How to Find a Truck Driver School Tombstone Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Tombstone AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Tombstone residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Tombstone AZ, a driver 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. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will address 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 summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. Some 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 required 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Tombstone AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Tombstone AZ area are accredited due to the rigorous 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 several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 fulfill 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 usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Tombstone AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Tombstone AZ schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent 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 real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Tombstone AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of 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 be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Tombstone AZ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the schools you are considering 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 Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Tombstone 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 prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Tombstone AZ employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Tombstone AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near Tombstone AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tombstone Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by prospector Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It became one of the last boomtowns in the American frontier. The town grew significantly into the mid-1880s as the local mines produced $40 to $85 million in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. It is best known as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and presently draws most of its revenue from tourism.
The town was established on a mesa above the Goodenough Mine. Within two years of its founding, although far distant from any other metropolitan area, Tombstone had a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. All of these businesses were situated among and on top of a large number of silver mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre and brothel.
Under the surface were tensions that grew into deadly conflict. The mining capitalists and the townspeople were largely Republicans from the Northern states. Many of the ranchers (some of whom—like the Clantons—were also rustlers or other criminal varieties) were Confederate sympathizers and Democrats. The booming city was only 30 miles (48 km) from the U.S.–Mexico border and was an open market for cattle stolen from ranches in Sonora, Mexico, by a loosely organized band of outlaws known as The Cowboys. The Earp brothers—Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan—as well as Doc Holliday, arrived in December 1879 and mid-1880. The Earps had ongoing conflicts with Cowboys Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and Billy Claiborne. The Cowboys repeatedly threatened the Earps over many months until the conflict escalated into a shootout on October 26, 1881. The historic gunfight is often portrayed as occurring at the O.K. Corral, though it actually occurred a short distance away in an empty lot on Fremont Street.
Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Tombstone AZ
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, 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 may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Tombstone AZ.
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