Top 10 Florida Truck Driving Schools and CDL Training
Truck driving can be a good career option for people living in Florida. A large number of the state’s residents are now opting for truck driver training in Florida in order to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL). What are the factors responsible for making truck driving one of the most sought after professions among people of all ages in this state? Here are a few benefits of working as a commercial truck driver:
• A licensed commercial driver enjoys relative job stability. Statistics suggest that close to 70% of the entire freight tonnage in the United Sates gets hauled by trucks every year. This ensures availability of a significant number of truck driver jobs throughout the year.
• Truck driving jobs allow for a reasonable yearly income. Usually, truck drivers get paid on a per-mile basis. Another major factor considered when deciding the service rates of the truck divers is the magnitude of the loads hauled by them. According to reports, the current wages of the truck drivers operating in the country range from $36,525 to $45,602 per year, which is quite reasonable. Moreover, the drivers can expect to earn extra amounts through benefit packages, loyalty bonuses and safety bonuses and of course the chance of incurring semi-annual and annual raises also exists.
• Most employers offer employee benefits of reasonable value after a truck driver works for them for a predefined probationary period.
• Truck drivers may not get to explore the tourist destinations of the country while on duty, as most of those places do not allow admission of commercial vehicles, but they surely enjoy the opportunity of seeing several new places.
To enjoy the benefits discussed above, you will first need to obtain a CDL, based on which you will get employment as a truck driver in Florida. A CDL can be of three types. They are:
• Class A CDL: Individuals acquiring this CDL type will be allowed to drive all types of vehicles having a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds, plus a towing weight of more than 10,000 pounds. The towing weight in this case is explained as the weight of another vehicle towed by the truck.
• Class B CDL: The ones who receive Class B CDLs are allowed to drive single vehicles having a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds, plus a maximum towing weight of 10,000 pounds.
• Class C CDL: Drivers obtaining the Class C CDLs are permitted to drive vehicles having a gross weight of below 26,000 pounds, carrying more than 16 passengers.
The above categorization shows that a person obtaining a ‘Class A’ CDL will be eligible for driving all sorts of commercial vehicles. Thus, the aspiring truck drivers are suggested to obtain ‘Class A’ CDLs in order to increase their employment options.
There are several trucking schools offering truck driver training in Florida. These truck driving schools help the aspiring truckers to prepare themselves for passing the CDL exams. CDL schools can be of three types: public, private and company sponsored trucking schools. Below, you will find some detailed information about these three truck driving school types.
Public trucking schools: Most people describe public trucking schools as the most convenient option. Public schools offering CDL training are mostly community colleges with a department dedicated to driver training. A public trucking school generally offers training against low costs, as most of these training courses are sponsored by the government. Financial aid is also available to help students having difficulty in paying the fees.
Private trucking schools: If you don’t have any community college in your locality that offers CDL training, you should get yourself enrolled at a private trucking school. The syllabus covered in these schools includes everything that is taught at the public trucking schools. However, training offered at a private school comes with much higher costs. Reports suggest that for obtaining CDL training at a private school, one may need to spend as much as $5,000 or even more than that. Moreover, obtaining financial aid is also somewhat difficult while studying at a private CDL school.
Company sponsored trucking schools: Many trucking companies in Florida have CDL training programs of their own. The aspiring truckers are allowed to join these programs either absolutely free of cost or for a very small amount. Although the features of a company sponsored truck driver training in Florida are quite appealing, it might come with some hitches. These training programs will only educate you about the minimum requirements of passing a CDL exam. Additionally, the training offered by the in-house school of a specific trucking company is often not regarded to be sufficient by other trucking companies. As a result, one’s chances of getting jobs might be affected negatively.
One of the easiest ways of ensuring that obtaining the CDL will result in attractive employment for you is joining a truck driving school pre-approved by any reputable trucking company in your area. How will you know which are the truck driving schools approved by the trucking company of your preference? It’s easy. Just contact the trucking company that you want to see as your future employer and ask about the CDL schools approved by them. Once you receive your CDL after completing the truck driving training at any of these schools, the trucking company will give you a ‘hire date’. Your duty would be reporting at your employer’s office one day before the announced hire date. After joining the company, you will be sent for orientation. Typically, orientation programs in these organizations last for a maximum of four days. Next, you will have to start on-road driving, where you will be accompanied by a veteran driver trainer. The driver training can continue for as many as eight weeks. However, if you are skilled enough, you will be allowed to drive alone after being trained for only two to three weeks. During the training period, the drivers are not offered payment on a per mile basis. They get flat weekly rates usually ranging from $300 to $500.
The steps you need to complete before and after undergoing truck driver training in Florida have now been outlined considerably through the pointers mentioned above. Now, it’s up to you to make the decision about whether or not you want to pursue this exciting career.