How to Enroll in the Right CDL Driving School near Queen Creek Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Queen Creek AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Queen Creek residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance 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 Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Queen Creek AZ, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL is required 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. Some 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Queen Creek AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Queen Creek AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Queen Creek AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Queen Creek AZ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria 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 advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Queen Creek 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 some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Queen Creek AZ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Queen Creek AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate 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 few Queen Creek AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Queen Creek AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Queen Creek AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Queen Creek Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek is located at 33°15′47″N 111°38′05″W / 33.26306°N 111.63472°W / 33.26306; -111.63472 (33.263101, −111.634685). The Town of Queen Creek is primarily within Maricopa County, but the Town Limits also extend into Pinal County on the eastern and southern borders. Even further to the east and south of QC Town Limits in Pinal County is the large (est. 87,000 population in 2015) unincorporated community of San Tan Valley.
As of the census of 2010, there were 26,361 people, 8,557 households, residing in the town. The population density was 167.3 people per square mile (64.6/km²). There were 8,557 housing units at an average density of 49.6 per square mile (19.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 6.53% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 14.30% from other races, and 2.29% from two or more races. 17.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,218 households out of which 50.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 8.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.77.
Training For CDL Queen Creek AZ
Picking the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Training For CDL. However, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Queen Creek AZ.
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