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How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Corona De Tucson AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can't be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Corona De Tucson AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school's program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Corona De Tucson AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school's history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won't share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations 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 be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it's any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual 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 claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Corona De Tucson AZ schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it's imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It's also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher's qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide plenty 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Corona De Tucson AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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 choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Corona De Tucson AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide 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 moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it's imperative that the Corona De Tucson AZ school you choose provides 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 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver's license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Corona De Tucson AZ employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Corona De Tucson 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 must be completed.