How to Find the Right Truck Driving School near Scobey Montana
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Scobey MT. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Scobey home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance 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 USA and Scobey MT, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss 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 short summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers License 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
After you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Scobey MT truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Scobey MT area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, 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 a number of advantages. Interested 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 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Scobey MT schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Montana licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Montana and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining 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 insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Scobey MT schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Scobey MT schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Scobey MT schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Montana, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Montana testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Scobey MT school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Scobey MT employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Scobey MT area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid 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 Scobey MT?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Scobey Montana area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The city was named by local rancher Mansfield Daniels, after whom Daniels County is named, for his friend Major Charles Richardson Anderson Scobey, a cattleman from the Glendive area who served as a Montana Territory legislator and an Indian agent at Fort Peck and Poplar.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,017 people, 472 households, and 252 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,338.2 inhabitants per square mile (516.7/km2). There were 600 housing units at an average density of 789.5 per square mile (304.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 0.1% African American, 2.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
There were 472 households of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.6% were non-families. 41.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.84.
Truck Driving Schools Scobey MT
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many 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 Schools. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Scobey MT.
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