Category Archives: Missouri

Truck Driving Schools Near Me | CDL Training Union MO 63084

How to Find a CDL Driving School Union Missouri

Union MO truck driving schoolCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Union MO. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Union home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

tractor trailer in Union MOTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Union MO, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three 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 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 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 CDL is required to operate 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. A few 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 may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

How to Assess a Truck Driving School

big red tractor in Union MOWhen you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Union MO truck driver schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Union MO area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know 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 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Union MO schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Missouri licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Missouri and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual attention 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 insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Union MO schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, 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 ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide lots of 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Union MO schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Union MO schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Missouri, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Missouri testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Union MO school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared 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 commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Union MO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Union MO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Attending Truck Driving School near Union MO?

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

Union, Missouri

Union is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Missouri, United States.[6] It is located on the Bourbeuse River 50 miles (80 km) southwest of St. Louis. The population was 10,204 at the 2010 census, with the city showing the highest growth rate (32%) in Franklin County the last decade.

The city is located on the northwest side of the meandering Bourbeuse River. US Route 50 passes through the city and I-44 is about five miles to the east. Washington, on the Missouri River, is seven miles to the north on Missouri Route 47.[10]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 10,204 people, 3,902 households, and 2,612 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,114.0 inhabitants per square mile (430.1/km2). There were 4,226 housing units at an average density of 461.4 per square mile (178.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 1.1% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

Choose the Best Truck Driving School Union MO

Picking the right trucking school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge 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 proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to think about 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 choose an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Union MO.

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