What to Expect After Truck Driving School
By Eric Lorence
Once finishing truck driving school, your instructor hands you a certificate and sends you on your way. But your not a truck driver yet. Thats right, you have your diploma, CDL, and maybe even a hat with the school logo. But your education is just starting. Driving schools teach just the basics and thats it. Double clutching, parallel parking, basic logging, and a gigantic lot to learn backing in.
Unfortunately, real life trucking will be a whole lot harder. Once hired by a trucking company, the next step is to "run" with a "driver trainer" for three to six weeks. This is when the fun begins. All sorts of drivers train students, and many are very good and professional. Many are not. Many of these companies allow rookie drivers with as little as a couple of months experience train newer drivers. Like "blind leading the blind"many of these "trainers" are clueless as to the serious business of driving a truck, and train mostly for the money. Some trucking outfits see this as an opportunity to run that truck as a "team" operation, which means running as hard as two veteran drivers in the same truck. Those trucks will normally run day and night, with very few stops.
The trainers like this because all miles paid are paid to them, potentially doubling their income. The companies love this because team trucks are far more profitable than solos. But where dose the leave the trainee? Being new to the business it will take time to adjust to those long driving shifts. For some, trying to sleep while the truck is moving will be nearly impossible. As for pay, the trainee usually receives a small paycheck during this time, but it's usually just enough for some food and expenses, not very much. Some companies will even continue to team you with another rookie driver, even after the initial training! They say the extra "teaming" with another student improves your skills.
I don't know how teaming with another trainee can improve your skills, it just seems like they're trying to squeeze the trainees for all the profit they can. Since many drivers refuse to run team, team trucks are hard to fill. First year drivers are paid far below average, so don't expect top rates when starting out. I know what your recruiter told you, they told me the same things. Just remember that recruiters are paid to fill seats, and they're paid very well. Your education has only just begun.
Have a safe ride!
About the Author...
Eric Lorence was a "long haul" truck driver for twelve years before leaving the industry to start various internet businesses and engage in other pursuits.
Visit his Home Page: Zen Trucking
Read More Articles Here: Thought Search Articles
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