How to Select the Right Trucking School near Buckeye Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Buckeye AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Buckeye home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to ensure 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 examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Buckeye AZ, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight 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). 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. A few 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Buckeye AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Buckeye 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver 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. However, even the best of Buckeye AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving 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 train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Buckeye AZ schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important 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 become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Buckeye AZ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Buckeye AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Buckeye AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote 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 fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Buckeye AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Buckeye AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Buckeye AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Buckeye Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Buckeye is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona and is the westernmost suburb in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The population was estimated at 68,453 in 2017. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US; in 2016, it placed seventh. By 2017, it had grown to be the fastest growing city in the US.
Early settler Malie M. Jackson developed 10 miles (16 km) of the Buckeye Canal from 1884 to 1886, which he named after his home state of Ohio's moniker, "The Buckeye State". The town was founded in 1888 and originally named "Sidney," after Jackson's home town in Ohio. However, because of the significance of the canal, the town became known as Buckeye. The name was legally changed to Buckeye in 1910. The town was incorporated in 1929, at which time it included 440 acres (180 ha). The town's first mayor was Hugh M. Watson (1956–1958), who founded the Buckeye Valley Bank. Today, Watson Road is the site of the city's commercial center.
In 2013, a video featuring a Verrado High School student who overcame Down's Syndrome to join the school's cheerleading squad, and using the Katy Perry song "Roar", was selected as a finalist in a Good Morning America contest.
Area Truck Driving School Buckeye AZ
Choosing the right trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape 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 Area Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Buckeye AZ.
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