How to Decide on a Trucking School Dewey Arizona
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Dewey AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Dewey residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Dewey AZ, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Dewey AZ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. 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 if not more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Dewey AZ area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, 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 Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Dewey AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk 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 greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention 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 teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Dewey AZ schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, 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. Evaluating instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide plenty of 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 important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Dewey AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known 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 refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Dewey AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Dewey AZ school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage 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 not many Dewey AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Dewey 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Dewey AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Dewey Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Dewey–Humboldt is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The population of the town was 3,894 according to the 2010 census. The Dewey–Humboldt area was a census-designated place (CDP) at the 2000 census, at which time its population was 6,295.
Dewey–Humboldt was incorporated on December 20, 2004, from the existing unincorporated towns of Dewey and Humboldt, located adjacent to one another in the Agua Fria River Valley, 15 miles east of Prescott.
After discovery of gold on Lynx Creek in the spring of 1863, the Dewey area was settled around the summer 1863 by pioneer prospector, rancher and Indian-fighter King Woolsey (1832–1879), who founded the Agua Fria Ranch, in what was then known as "Woolsey Valley," to supply the miners. Woolsey used stones from a prehistoric ruin to build his ranch house, built an irrigation system off the Agua Fria (probably part of a prehistoric system), and introduced some of the first cattle into newly organized Yavapai County (1864). At the "falls" of the Agua Fria at present Humboldt, Woolsey built a small quartz mill to work gold ores from the nearby hills and a small water-powered grist mill. During 1864, he led the storied Woolsey Expeditions to the east in retaliatory raids on Apache and in search of gold; all failed to find a new Eldorado. All these activities caused his bankruptcy, and sale of the ranch property to the Bowers Brothers, sutlers at Fort Whipple. The brothers continued to use the house and farm the lands to supply the region with corn, barley, and other agricultural products. (The ruins of Woolsey's ranch house can still be seen between the old Black Canyon Highway and the Agua Fria River about one mile north of Humboldt. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.)
Choose the Ideal Truck Driver School Dewey AZ
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent 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 choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Dewey AZ.
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