How to Select the Right CDL Training School near Wimberley Texas
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Wimberley TX. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Wimberley home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Wimberley TX, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions 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. Some 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 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. Several 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 operate certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Wimberley TX truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Wimberley TX area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered 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 an ample amount 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Wimberley TX schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding 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 companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Texas licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Texas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Wimberley TX schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Wimberley TX schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Wimberley TX schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Texas, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Texas testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Wimberley TX school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Wimberley TX employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Wimberley TX area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid 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 Wimberley TX?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wimberley Texas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wimberley started as a trading post settlement near Cypress Creek in 1848, the year Hays County was organized. After William Carvin Winters built a gristmill at the site in 1856, it took on the name "Winters' Mill". When the mill was sold in 1864 to the Cude family, its name was changed to "Cude's Mill". It was sold again in 1874 to Pleasant Wimberley and took on his name. Over the years, the mill was expanded to process lumber, shingles, flour, molasses, and cotton.
In 1880, Alfred vom Stein, a postmaster from San Marcos, applied to have a post office established in the community, calling it "Wimberleyville". The application was granted, but the name shortened to Wimberley. Although the mill was shut down in 1925, the community was established and continued to grow, eventually becoming known as a resort town and becoming popular with tourists. Prior to its incorporation in May 2000, it was a census-designated place (CDP).
On May 25, 2015, the town was hit by catastrophic flooding during the 2015 Texas–Oklahoma floods, along the Blanco River which flows through town. The river crested at an estimated 41.5 feet (12.6 m), which was almost 30 feet (9.1 m) above flood stage.
A Class Driving School Wimberley TX
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in A Class Driving School. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need 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 CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Wimberley TX.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Texas Locations