How to Decide on the Right CDL Training School near Grand Canyon Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Grand Canyon AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Grand Canyon residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Grand Canyon AZ, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive with Class A licenses are:
- Interstate or Intrastate Tractor Trailers
- Trucks with Double or Triple Trailers
- Tanker Trucks
- Livestock Carriers
- Class B and Class C Vehicles
Class B CDL. A Class B Commercial Drivers License is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Grand Canyon AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Grand Canyon AZ area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Grand Canyon AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Grand Canyon AZ schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Grand Canyon AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Grand Canyon AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Grand Canyon AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Grand Canyon AZ employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Grand Canyon AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Grand Canyon AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Grand Canyon Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa;Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).
The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.
School For Truck Driving Grand Canyon AZ
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in School For Truck Driving. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Grand Canyon AZ.
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