How to Select the Right Trucker School near Stapleton Nebraska
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Stapleton NE. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Stapleton residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll obtain the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Stapleton NE, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply 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 focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 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 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Stapleton NE truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Stapleton NE area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards 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 operation. A negatively 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 Stapleton NE schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of 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 get in touch with the Nebraska licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Nebraska and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. 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 be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Stapleton NE 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 qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach 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 ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will furnish lots of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Stapleton NE schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of 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 giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Stapleton NE schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Nebraska, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Nebraska testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Stapleton NE 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 devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Stapleton NE employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Stapleton NE 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Stapleton NE?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Stapleton Nebraska area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Walker Stapleton (born April 15, 1974) is an American politician who is serving his second term as Colorado's State Treasurer. He was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Stapleton was the Republican nominee for the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial election.
Stapleton's family has been active in Colorado since the early 1900s. Walker was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, attending the private Brunswick School. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, and holds a graduate degree in business economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Stapleton's mother, Dorothy Walker Stapleton, is a first cousin of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, making him a second cousin of former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. His father is diplomat Craig Roberts Stapleton. His great-grandfather, Benjamin F. Stapleton, served as mayor of Denver from 1923 to 1931.
Trucker Schools Stapleton NE
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation 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 offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Trucker Schools. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive 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 entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Stapleton NE.
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