Products and supplies must be delivered each day to multiple locations across the U.S. to keep up with the demand of consumers. It’s the responsibility of truck drivers to make these deliveries on-time while operating their large vehicles in a safe manner. To be able to operate a large semi or truck on a public road, drivers must first obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). You can provide training to these drivers to help them get their CDL by learning how to start and own a truck driver training school business.
Write a business plan. Conduct an analysis of training schools in your area for truck drivers and farm workers seeking CDL permits. Determine if a truck driver training school business is viable based on the results of your assessment. Determine how you plan to finance and manage your training school business while also marketing and recruiting people to enroll.
Seek funding. Find out if your truck driver training school business qualifies for any low-interest or guaranteed loans offered through the Small Business Administration. Apply for private business loans through a local bank or credit union if your credit score is high enough.
Register your business. Contact the department of revenue for your city, county and state to collect and pay sales tax for your truck driver training school business if applicable in your area. Complete the online form to obtain a federal tax identification number from the federal government by visiting the website of the Internal Revenue Service. Obtain a local business license from city hall.
Obtain an instructor permit. Visit the website of your state department of motor vehicles, and learn what requirements you must meet to get a permit to serve as an instructor for CDL and truck driver training courses. This generally requires completing an instructor training course and applying for an instructor license.
Find a facility. Purchase or lease a building to house your truck driver training school business. Make sure it offers office space as well as a classroom large enough to accommodate 10 to 20 students attending your training classes. Consider getting a facility with an oversized garage space since this gives you a place to park semi trucks when not in use during training.
Purchase supplies. Buy a semi truck and trailer for you to use during the practical portion of your truck driver training school, or find a person willing to donate an old semi to your organization. Get tables, chairs, paper, pencils and written instruction booklets for the classroom portion of the training. You also may want a dry erase board or overhead projector to display information and write on when providing the classroom training.
Arrange the courses. Set the dates and times for the course. Include a group time where you provide classroom instruction to the entire group as well as individual times when participants get one-on-one training and experience operating a semi. Ensure the total number of hours in your training courses meet at least the minimum required by your state for drivers to obtain their CDL.
Promote your business. Use television, radio and newspaper to promote your truck driver training school business to the general public. Create a website and engage in marketing via social networking channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Network with representatives from local workforce and unemployment centers. They often have clients who are out of work who qualify for short-term training paid by the government with funds from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).