How to Select the Right Trucker School near Eloy Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Eloy AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. 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 various factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Eloy residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master 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 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Eloy AZ, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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 brief 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 more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDL is required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
After you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Eloy AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are some additional 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 ? Very few truck driver schools in the Eloy AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Eloy AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Eloy AZ schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to 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 happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Eloy AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment 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 place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Eloy AZ schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. 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 convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Eloy AZ school you enroll in offers 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 teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? 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 reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Eloy AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Eloy 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Eloy AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Eloy Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Eloy is a city in Pinal County, Arizona, United States, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tucson and about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census estimates in 2017, the population of the city is 19,168.
According to the U.S. Census of 2000, the city has a total area of 98.9 square miles (256 km2). The city offers a varied range of community facilities for its citizens. Outside the city limits, the city has a planning area of almost 560 square miles (1,500 km2).
As of the census of 2011, there were 16,964 people, 2,492 households, and 1,988 families residing in Eloy. The population density was 144.8 people per square mile (55.9/km²). There were 2,734 housing units at an average density of 38.1 per square mile (14.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58% Hispanic or Latino, 5.32% Black or African American, 41% White, 4.48% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 31.48% from other races, and 4.71% from two or more races.
How Can I Get My CDL License Eloy AZ
Selecting the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How Can I Get My CDL License. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Eloy AZ.
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