How to Pick the Right Trucker School near Kihei Hawaii
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Kihei HI. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Kihei residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to guarantee 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 examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Kihei HI, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will focus on 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). Following are short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 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 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. 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 need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Kihei HI truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Kihei HI area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Kihei HI schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Hawaii licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Hawaii and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Kihei HI schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish lots of 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. 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. Check with the Kihei HI schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as 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 work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Kihei HI schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Hawaii, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Hawaii testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Kihei HI school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Kihei HI employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Kihei HI area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Kihei HI?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Kihei Hawaii area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30.2 km2), of which 9.3 square miles (24.0 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), or 20.44%, is water. It is considered to be the South Side of Maui, located on the leeward side of Haleakala. The climate is arid, receiving no more than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain per year.
Although its official city designation is Wailuku, the Kīhei Junction Park and Ride lot is a frequently-used commuter parking lot at the corner of highway 310 (North Kihei Road) and highway 30 (Honoapi'ilani Highway) at coordinates 20.8099479,-156.51417 There is no public bus service that stops here; however, it is located near Ma 'alaea Harbor Village, where there is a public transportation stop. It's primarily used for hikers, bicyclists and ride sharers looking for a meeting place that is centrally located between Kīhei, Lahaina and Wailuku. There's no charge to park; the lot is unattended.
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,749 people, 6,170 households, and 3,813 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,648.6 people per square mile (636.5/km2). There were 9,170 housing units at an average density of 902.6 per square mile (348.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 47.76% White, 6.74% African American, 0.48% Native American, 24.72% Asian, 7.85% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, and 16.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.52% of the population.
Truck Driving Programs Kihei HI
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 Truck Driving Programs. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Kihei HI.
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