How to Decide on the Right Trucker School near Camp Verde Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Camp Verde AZ. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Camp Verde residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Camp Verde AZ, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving 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). Below are brief explanations of the two 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 more 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 require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Camp Verde AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are several additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Camp Verde AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required 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 lots of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure 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 be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Camp Verde AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, 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 segment. 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 getting the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Camp Verde AZ schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. 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.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great 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 actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Camp Verde AZ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known 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 place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Camp Verde AZ schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Camp Verde AZ school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Camp Verde AZ employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Camp Verde AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance 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 Camp Verde AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Camp Verde Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Camp Verde, Arizona
The town hosts an annual corn festival in July, sponsored and organized by Hauser and Hauser Farms. Other annual festivals include Fort Verde Days (October); the Pecan, Wine and Antiques Festival (February); and the Crawdad Festival (June).
The 42.6 sq mi (110 km2) town is intersected by I-17, extending 8 miles (13 km) to the West and 10 miles (16 km) to the East of the interstate. Three freeway exits provide local access: Exits 285, 287, and 289. The Town's Historic Downtown is approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) from I-17 and contains a grocery store, physician facilities, shopping, dining, historical museum, Fort Verde State Historic Park, chamber of commerce/visitor center and town offices. Camp Verde is located at 34°34′0″N 111°51′22″W / 34.56667°N 111.85611°W / 34.56667; -111.85611 (34.566713, -111.856194).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.6 square miles (110 km2), of which, 42.6 square miles (110 km2) of it is land and 0.02% is water. It is in the Verde River valley. To the southwest lie the Black Hills mountain range. Camp Verde is surrounded by Prescott National Forest. The Mogollon Rim is just north of the town and forms the southwestern edge of the large, geologically ancient Colorado Plateau.
How To Get CDL Class B Camp Verde AZ
Selecting the right truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation 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 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 How To Get CDL Class B. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to think about 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 trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Camp Verde AZ.
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