How to Decide on the Right Truck Driving School near Wayne West Virginia
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Wayne WV. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Wayne home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wayne WV, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify 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 highlight 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). Following are brief explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 certain kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Wayne WV truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Wayne WV area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get 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 program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Wayne WV schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the West Virginia licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in West Virginia and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Wayne WV schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish ample 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wayne WV schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous 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 flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Wayne WV schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in West Virginia, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at West Virginia testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Wayne WV school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Wayne WV employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Wayne WV area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing 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 Wayne WV?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wayne West Virginia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wayne, West Virginia
Wayne is a town in Wayne County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 1,413 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Wayne County. Wayne is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the MSA had a population of 361,580.
Wayne was established in 1842, by the same act of the Virginia General Assembly that created Wayne County. The county was named for General "Mad Anthony" Wayne. The town was initially known by the name "Trout's Hill," after Abraham Trout, who donated the land upon which the county's courthouse was built. The Wayne Courthouse Post Office was established in 1842 also. The town was known simultaneously as Trout's Hill and Wayne Courthouse for many years. The town was incorporated in 1860 and 1882 as Fairview, but was still commonly known as Wayne Courthouse. The population in 1882 was 157. In 1890, the Norfolk & Western Railroad was constructed up Twelve Pole Creek. The railroad placed the name "Wayne" on its schedule and the name caught on. The name was officially changed to Wayne in 1911.
By the 1830s, the population in western Cabell County was growing, and it became necessary to form a new county in the area. Initially, a group of men from the Big Sandy River attempted to get a county created in 1840 with the county seat at the forks of the Big Sandy River where present Fort Gay is now located but it failed. A year later, men from Twelve Pole began working toward a new county with the county seat near the forks of Twelve Pole Creek. They were successful, and the new county was established on January 18, 1842 and named after General Anthony Wayne.
Best CDL Training Wayne WV
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered 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 Best CDL Training. However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Wayne WV.
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