How to Choose a Truck Driving School Waverly Iowa
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Waverly IA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Waverly residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Waverly IA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class 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). Following are short descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 more 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
After you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Waverly IA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Waverly IA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Waverly IA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Iowa licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Iowa and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Waverly IA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide ample 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Waverly IA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different 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 choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Waverly IA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Iowa, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Iowa testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Waverly IA school you choose provides 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 prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask 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 Waverly IA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Waverly IA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Waverly IA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Waverly Iowa area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Waverly is a city in Bremer County, Iowa, United States. The population was 9,874 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bremer County and is part of the Waterloo–Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first permanent residents of Waverly were settled there against their will. Because of their alleged assistance given to Chief Black Hawk during the Blackhawk War of 1832, the Winnebago were forced to cede their lands east of the Mississippi and to move to Neutral Ground in what is now northeastern Iowa. They were to receive $270,000 ($10,000 per year for 27 years) and were required to surrender several of their tribesmen accused of murdering whites during the war. At that time there were three tribes living in the area, the Winnebagoes numbering about 500, the Mesquakie numbering about 100 and the Pottawattomies numbering about 50. With Iowa statehood in 1846, the Winnebago were moved again. In an 1845 treaty, the Winnebago exchanged their Iowa lands for the 800,000-acre (3,200 km2) Long Prairie (Crow Wing River) reserve in Minnesota and $190,000. In 1848 a detachment of United States troops from Fort Atkinson, Iowa came to enforce the removal. All told, between 1840 and 1863 the Winnebagoes were moved five times. They were pushed first to northeastern Iowa, then to Long Prairie, Minnesota, then to Blue Earth, Minnesota, then to Crow Creek, South Dakota. In 1865, after the constant upheaval cost 700 tribal members’ lives, the current Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska was established by the treaties of 1865 and 1874. The tribe lost more than two thirds of this land in the General Allotment Act of 1887. By 1913, only 120,000 acres (490 km2) of cropland, woodland, and pasture remained. The tribe is federally recognized and organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The Winnebago Tribe established a constitution in 1936 which was amended in 1968.
Frederick Cretzmeyer is credited with being the first settler in Waverly. Having purchased 160 acres (0.6 km2) in 1852, he built a log hut on the east side of the Cedar River (or what was once called the Red Cedar River). Soon more homes were constructed as other settlers arrived, with some of their later homes built just over the hill behind the old recycling center.
Select the Ideal CDL School Waverly IA
Picking the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to consider 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 school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Waverly IA.
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