five locations throughout the U.S. and has been providing truck driver training for over 25 years. At C1, the goal isn’t just to give their students a Class A CDL, but also how to be successful professionals when they get out on the road. “To provide the highest quality training for CDL” was the goal set by C1 Truck Driver Training’s founder & owner Chris Welch when the company first started.

C1 Truck Driver Training includes a combination of classroom training and behind the wheel training on a private driving range as well as road & highway driving. Students will begin their training in the classroom where they learn about log books, trip planning and how to read a map, among other things. To help those students that haven’t been in school for a while, or those who are simply having a harder time, C1 has tutoring available.

Once they’ve got their classroom curriculum down, students are ready to move on to their hands-on driver training. On the range, students learn low speed driving and maneuvering, backing, turning, shifting, and more. After range driving, C1 will take their students out on the road for street driving. During this phase, students drive on local streets, and the highway, all the while with a certified instructor with them.

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TDI-Truck Driver Institute

Truck Driver Institute (TDI) has 12 locations located across the nation and is a 15-day program. TDI began operation in 1973 and has been striving to give their students top quality training in a quick and safe manner. The school is mainly hands on learning, TDI claims in their website that they do not believe one can learn to drive a truck unless you’re in a truck. They don’t use simulators or videogames to train; they use industry-approved tractor trailer combinations.

At TDI, the classes are small to provide students with more time with the instructors, enabling them to ask the necessary questions to feel comfortable for a future on the road. The program is a fast paced program designed to get students in and out with their CDL and ready to earn a living on the road.

Before going to TDI, the company does a pre-screening based on the employment requirements of the school’s employment partners. This is to ensure that once a student graduates, they will be qualified for a truck driving job. During your training, you will be placed with one of the school’s “placement specialists” who will help students find a truck driving job that will fit their career goals.

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A-1 Truck Driving School

A-1 Truck Driving School has two locations located in California and is recognized by trucking companied throughout the nation. They have been in business since 1975 and claim to have more than a 90% graduation rate.

A-1’s driver training program is held Monday through Saturday, with Sundays available to those who would like it, and has both day and evening classes. A-1 has several different programs, depending on what a student’s career goals are and if they need their CDL or are only looking for certain endorsements. Class A CDL training lasts about two weeks and during that time students receive help in getting their learner’s permit, learning how to drive on the open road in a safe and effective manner. At the end of the program, upon successful graduation, students will receive their Class A CDL and be ready to start a career in truck driving.

A-1 works closely with several local and interstate trucking companies who employ entry-level truck drivers. Once a student graduates with their CDL, A-1 will place them with a recruitment service that will help them find a career path that will meet their needs. They will also continue to help their students with employment choices throughout their career.

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International Trucking School

International Trucking School has 6 locations and has been in operation since 1990. They offer truck driver training to students who have no experience and need to get their Class A CDL as well as to those who are looking to add more to their knowledge of truck driving.

International Trucking School has a few different programs; “Commercial Truck Driver” being the program where students that have no experience can obtain their Class A CDL. Completion of this course is 68 days, approx. 12 weeks, and will provide the knowledge necessary for students to enter entry-level employment as a professional truck driver. This class is also provided as a part-time course, which takes 23 weeks to complete.

Other courses offered by International include specialized training for those who have a more specific goal of what they want out of their truck driving school. International also offers the first part of their course (the classroom portion) as an online course.

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Star Truck Driving School

Star Truck Driving School has a few different locations in the U.S. They haven’t been around as long as some of the other schools out there, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing.

Star offers their program 7 days a week on both a full-time and part-time basis. School can be attended during the week or over the weekends, which is helpful to those who still need to be employed while getting their CDL. The complete CDL course for those wishing to drive OTR is 160 hours. If a student wants to drive local, the course is 200-240 hours long.  A benefit of going to Star is their tutoring assistance program, which allows students that are struggling to get the one on one help they need to succeed.

Star Truck Driving School has what they call a “Preferred Placement Program”. With this program, Star will check a student’s qualifications with trucking companies and help that student make a choice as to what would be the best company for them. Their placement program isn’t very detailed and, when compared to some of the others, leaves a bit to be desired with no solid established relationships with trucking companies.

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Advice for New Truckers

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This article is for new truck drivers; those of you just starting out, who aren’t so sure about what lies in the road ahead. Whether you are a recent truck driving school graduate or you haven’t even gone to school yet, there are certain things you need to know before getting behind the wheel.

The first thing you need to know is everyone starts somewhere. Some people get into trucking and expect to be home every weekend or at least every other weekend. They expect to have all the miles, priority dispatch, and a paycheck to raise the roof. Well, maybe once you get some experience under your belt you’ll get all that, but for now you are just going to have to remember that you’re at the beginning of your career,  and things may be a little tough. The important thing is to stick with it, it’ll get better as you get more experience.

The next thing to keep in mind is that while you’re out there on the road you’re going to be getting advice from other drivers. Some of it will be good advice and some of it won’t. What you need to remember is that there are other drivers who have been on the road for a very long time and they have some really good advice. Listen to what they have to say, just because you have your CDL, it doesn’t mean you don’t have more to learn.

The third thing to keep in mind when beginning your career is to stay calm. People are going to cut you off, you have no control over that. What you do have control over is how you react to it. A truck driving job has so many great things about it, don’t let yourself get all bent out of shape. Enjoy the road and enjoy the trip.

Starting your truck driving career brings a whole ton of new experiences. Some of them may be great, some of them may not be. Before you get behind the wheel of your first truck, just remember all the good things that made you want to start trucking in the first place. A truck driving job is one like no other. With the opportunity to have the open road as your office, every day brings something new for you to discover.

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One Mile at a Time

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With a truck driving job, each and every day is different. As with any job out there, some days are great and then some are… not so great. We all have bad days where it seems like everything that can go wrong did. Sometimes those days last longer than usual and sometimes those days turn into weeks. No matter how long they are, however, things will eventually turn around and you will see the brighter side of the road. All you need to do is take it one mile at a time.

Now, taking things one mile at a time doesn’t mean not planning ahead. In a truck driving job planning ahead is vital to your success. One mile at a time simply means don’t worry about how things could go wrong on the road ahead, just deal with what’s happening in the moment and then take what comes next as it comes.

With many jobs out there, employees are able to leave their workplace and go home, forgetting about job for the moment. As a truck driver, that possibility isn’t really available.  When you’re out on the road you eat and sleep in your truck, it’s a little difficult to get away. In this aspect, when things go wrong it can seem overwhelming. Once again, just remember to take it one mile at a time.

If you’re just beginning your career as a truck driver, you will see that many of the veteran drivers out there will tell you to hold out. In the beginning especially, things can get difficult; you’re adjusting to a lifestyle most of you have never experienced before. Away from your friends and family for extended amounts of time, particularly in the beginning during your training, is hard. You will miss them, that’s a given, but things will get easier once you get the hang of it.

After a while, you’ll get into a routine of work and home time. You’ll enjoy your time on the road; the experiences you will have and the many beautiful sights you will see. There will always be hard times, unfortunately that’s just a part of life, but hard times do end and the sun does rise. Sometimes all that there is for you to decide is how you’re going to deal with the situation at hand. Are you going to get discouraged and maybe throw in the towel? Or, are you going to take a deep breath and rise up to the challenge? I encourage you to rise up; don’t get discouraged and don’t quit. Remember how hard you’ve worked to get where you are. Think of how strong you will be once this trial is over, and finally remember that you can win and move forward one mile at a time.

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Fit for the Road Ahead

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When first deciding to become a truck driver, did you look into what some of the aspects of the industry are? If so, you probably found out there are great perks such as being able to travel across the country and of course having the open road as your office. However, you most likely found some things that you were a little concerned about as well. Did you know that one of the greatest concerns in the trucking industry is health and weight?

It’s hard to stay healthy as a truck driver. What with sitting behind the wheel all day and the lack of home cooking; a healthy lifestyle on the road is indeed difficult. But it’s not impossible. There are actually plenty of ways to keep yourself in tip top shape as a truck driver, all you need to do is look.

Think for a moment about what one of the key ingredients is to a healthy lifestyle? Exercise, right? Impossible, some might say, there are no gyms around. Not so! As a truck driver, you have the world as a gym. Did you know that there is an app you can get on your phone that will tell you the locations of trails and parks along your route? If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then try running around your truck. 32 laps around a truck is a mile. If that’s too much, try four or eight- as long as you’re moving, that’s what really matters.

Running or jogging is actually one of the best forms of exercise out there. You build leg muscles, strengthen your cardio, get your heart going, lower your blood pressure and, of course, you lose weight. You don’t need any equipment for jogging either. And, if you aren’t able to jog, start with a brisk walk. After a while of that, you’ll be surprised at good you feel.

Some other exercises you can do out on the road are crunches or sit-ups. You don’t even have to get out of the truck for this! Simply get on the floor of your cab and crunch it out. Other exercises you can do in your truck include push-ups, leg lifts, squats, scissors, the plank, if you have some hand weights you can do bicep curls, shoulder lifts, or any number of other exercises. You can build your muscles and you don’t even have to get out of your truck.

A healthy lifestyle on the road is possible, it just takes a little imagination. A truck driving job is very rewarding and with the whole road ahead of you, you want to be able to enjoy it.

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