How to Pick the Right Trucking Classes near Globe Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Globe AZ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it's important to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you'll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Globe residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you'll get the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver's license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within Globe AZ and throughout the United States, a driver must attain 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. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 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. 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Globe AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can't be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Globe AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Globe AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school's track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won't supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it's any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Globe AZ schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it's important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It's also vital that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher's ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish lots of 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates 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. Check with the Globe AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It's possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Globe AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it's essential that the Globe AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 are proficient. And if you're still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Globe AZ employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Globe AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Choose the Best Globe Truck Driver Training
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It's your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Globe Arizona.