How to Enroll in the Right CDL Driving Classes near Globe Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Globe AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it's important to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you'll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Globe residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make certain you'll receive the proper training. Don't forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver's license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within Globe AZ and throughout the USA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver's License). The three classes of licenses 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 highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to 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 CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
Once you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Globe AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can't be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Globe AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Globe AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out 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 have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to confirm 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 employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it's any higher, then students will not be getting 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 professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Globe AZ schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it's imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It's also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher's qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Globe AZ schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified 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 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 restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Globe AZ schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it's imperative that the Globe AZ school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. 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 employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Globe AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Globe AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Choose the Best Globe Truck Driver Training
Picking the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive 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 need 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 enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It's your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Globe Arizona.