How to Find a Truck Driving School Wewoka Oklahoma
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Wewoka OK. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Wewoka home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal 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 purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wewoka OK, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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 explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as 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 authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Wewoka OK truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Wewoka OK area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided 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 receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving 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. Having said that, even the best of Wewoka OK schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Oklahoma licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Oklahoma and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction 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 professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Wewoka OK schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s important 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 be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher 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. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide plenty 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he 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 furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wewoka OK schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Wewoka OK schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Oklahoma, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Oklahoma testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Wewoka OK school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Wewoka OK employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Wewoka OK area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 Wewoka OK?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wewoka Oklahoma area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wewoka's history begins with Freedman John Horse, who was also known as Gopher John. In the spring of 1849, Horse and a group of Black Seminoles founded a settlement near modern-day Wewoka. Seeking safety and autonomy from the Creek Nation, they established a community located at the falls of a small stream, lying in the fertile lands between the North and South Canadian Rivers. The steady rush of water over the falls gave rise to the name We-Wo-Ka – meaning "Barking Water" in the Mvskoke (Seminole) language. Other historians claim he named the settlement Wewokea after Osceola's second wife who was of both Seminole and African ancestry.
In autumn of 1849, Horse and Seminole chief Wild Cat led Seminole families into Mexico to avoid the attempts of slavers to raid families and capture people of African descent. The Mexican government offered Wild Cat, Horse and other Seminoles land in Mexico if they could rid the land of renegades who were terrorizing Mexican citizens. Wild Cat was the next hereditary chief of the Seminole Nation but the government appointed its first chief John Jumper instead. The descendants of Wildcat and his band were split for a time between Wewoka, Texas, and Mexico until 1918.
The city was founded in 1866 when Elijah J. Brown, an employee of the federal government led Seminole refugees from Leroy, Kansas to Indian Territory. During the American Civil War, the Seminole Nation had sided with the Confederacy, although many tribe members fled to the relative safety of Kansas, where they remained for the duration of the war. In 1866, after the Confederacy surrendered, the United States government required the Seminole Nation to sign a new treaty, which required them to emancipate their slaves, give freedmen who wanted to stay in the territory full rights as citizens, including voting in the tribe. Brown led the refugees back to Wewoka, here he built himself a house and established a trading post. Freedmen settled in Wewoka along with the Seminole and Elijah Brown was the only legal white settler in the town. The trading post had several subsequent proprietors before it was bought by two Seminole brothers, John Frippo Brown and A. J. Brown, and became the Wewoka Trading Company in 1891.[a] Rev. James Ross Ramsey, a Presbyterian missionary, founded the Ramsey Mission (considered the first school in present Seminole County) in 1866. A post office was established on May 13, 1867 with E. J. Brown as first postmaster. The Seminole Nation made Wewoka their capital city and Seminole Governor John Brown had a log house erected at Wewoka as the Seminole capitol in 1877.[b][c]
Select the Right Truck Driver School Wewoka OK
Selecting the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to consider 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 choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Wewoka OK.
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