When the economy gets down and unstable, many people turn towards truck driving as a career because of the industry’s in-demand and high paying jobs. Naturally, the first step is to look for a quality truck driving school. For an inexperienced driver just getting started in the industry, knowing what makes the difference between a good school and a bad school can be difficult. With that in mind, these helpful tips can guide an entry level driver in making the best possible choice for their education.
Make Sure It’s Legit
Check the school’s license or approval status to ensure they legally operate as a school in their state. Every state has some form of adult education regulating authority that approves the school to function in their state as a post secondary educational facility. The regulatory authority ensures that the school meets educational standards, is properly insured, has quality training equipment, has a safe standardized facility to provide the training, and is financially sound. Nothing worse than a student showing up to school one day and finding that the school closed its doors before the student graduated!
The same regulatory agency also governs the school’s ethical behavior. They make sure that the school advertises ethically and treats their students fairly. They make sure that the school abides by a state approved cancellation and refund policy and they also regulate complaints that previous students may have had. It is a good idea to check with the appropriate agency to see if the school you are thinking of attending has any complaints and how they have handled them. In short, make sure the school is authorized by the state to operate as an educational facility. If they aren’t…run.
Apex CDL Institute is approved by the Kansas Board of Regents as a post secondary educational facility.
Check the Track Record
Find out the school’s experience and check on their success rate. It’s easy for any school to claim they are the best, but without a proven track record, how will you know if they’re any good? Helpful points to check for include how long the school has been in business, how many students they’ve successfully graduated, how long their instructors have been with them, and what teaching experience they actually have.
The truth is, most truck driving schools are run by retired truck drivers, and most instructors you find at those schools are just old truck drivers looking for a way to get off the road. Decades of truck driving experience does not qualify someone to be a good instructor – just because a person knows how to do something does not mean they will be any good at teaching it. At Apex CDL Institute, we graduate hundreds of students a year and have been doing so for years. We have the best success rate for our students of any school in the Kansas City area. We know it, and we can prove it.
Our instructors are highly trained in teaching you the skills required to succeed, and our Director of Education is a hands-on owner who makes sure that our students are receiving the best training possible, every day.
Research Job Placement Stats
Let’s face it, a truck driving school is only as good as the job it gets you. As an entry level driver trainee with your sights set on a career in trucking, one of the most important things you need to consider is what kind of job the school will help you land. Take special care to discover what companies the school works with to provide quality job placement options. Does the school take an active role in finding students jobs, or do they kick you out the door and say “figure it out”?
Many truck driving schools may not want to admit it, but there are definitely schools that trucking companies consider their favorites. The level of devotion is determined by the amount of quality and well-trained students sent their way. If you are still unsure after doing your research, call the trucking company that you want to work for after you get your CDL and ask them what school they would prefer you attend.
At Apex CDL Institute we have aligned ourselves with some of the best trucking companies in the country. We are the preferred training provider in the Kansas City area by many of the trucking companies that hire our students because of our reputation of providing quality training to quality students.
Protect Your Wallet
Does the school you are considering offer its own financial assistance and financing? We‘re talking about the school itself offering you financing, rather than using a 3rd party lender that removes the school from the process. Will the school lend you money to receive their training? If the school does not trust their training well enough to be willing to put their neck on the line as much as you, why would you trust their ability to make you successful?
At Apex CDL Institute we offer an in-house financing option. We have lent hundreds of students the money to attend our program. We believe in your success, and will put our money where our mouth is to prove it.
Ensure On-Site Testing
Is the school you are attending a licensed 3rd party CDL examiners site? In other words, can the school you are considering actually perform the CDL test for you when you finish your training? This is critical to your success. If a school is not a 3rd party examination site, you need to ask why. Are they not financially stable enough to afford licensing? Do they not meet the state requirements to get licensing as a 3rd party examiner? Do they not have a facility that meets testing requirements – if not, how can it possibly meet training requirements?
If the school is not a licensed examiners site, you will be required to test with the state, at the convenience of the state, upon graduation. You will have to deal with all the scheduling conflicts and inconsistency that comes with testing at the state site.
At Apex CDL Institute, we are licensed by the State of Kansas to perform 3rd party CDL examinations right here on site. Our examiners are trained and fluent on FMCSA and AAMVA guidelines and standards, and we ensure your testing process goes as smoothly as possible to make sure you get to work as quickly as possible.
Making the decision to start a new career and venture down a new path is not always easy. It can be made even harder by unknowingly making bad decisions when choosing a training provider and school. Use these tips to help guide you and your pathway will be much brighter. Best of luck and be safe!