How to Decide on the Right Trucker School near Mammoth Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Mammoth AZ. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Mammoth home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick 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 talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Mammoth AZ, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries 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 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 CDL is required 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. 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Mammoth AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are a few additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Mammoth AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Mammoth AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Mammoth AZ schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although 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 crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Mammoth AZ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Mammoth AZ schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Mammoth AZ school you choose provides 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 instructor should be prepared 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 Assistance Provided? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Mammoth AZ employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Mammoth AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Mammoth AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Mammoth Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
In November 2014 Mammoth was the subject of a fictional horror tale on the Reddit subreddit "/r/nosleep", which had a contagious disease wipe out the population. Naive users believed and spread the story, somewhat akin to the 1938 War of the Worlds panic. The town was inundated with phone calls from people trying to ascertain what was happening.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,762 people, 562 households, and 440 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,626.5 people per square mile (629.9/km²). There were 697 housing units at an average density of 643.4 per square mile (249.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 61.92% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 1.53% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 31.90% from other races, and 4.03% from two or more races. 72.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 562 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.14 and the average family size was 3.54.
Driving School Truck Mammoth AZ
Picking the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Driving School Truck. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several 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 trucker in Mammoth AZ.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arizona Locations