How to Decide on a Truck Driver School Holbrook Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Holbrook AZ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work opportunities. 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 various factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Holbrook home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective 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 objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address 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?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Holbrook AZ, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply 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 highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations 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. Several 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 needed to drive 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. 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 require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Holbrook AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Holbrook AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Holbrook AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual 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 professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Holbrook AZ schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods 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 professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Holbrook AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive 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 maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Holbrook AZ schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Holbrook AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Holbrook AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Holbrook 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 evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Holbrook AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Holbrook Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs for a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon after a store and saloon was established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Holbrook AZ
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want 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 school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Holbrook AZ.
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