How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Williamsville Illinois
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Williamsville IL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Williamsville residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Williamsville IL, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief explanations 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. 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 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. Some 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 certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Williamsville IL trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Williamsville IL area are accredited because of the demanding 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Williamsville IL 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 track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Illinois licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Illinois and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, 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 watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Williamsville IL schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Williamsville IL schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different 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 freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Williamsville IL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Illinois, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Illinois testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Williamsville IL 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Williamsville IL employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Williamsville IL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance 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 Williamsville IL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Williamsville Illinois area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Williamsville is a village in Sangamon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,439 at the 2000 census, and 1,387 at a 2009 estimate. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,439 people, 531 households, and 417 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,159.0 people per square mile (448.1/km²). There were 555 housing units at an average density of 447.0 per square mile (172.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.12% White, 0.56% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.
There were 531 households out of which 42.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.5% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.3% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.12.
Truck Driving School Cost Williamsville IL
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving School Cost. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Williamsville IL.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Illinois Locations