Tag Archives: Becoming a Truck Driver near Clarkdale AZ 86324

Truck Driving Schools Near Me | CDL Training Clarkdale AZ 86324

How to Pick a Truck Driver School Clarkdale Arizona

Clarkdale AZ truck driving schoolCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Clarkdale AZ. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. 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 reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Clarkdale residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified 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 remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

tractor trailer in Clarkdale AZIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Clarkdale AZ, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL 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. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate with Class B licenses are:

  • Tractor Trailers
  • Dump Trucks
  • Cement Mixers
  • Large Buses
  • Class C Vehicles

Both Class A and Class B CDLs might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

How to Assess a Truck Driving School

big red tractor in Clarkdale AZAfter you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Clarkdale AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Clarkdale AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost 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 a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly 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 best of Clarkdale AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Clarkdale AZ schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, 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 necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Clarkdale AZ schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Clarkdale AZ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. 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 competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Clarkdale AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to 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 eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Clarkdale AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Clarkdale AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Attending Truck Driving School near Clarkdale AZ?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Clarkdale Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Clarkdale, Arizona

Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva[4]) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.[2]

Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community.[5] The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.[6]

The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.[5]

Pick the Right Truck Driving School Clarkdale AZ

Picking the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance 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 offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate 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 in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Clarkdale AZ.

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