Some trucking companies offer their own driving schools.
This can also be a good option but be aware of a couple differences.
starters, a trucking company is going to train you according to what
THEY want out of you. They have a certain set of equipment, a certain
set of rules, and sometimes a certain type of freight. For instance,
many of the bigger companies now have fleets of fully automatic trucks.
You won't learn how to manually shift a truck which will severely limit
your options if you decide to go elsewhere.
Secondly a trucking
company will make a trade-off with you. They will often require little
or no money up front but instead will allow you to pay back the money
by paying you a little bit less and requiring you to remain with them
for a certain period of time, usually one year. This is sometimes a
necessary trade off if you can't afford the up front money or qualify
for financial aid at a private school.
If you do decide to go
with a company truck driving school, find out what the company's policy
is on paying them back if you don't fulfill your obligation to them.
Generally they will prorate the amount you owe them based on how long
you worked there.
An example of a company specific policy could
be mountain braking. There are several different schools of thought on
proper braking techniques for going down a mountain. If a company's
safety department is convinced that one particular way is the best way
then they may not even cover any other theories, or possibly even try
to convince you that any other way will be disastrous. As you know
there are usually a number of different ways to accomplish something
and since you will be the one whose life is on the line, wouldn't you
like to know all of the options so you can use your own judgment and
have a more thorough understanding of the topic?
company has different policies when it comes to your logbook. Some have
much tighter regulations than others. Whatever their policy is will be
the only way they will teach it. Often times a company will require
things above and beyond the federal DOT guidelines. These requirements
may be a hindrance at a company with more lenient policies. Be aware of
this type of teaching.
Personally I haven't come across anybody
who regretted their schooling decision. The major reason for this is
that you will really only learn about 5% of what you will REALLY need
to know in school. The rest you will learn from experience. Once you
get your license and get one year of safe driving experience under your
belt the sky is the limit. Pretty much any company in the country will
hire you with those simple credentials.