How to Find the Right Trucking School near Wewoka Oklahoma
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Wewoka OK. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Wewoka residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target 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 commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Wewoka OK, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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). Below are brief descriptions for the two 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 more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 required to operate 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. 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Wewoka OK trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are some additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Wewoka OK area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Wewoka OK schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Oklahoma licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Oklahoma 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 be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Wewoka OK 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 stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide sufficient 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Wewoka OK schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Wewoka OK 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 allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Oklahoma, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Oklahoma testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Wewoka OK school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Make sure 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 employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Wewoka OK employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Wewoka OK area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Wewoka OK?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wewoka Oklahoma area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wewoka's history begins with Freedman John Horse, who was also known as Gopher John. In the spring of 1849, Horse and a group of Black Seminoles founded a settlement near modern-day Wewoka. Seeking safety and autonomy from the Creek Nation, they established a community located at the falls of a small stream, lying in the fertile lands between the North and South Canadian Rivers. The steady rush of water over the falls gave rise to the name We-Wo-Ka – meaning "Barking Water" in the Mvskoke (Seminole) language. Other historians claim he named the settlement Wewokea after Osceola's second wife who was of both Seminole and African ancestry.
In autumn of 1849, Horse and Seminole chief Wild Cat led Seminole families into Mexico to avoid the attempts of slavers to raid families and capture people of African descent. The Mexican government offered Wild Cat, Horse and other Seminoles land in Mexico if they could rid the land of renegades who were terrorizing Mexican citizens. Wild Cat was the next hereditary chief of the Seminole Nation but the government appointed its first chief John Jumper instead. The descendants of Wildcat and his band were split for a time between Wewoka, Texas, and Mexico until 1918.
The city was founded in 1866 when Elijah J. Brown, an employee of the federal government led Seminole refugees from Leroy, Kansas to Indian Territory. During the American Civil War, the Seminole Nation had sided with the Confederacy, although many tribe members fled to the relative safety of Kansas, where they remained for the duration of the war. In 1866, after the Confederacy surrendered, the United States government required the Seminole Nation to sign a new treaty, which required them to emancipate their slaves, give freedmen who wanted to stay in the territory full rights as citizens, including voting in the tribe. Brown led the refugees back to Wewoka, here he built himself a house and established a trading post. Freedmen settled in Wewoka along with the Seminole and Elijah Brown was the only legal white settler in the town. The trading post had several subsequent proprietors before it was bought by two Seminole brothers, John Frippo Brown and A. J. Brown, and became the Wewoka Trading Company in 1891.[a] Rev. James Ross Ramsey, a Presbyterian missionary, founded the Ramsey Mission (considered the first school in present Seminole County) in 1866. A post office was established on May 13, 1867 with E. J. Brown as first postmaster. The Seminole Nation made Wewoka their capital city and Seminole Governor John Brown had a log house erected at Wewoka as the Seminole capitol in 1877.[b][c]
Truck Training School Wewoka OK
Choosing the right trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Training School. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Wewoka OK.
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