How to Decide on the Right CDL Training School near Henderson Nevada
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Henderson NV. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Henderson home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Henderson NV, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss 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 brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive 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 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 required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Henderson NV trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Henderson NV area are accredited because of the stringent 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 several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving 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. However, even the top Henderson NV schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Nevada licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Nevada and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction 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 claims 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. Most Henderson NV schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of 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 advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some 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.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Henderson NV schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Henderson NV schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Nevada, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Nevada testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Henderson NV school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm 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, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Henderson NV employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Henderson NV area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Henderson NV?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Henderson Nevada area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Henderson, officially the City of Henderson, is a city in Clark County, Nevada, United States, about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas. It is the second-largest city in Nevada, after Las Vegas, with an estimated population of 307,928 in 2017. The city is part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which spans the entire Las Vegas Valley. Henderson occupies the southeastern end of the valley, at an elevation of 1,864 feet (568 m).
The township of Henderson first emerged in the 1940s during World War II with the building of the Basic Magnesium Plant. Henderson quickly became the main supplier of magnesium in the United States, which was called the "miracle metal" of World War II. The plant supplied the US War Department with magnesium for incendiary munition casings and airplane engines, frames, and other parts. A quarter of all US wartime magnesium came from the Henderson Plant to strengthen aluminum, using 25% of Hoover Dam's power to separate the metal from its ore by electrolysis. Mayor Jim Gibson's grandfather, Fred D. Gibson, was one of the original engineers sent to Great Britain to learn the secret of creating the "miracle metal" which would eventually help the United States and its allies win the war. The British liaison officer sent to Henderson, Major Charles Ball, had a street named after him. There was some concern that "Ball St," would sound improper, so the street was named "Major Avenue".
Although "born in America's defense", Henderson's future after World War II was uncertain. In 1947, magnesium production was no longer necessary for defense, and the majority of the 14,000 BMI employees moved away. Enrollment in the school system was reduced by two thirds, and well over half the townsite houses, built to house plant workers, became vacant. In 1947, the United States War Asset Administration had offered Henderson for sale as war surplus property.
Get CDL Henderson NV
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation 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 several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Get CDL. However, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to think about 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 trucker 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 decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Henderson NV.
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