How to Select the Right CDL Training School near Wikieup Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Wikieup AZ. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Wikieup home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wikieup AZ, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 brief explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 drive 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. A few 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 appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Wikieup AZ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Wikieup AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty 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 program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will measure up to 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 rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Wikieup AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. 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 share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Wikieup AZ schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some 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, an excellent trucking school will furnish plenty of 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wikieup AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Wikieup AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 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 looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Wikieup AZ school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Wikieup AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Wikieup AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Wikieup AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wikieup Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The settlement was established in 1977, located 100 miles northwest of Phoenix Arizona, and roughly 20 miles south of Wikieup, the "rattlesnake capital of Arizona." It is west of Bagdad at milepost 148½ on U.S. Route 93 (the Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway) between Wickenburg and Kingman, on the route from Las Vegas to Phoenix.
Nothing was abandoned by May 2005, and by August 2008, the gas station was beginning to collapse. An attempted revival of Nothing occurred at some time after August 2008 when Nothing was purchased by Mike Jensen. By April 2009, Jensen had opened his pizza business, run from a portable oven, with hopes of reopening the mini-mart and creating accommodations for RVs.
In 2016, Century 21 Real Estate ran a "Give Dad Nothing" promotion where a free 24 hour lease to a piece of property at Nothing, Arizona could be secured for June 19, 2016 (Father's Day) only. The promotion was done with the participation of the current property owner and included a downloadable "Certificate of Nothing" and gift card.
Class B CDL Training Wikieup AZ
Selecting the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching 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 many options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class B CDL Training. However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Wikieup AZ.
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Prep to get your CDL - Free Info
In addition to the CDL (commercial driver's license) information found in our website covering the CDL and in the free CDL Handbook (which is quite boring and a bit confusing - and doesn't have a single multiple-choice question in it that is asked on the actual tests), the complete online CDL Practice Test prep program will prepare you to easily pass your CDL written exams to get your CDL permit.