How to Decide on the Right Trucking School near Youngtown Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Youngtown AZ. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Youngtown home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Youngtown AZ, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver 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 address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 operate certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Youngtown AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Youngtown AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount 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 meet the very high standards 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 usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Youngtown AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Youngtown AZ schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Youngtown AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Youngtown AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Youngtown AZ school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Youngtown AZ employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Youngtown AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Youngtown AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Youngtown Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Youngtown is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 6,156. Youngtown is the oldest retirement community in the United States.
In 1954, two developers bought 320 acres (1.3 km2) of farmland and built the United States' first planned community dedicated exclusively to retirees. Designed by Ben Schleifer, the community was ironically named Youngtown. In 1996, the town, citing its age restrictions, denied extending the stay of a 16-year-old child to live in the community. In response, Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods investigated and determined that the age ordinance was unenforceable. In response, Youngtown repealed the age restrictions in 1999.
Youngtown is located at 33°35′41″N 112°17′56″W / 33.59472°N 112.29889°W / 33.59472; -112.29889 (33.594603, −112.298776), on the east bank of the Agua Fria River, just south of US 60. It is bordered on the west by El Mirage and on the east by the much larger retirement community of Sun City.
CDL Training Near Me Youngtown AZ
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training Near Me. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need 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 enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Youngtown AZ.
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