There are numerous trucking companies that give an opportunity to people with Commercial Driving Licences ( CDL). Truck driving is a career just like any other. The chance of getting a job with a trucking company is available whether one has some experience or not. If you are considering taking up a career as a truck driver, one of the main requirements is a CDL. There are two main ways of acquiring a CDL.
Independent CDL training
Just as the name suggests, this is the training where you select the school that offers training on truck driving. You pay for the training costs and once qualified the school certifies you as a truck driver. However, the cost involved during the training in these trucking schools is high and is seldom affordable to most people.
Company paid CDL Training
In this case the company undertakes to pay your training costs either fully or partially. In return, you are attached to the company under a contract for a specified period of time. During this time you are expected to adhere to the contract agreement that you sign failure to which there are consequences.
Due to the high costs that are associated with independent CDL training, most people end up in the company paid CDL Training. Like any other training program, this training has its own advantages and disadvantages.
1. It offers an opportunity for someone who cannot afford to pay for individual training in a private trucking company
2. Your expenses during the training period that takes up to three weeks are catered for. These expenses include transportation and housing.
3. You are assured of a job immediately after you complete training. Once on the company payroll, you become eligible for the various benefits depending on the company policies.
4. The period that you are required to work for a company after you have completed training provides you with an opportunity to work and gain experience without going through the pains of looking for a job.
5. Most companies will require you to work for one year upon completion of training. This consistency builds up your CV.
1. When the company trains you, you are basically tied to them and you have to work for the specified duration. Failure to this, you may have to pay back the entire cost of training and any related expenses. In other cases there are penalties to be paid.
2. Compared to individual training, the effectiveness of the company paid CDL training is mostly minimal due to the high ratio of students to instructors.
3. Most companies tend to have employment contracts that are very attractive on paper only for the employee to find a totally different scenario on the ground.
4. The drivers are paid very low per-mile rates since they have low bargaining power as compared to their privately trained counterparts.
5. For the company to recover the money used in training, the drivers tend to have a high workload. This leaves the workers with very minimal home time.
Pros and Cons Of truck driving jobs while training
After successful training and acquiring a CDL, it is now time to join the trucking world. Just like any other career, trucking is not for everyone. There are benefits as well as challenges that are unique to this industry. These are:
High income potential – trucking is paid at a rate-per-mile. This means that as long as the truck is moving, you are making money. The distance you cover will therefore determine the amount of money you will take home at the end of the day. It is no surprise that a truck driver will make up to $40,000 in their first year of work. With reviewed annual pay, the drivers are able to make $5,000 to $10,000 more in the consequent years.
Short term training – unlike other courses that could take several months or even years to complete, it takes only three weeks for one to qualify for a CDL after which, you are well equipped for a truck driver’s job. The availability of company paid CDL also makes it very affordable.
Anyone can become a truck driver – whether you have experience or not, you can become a truck driver. Apart from the CDL, there are no extra skills that you are required to have. The CDL training schools give you the needed capacity to handle the trucks and you are ready for trucking as soon as you finish training.
Freedom to travel – this is probably one of the very few careers that give you the opportunity to transverse the country. A truck driver will pick or deliver cargo in different parts of the country as part of their job. This gives them an opportunity to travel and visit areas that they would otherwise never travel to. Additionally, when on the road, you are your own boss and at liberty to decide how to do your deliveries.
Loneliness – this is probably one of the biggest challenges in a truck driver’s job. The fact that you have to travel over long distances to deliver your cargo denies you the chance to be close to family and friends. It is actually one of the reasons why this career is not popular. However, to ensure that the truck drivers do not experience long periods of loneliness, most companies allow their drivers to bring someone during one of their trips in a rider program. This could be a child, spouse, friend or even a pet.
From the above, it is clear that while truck driving jobs could be regarded as prestigious they are not for everyone because of their unique challenges. However, as with any decision regarding a career, it is important to understand both the advantages and the downside of these jobs. With the right attitude and clear understanding truck driving could turn out to be the perfect job.