How to Pick a Truck Driver School Ehrenberg Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Ehrenberg AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Ehrenberg home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Ehrenberg AZ, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Ehrenberg AZ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, 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 carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Ehrenberg AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Ehrenberg AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. 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 getting the personal instruction 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 insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Ehrenberg AZ schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Ehrenberg AZ schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Ehrenberg AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, 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 from other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Ehrenberg AZ school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working 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 attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out 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 Ehrenberg AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Ehrenberg AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near Ehrenberg AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ehrenberg Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Ehrenberg, also historically spelled "Ehrenburg" is a census-designated place (CDP) in La Paz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,470 at the 2010 census. Ehrenberg is named for its founder, Herman Ehrenberg.
Ehrenberg is located on the Colorado River, which forms the border with Riverside County, California, near the city of Blythe. It is situated close to Interstate 10, at the southern end of Parker Valley and next to the Palo Verde Valley.
In 1863, German mining engineer Herman Ehrenberg was hired to survey a new townsite along the Colorado River, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from La Paz, Arizona. The town, named Mineral City, began to grow in 1866, after a new landing was established there, supported by the steamboat captains of the George A. Johnson Company. Mineral City now attracted miners and many businessmen away from La Paz and by September 20, 1869 had grown large enough to win a post office. The same year it was renamed Ehrenberg.:96
Select the Ideal CDL School Ehrenberg AZ
Picking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation 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 available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the appropriate 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 consider 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 enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Ehrenberg AZ.
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