Truck Driving School Cost Yuma AZ

How to Choose the Right CDL Driving School near Yuma Arizona

long haul tractor trailer in Yuma AZCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Yuma AZ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work 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 evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Yuma residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target 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 balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

tanker truck in Yuma AZIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Yuma AZ, a driver needs to attain 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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 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. Some 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 may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

How to Research a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Yuma AZ truck driving schoolsAfter you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Yuma AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while carrying out 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 Yuma AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated 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 top Yuma AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arizona licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Yuma AZ schools offer training courses that range 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 earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide sufficient 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Yuma AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Yuma AZ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Yuma AZ school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared 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 must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Yuma AZ employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Yuma AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask 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 need to be completed.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Yuma AZ?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Yuma Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Yuma, Arizona

Yuma (Cocopah: Yuum) is a city in and the county seat[5] of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. It is located in the southwestern corner of the state, and the population of the city was 93,064 at the 2010 census, up from the 2000 census population of 77,515.[3]

Yuma is the principal city of the Yuma, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Yuma County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 2014 estimated population of the Yuma MSA is 203,247.[6] More than 85,000 retirees make Yuma their winter residence.[7]

In 1540, Spanish colonial expeditions under Hernando de Alarcon and Melchior Diaz visited the area and immediately recognized the natural crossing of the Colorado River as an ideal spot for a city. The Colorado River narrows to slightly under 1,000 feet wide in one area. Military expeditions that crossed the Colorado River at the Yuma Crossing include Juan Bautista de Anza (1774), the Mormon Battalion (1848) and the California Column (1862).

Truck Driving School Cost Yuma AZ

Yuma AZ long haul truckSelecting the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets 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 to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving School Cost.  However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about 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 CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Yuma AZ.

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