Frequently Asked Questions
Is the school licensed?
Yes. TransTech is licensed by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles as a truck driver training school and third party examination site to perform CDL Skills Examinations
What is the training schedule for the program?
Full-time training is conducted Monday – Thursday; 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Friday; 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Part-time (weekend) instruction is Saturday – Sunday; 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
Where are the schools located?
We have 6 locations in North Carolina: Asheville, Charlotte, Newton, Roxboro, Rutherfordton, and Winston Salem.
Will the school help me with my DMV written test?
Yes. We are here to help. During the first week of our program, our instructors will help prepare you for the CDL permit exam.
What happens if I fail my road test?
At the conclusion of training, students will complete the CDL skills examination on-site. However, should any student fail the final test, additional training will be provided at no additional cost.
What if my driving record is not clear?
Why is truck driving a good career choice?
Trucking is one of the most stable, high-demand industries in the country. Nearly every product or service in America benefits from trucking, so there is always a constant demand for truck drivers in every area and every sector of the economy. Truck driving is also a highly paid profession that allows you to provide a higher standard of living for your family and offers excellent benefits, including medical and dental insurance, paid vacations, and compensation incentives. Driving a truck also gives people the opportunity to travel the country and see new places while getting paid to do it. Many people enjoy the lifestyle freedom that truck driving offers, while others love the high pay and the unmatched job security it provides. No matter what the reason is, truck driving is an excellent choice for anyone who’s looking to make a positive career change in his or her life.
What can I expect to learn during CDL training school?
No matter where you attend truck driver training, you will be required to learn the basics of driving a tractor trailer. You will spend time behind the wheel of the truck learning backing, turning, shifting, and coupling and uncoupling a trailer. TransTech uses a closed course driving range to practice these skills before letting you out onto a public street. You will also get over-the-road driving experience at school: TransTech combines rural, city, and highway driving situations so that you will have the most real-world experience possible before you’re out on your own. Practice makes perfect no matter what you’re doing!
The most critical skills that you will learn while attending CDL training occur both behind the wheel and inside the classroom. You will learn the basic handling skills for driving a truck, such as backing, left and right turning, and coupling or uncoupling a trailer. You will also learn how to operate a manual tractor transmission. Also, you will also learn about the various laws and regulations that you must follow while driving a tractor-trailer and the correct safety practices to use. This may include determining how to read maps, plan trips, keep accurate logbooks, and perform safety inspections on your equipment. It is important to remember that you need to learn a lot more than just how to handle a truck to be a good truck driver and that each part of the training will help you in the future.
TransTech will also have you spend time in a classroom during your training, learning about other essential trucking skills such as map reading, trip planning, and keeping accurate log books. You will be taught about the Department of Transportation’s safety regulations and operating procedures and will learn how to perform a safety inspection before ever getting on the road. While you are enrolled in schooling, you will not only gain you what you need to know to drive a truck but what you need to know to be a safe, prosperous and professional truck driver.
Is there an age requirement to be able to obtain a CDL?
What will I learn in CDL training school?
No matter where you attend truck driver training, you will be required to learn the basics of driving a tractor trailer. At TransTech you will spend time behind the wheel of the truck learning backing, turning, shifting, and coupling and uncoupling a trailer. TransTech uses a closed course driving range to practice these skills before letting you out onto a public street. You will also get over-the-road driving experience at school: TransTech combines rural, city, and highway driving situations so that you will have the most real-world experience possible before you’re out on your own. Practice makes perfect no matter what you’re doing!
The most critical skills that you will learn while attending schooling occur both behind the wheel and inside the classroom. You will learn the basic handling skills for driving a truck, such as backing, left and right turning, and coupling or uncoupling a trailer. You will also learn how to operate a manual tractor transmission. Also, you will also learn about the various laws and regulations that you must follow while driving a tractor-trailer and the correct safety practices to use. This may include determining how to read maps, plan trips, keep accurate logbooks, and perform safety inspections on your equipment. It is important to remember that you need to learn a lot more than just how to handle a truck to be a good truck driver and that each part of the training will help you in the future.
Most schools will also have you spend time in a classroom during your training, learning about other essential trucking skills such as map reading, trip planning, and keeping accurate log books. You will be taught about the Department of Transportation’s safety regulations and operating procedures and will learn how to perform a safety inspection before ever getting on the road. At TransTech you will not only gain you what you need to know to drive a truck but what you need to know to be a safe, prosperous and professional truck driver.
Am I guaranteed a job after the completion of training?
Be very wary of any school or company that “guarantees” a driving job to you after you complete CDL training. Even programs that are company-sponsored or that pre-hire you with a carrier cannot guarantee that you will be employed with them merely because your employment depends on some things. Factors like passing the state CDL licensing test, completing a Department of Transportation physical and drug screen, and completing the CDL training program are all conditions that must be met before you can start driving for any trucking company, and the company doesn’t know if you will pass these tests until you take them.
How much can I expect to make during my first year of driving?
Every trucking company is different, but the average salary for an entry-level truck driver with most carriers runs between $33,000 and $37,000 in your first year. After one year of experience, you can expect your salary to increase to between $40,000 and $50,000. The pay scale throughout the industry is pretty similar from company to company. Trucking companies pay their drivers per mile, so your final earnings depend upon how much time you spend out on the road. Also, some companies offer safe driver bonuses, sign-on bonuses, or other pay incentives that can be available to earn you extra cash. In the end, you can make more or less money based on how much you want to drive and what incentives you choose.
What kinds of jobs will be offered to me after the completion of training?
After you graduate from TransTech and obtain your class A CDL, there are a number of possible career options available to you. You can work as a driver for a major trucking company, a small haul carrier, and or even the government. Trucking positions are available in nearly every industry imaginable. However, almost every short-haul or local position requires that you have at least one year of over-the-road driving experience. Once you have completed a year’s worth of long-haul driving, most companies will be able to hire you for short-haul and even local driving positions. Many students attend through our company sponsored training with Swift Transportation and Schneider National – and work for them for one year, then choose to either sign on as a company driver or owner-operator or to leave the company for another position.
Do trucking companies have a Rider Program?
Trucking companies realize that their drivers have family and friends that they will miss while they’re out on the road. Most companies allow their drivers to have a rider come with them at certain times, and some carriers even allow pets in the truck too. However, every company has its own rules and restrictions, such as the age of the rider, how long he or she can be with the driver, and whether or not the driver must purchase additional insurance for the rider. Generally, most carriers do not allow more than one passenger in the truck at a time. If having your family on the road with you is essential, you should find a carrier with a very liberal rider policy.
Some trucking companies also offer team positions for either long-haul or dedicated routes. Many people choose to team with their husband or wife, brother, or friend if they feel that being alone on the road will be too difficult. Most companies require that the teams be naturally made, which means they won’t team you with a person you’ve never met before. Team driving opportunities are great for people who have a family member or spouse who is also interested in the trucking industry.
How long can I expect to be away from home?
Just like your pay scale, your amount of home time will vary slightly from company to company. Some companies will only require a driver to be away for five days, while others will have drivers out for three weeks before heading back. However, the industry average for over-the-road truck drivers is 10 to 14 days away from home at a time. The basic rule of thumb for the trucking industry is that you will earn one day of home time every week spent on the road. So, if you are out for two weeks, you will be able to come home for 2 to 3 days before being routed back on the road.
Many trucking companies have policies regarding home time, such as promising drivers that they will be home 2 out of 3 weekends a month or giving them “personal days” that they can use on special dates like family birthdays or doctor’s appointments. It is important to remember, however, that even local drivers sometimes work 10-hour days. Trucking is a career that will take you away from your home and your family for some period, so be prepared to make that sacrifice if you choose to become a truck driver.
Will I be based from my hometown?
Because there are thousands of trucking companies all over the country, you should never have to move to find a trucking job. However, every company has a geographic hiring area that they recruit drivers from because it is closest to the company’s headquarters and customers. You must live in a company’s hiring area to be able to drive for that company.
Every company is different: some carriers will allow you to take your truck home with you on your days off, while others specify that you must leave it at a company drop-yard or in a secure, public area. Most truckers live within 2 to 3 hours of their company drop-yards. You will be based out of your home area, and your dispatcher will route you according to where you live or where you park your truck. You will always be routed back to this same area for your home time as well.
Will I have to pay for fuel or maintenance on the truck I drive?
If you are working as an over-the-road company driver, you will probably never have to pay for fuel or any maintenance associated with your truck. The trucking companies will provide much of the support themselves, but will also pay for things like towing roadside assistance, or other issues. Also, most trucking companies give their driver’s fuel cards and participate in gas-saving programs that offer discounts. Most companies will even cover any expenses for tolls, bridges, and an EZ-Pass that makes going through these areas faster and easier.
If you become an owner operator, however, you will be responsible for paying for both your fuel and your truck’s maintenance while you work. Owner-operators are like independent contractors for trucking companies, and the driver owns the vehicle he/she drives. With the price of gas so high, however, a lot of trucking companies have been offering a fuel surcharge for owner-operators, which means that they will pay the driver extra per mile to help offset fuel costs. If you work as a company driver, however, you won’t have to worry about paying for your fuel or maintenance costs.
Will I have to load and unload the truck?
Years ago, most truck drivers had to help load or unload their trailers when they arrived at a stop. Today, however, trucking companies are finding that it is safer and more profitable to have another company’s employees load and unload shipments instead of the drivers. Almost all of the major trucking companies offer drivers a “no touch freight” policy – that is, the driver won’t have to worry about touching his truck’s cargo when he picks it up or drops it off. Most companies have between 75 to 85 percent no touch freight, so in some situations, a driver may still be required to help to load or unloading a truck. Most of the time, however, it will not be necessary to touch your cargo at any point in the haul.
Do I need a HazMat endorsement?
To become a CDL licensed over-the-road driver, you aren’t required to carry a HazMat or Hazardous Materials Endorsement. HazMat training is required for CDL drivers who want to be permitted to transport potentially dangerous chemicals and materials, such as gasoline, fertilizer, or dynamite. To haul everyday cargo, such as foodstuffs or automobile parts, a HazMat endorsement is not required.
If you are interested in obtaining your HME, you can find an application at your local NC DMV. You will be required to pay for additional HazMat training and to pass a general knowledge test from your license branch, as well as complete a fingerprint analysis and background check from the Transportation Security Administration. More details are available at your nearest NC DMV branch.
What types of equipment do trucking companies use?
Class A CDL trucks are the traditional 18-wheeler semi tractor-trailers you see on the highways every day. Even though there are thousands of trucking companies throughout the country, most carriers rely on one or two major tractor brands for their fleets. If you choose to attend CDL training, the models you will learn to drive on will be very similar to the truck you will begin operating once you are on your own.
Tractor trailers are much more technologically advanced today than they have been in the past. Today, many trucking companies have installed satellite systems such as Qualcomm in their trucks that allow drivers to use GPS navigation systems and in-cab email. A few of the major tractor manufacturers have also started making automatic transmissions for their machines, something that trucking companies have begun offering to new drivers. The best carriers take pride in their equipment and will provide the most modern, best-maintained trucks available to its drivers.