How to Select a Trucking School Truth Or Consequences New Mexico
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Truth Or Consequences NM. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Truth Or Consequences residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Truth Or Consequences NM, an operator must obtain 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 driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers License 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 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 operate specific 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
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Truth Or Consequences NM truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Truth Or Consequences NM area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Truth Or Consequences NM schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New Mexico licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in New Mexico and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Truth Or Consequences NM schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some 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 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Truth Or Consequences NM schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified 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 affiliations with numerous 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 freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Truth Or Consequences NM schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in New Mexico, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at New Mexico testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Truth Or Consequences NM school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared 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 must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Truth Or Consequences NM employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Truth Or Consequences NM area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near Truth Or Consequences NM?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Truth Or Consequences New Mexico area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Truth or Consequences is a city in and the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico, United States. In 2012, the population was 6,411. It is commonly known within New Mexico as T or C. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.
The first bath in the area was built at "John Cross Ranch" over Geronimo Springs in the late 1800s. However, major settlement did not begin until the construction of Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir in 1912; the dam was completed in 1916. Elephant Butte Dam was a part of the Rio Grande Project, an early large-scale irrigation effort authorized under the Reclamation Act of 1902. In 1916, the town was incorporated as Hot Springs. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.
Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to "Truth or Consequences", the title of a popular NBC Radio program. In March 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program on its 10th anniversary from the first town that renamed itself after the show; Hot Springs won the honor, officially changing its name on March 31, 1950 (the program broadcast from there the following evening, April 1). Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next 50 years. This event was called "Fiesta" and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year during the first weekend of May. The parade generally features area celebrities such as the Hatch Chile Queen. Fiesta also features a dance in Ralph Edwards Park.
Choose the Best Trucking School Truth Or Consequences NM
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Truth Or Consequences NM.
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