How to Find the Right Trucking School near Peoria Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Peoria AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Peoria residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Peoria AZ, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Peoria AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Peoria AZ area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common 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 know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Peoria AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Peoria AZ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Peoria AZ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Peoria AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Peoria AZ school you enroll in 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 teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Peoria AZ employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Peoria AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Peoria AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Peoria Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Peoria /piˈɔːriə/ is a city in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in the State of Arizona. Most of the city is located in Maricopa County, while a tiny portion in the north is in Yavapai County. It is a major suburb of Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau releases, the population of the city is 154,065. Peoria is currently the sixth largest city in Arizona for land area, and the ninth largest for population. It was named after Peoria, Illinois. The word "peoria" is a corruption of the Illini word for "prairie fire." It is the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners, who share the Peoria Sports Complex. In July 2008, Money magazine listed Peoria in its Top 100 Places to Live.
Peoria sits in the Salt River Valley, and extends into the foothills of the mountains to the north. William John Murphy, who had worked on the Arizona Canal, recruited settlers to begin a community in Arizona, many of them from Peoria, Illinois. Albert J. and Elizabeth Straw were the first to establish residency in November 1886. They were followed by William T. and Sylvia Hanna, James M. and Clara Copes, and James and Ella McMillan, all from Peoria, Illinois relocate to what is now Peoria, Arizona. An old desert road connecting Phoenix to the Hassayampa River near present-day Wickenburg was the only major transportation route in the area until 1887, when a new road was laid out. Named Grand Avenue, this road angled through the newly designed town sites of Alhambra, Glendale, and Peoria and became the main route from Phoenix to Vulture Mine. The settlers filed Peoria's plot map with the Maricopa County recorder on May 24, 1897, naming the settlement after their hometown.
The original plot map of Peoria included east and west streets (from south to north) Monroe, Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, and Van Buren. Streets going north and south were (from west to east) Almond (present-day 85th Avenue), Peach (present-day 84th Avenue), Orange (present-day 83rd Avenue), Vine (present-day 82nd Avenue), Walnut (present-day 81st Avenue), the plot was roughly from present-day Peoria and 85th avenues to Monroe Street and 85th Avenue to Monroe Street and 81st Avenue to 81st Avenue and south of the Desert Cove alignment. On August 4, 1888, the Territory of Peoria, Arizona was granted a post office in its name and served a population of 27. Maricopa County supervisors defined the boundaries for School District Eleven, comprising forty-nine square miles, and the first class took place in an unoccupied brick store that faced north on Washington Street until Peoria's first school building, a one-room structure completed in 1891.
How To Obtain A Class B CDL Peoria AZ
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Obtain A Class B CDL. However, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Peoria AZ.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arizona Locations