How to Pick the Right Trucker School near Shelbyville Kentucky
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Shelbyville KY. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Shelbyville residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Shelbyville KY, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 needed to drive 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Shelbyville KY trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Shelbyville KY area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate 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 stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Shelbyville KY schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Kentucky licensing department to verify 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 Kentucky and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Shelbyville KY schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will furnish 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Shelbyville KY schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with a wide range of 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 giving up 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 some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Shelbyville KY schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Kentucky, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Kentucky testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Shelbyville KY school you enroll in 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 are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage 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 low job placement rate or not many Shelbyville KY employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Shelbyville KY area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating 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 Shelbyville KY?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Shelbyville Kentucky area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The town of Shelbyville was established in October 1792 at the first meeting of the Shelby County Court after local landowner William Shannon agreed to lay off 50 acres (20 ha) of his property for the community and provide 1 acre free for public buildings. The grant ensured that Shelbyville rather than nearby Squire Boone's Station would become the seat of Shelby County. The agricultural town was located on the west bank of Clear Creek at its confluence with Mulberry Creek and near a route between Louisville and Frankfort. The town required new residents to construct a 1½-story log cabin with a stone chimney; by 1795, there were forty of these and, by 1800, there were 262 residents. New lots were platted in 1803, 1815, and 1816.
The Shelbyville Academy was established in 1798 at Eighth and Washington; it became Shelby College and moved to College Street in 1836, affiliated with the Episcopal Church in 1841, changed its name to St. James College after the Civil War, and closed in 1871, replaced by a public elementary school. Science Hill Female Academy was established in 1825 on Washington Street; it functioned as a college preparatory school for young women throughout the South prior to closing in 1939 at the end of the Great Depression. The Shelbyville Female Seminary was established in 1839 and moved to its longtime residence at Seventh and Main in 1846; it became the Shelbyville Female Institute in 1849, the Presbyterian Stuart's Female College in 1851, the Shelbyville Female College in 1868, and the Baptist Shelbyville College from 1890 until its closure in 1912.
The Louisville and Shelbyville Turnpike was completed in the 1830s, following a ridgeline path between the two sites dating back to the Indians. After the Louisville and Frankfort Railroad was constructed near the road in present-day Cherokee Gardens in 1849, the turnpike company rerouted and constructed a new road nearby (originally known as the "Shelbyville Branch", now Lexington Avenue in Louisville) which was completed in 1851.
Trucking School Cost Shelbyville KY
Picking the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Trucking School Cost. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to think about 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Shelbyville KY.
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