How to Find the Right Truck Driver School near Valley Grove West Virginia
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Valley Grove WV. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Valley Grove residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Valley Grove WV, an operator needs to get 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 subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address 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 brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive 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 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. A few 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 may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Valley Grove WV truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as 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 should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Valley Grove WV area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Valley Grove WV schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the West Virginia licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in West Virginia and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding 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 comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Valley Grove WV schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential 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 differs among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Valley Grove WV schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer 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 free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work 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 get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Valley Grove WV schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in West Virginia, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at West Virginia testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Valley Grove WV school you choose 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 teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing 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 employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Valley Grove WV employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Valley Grove WV area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Valley Grove WV?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Valley Grove West Virginia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Valley Grove, West Virginia
Valley Grove is a village in Ohio County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 378 at the 2010 census. The village was named from a nearby recreational area at a grove in a valley.
Valley Grove is located at 40°05′16″N 80°34′07″W / 40.087902°N 80.568611°W / 40.087902; -80.568611 (40.087902, -80.568611), along Little Wheeling Creek, a tributary of Wheeling Creek.
As of the census of 2010, there were 378 people, 167 households, and 115 families residing in the village. The population density was 687.3 inhabitants per square mile (265.4/km2). There were 177 housing units at an average density of 321.8 per square mile (124.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.9% White, 0.5% Native American, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
Getting a Class A CDL Valley Grove WV
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 Getting a Class A CDL. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Valley Grove WV.
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