How to Pick the Right Truck Driving School near New River Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near New River AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your New River home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest 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 Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and New River AZ, a driver needs to get 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. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDL is needed 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. Several 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the New River AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As already 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 considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the New River AZ area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize 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 actual 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top New River AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with 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 must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most New River AZ schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the New River AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the New River AZ schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third 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 contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the New River AZ school you choose 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 teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many New River AZ employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other New River AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid 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 New River AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the New River Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
How To Get Truck Driving License New River AZ
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get Truck Driving License. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company 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 entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in New River AZ.
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