How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Bisbee Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Bisbee AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Bisbee residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Bisbee AZ, an operator needs to get 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 subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and 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 short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive 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 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Bisbee AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Bisbee AZ area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, 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 driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated 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 Bisbee AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arizona licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Bisbee AZ schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some 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? Above all else, 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 operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among 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. Get in touch with the Bisbee AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free 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 instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Bisbee AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Bisbee AZ school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Bisbee AZ employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Bisbee AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Bisbee AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Bisbee Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Bisbee is a U.S. city in Cochise County, Arizona, 92 miles (148 km) southeast of Tucson. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,575. The city is the county seat of Cochise County.
Mining in the Mule Mountains proved quite successful: in the early 20th century the population of Bisbee soared. Incorporated in 1902, by 1910 its population had swelled to 9,019, and it sported a constellation of suburbs, including Warren, Lowell, and San Jose, some of which had been founded on their own (ultimately less successful) mines. In 1917, open-pit mining was successfully introduced to meet the copper demand during World War I.
A high quality turquoise promoted as Bisbee Blue was a by-product of the copper mining. Many high-quality mineral specimens have come from Bisbee area mines and are to be found in museum collections worldwide. Some of these minerals include cuprite, aragonite, wulfenite, malachite, azurite, and galena.
Local CDL Training Bisbee AZ
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Local CDL Training. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money 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 enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Bisbee AZ.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arizona Locations