How to Choose a Truck Driver School Tooele Utah
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Tooele UT. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Tooele residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss 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 CDL Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Tooele UT, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. Some 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 Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Tooele UT truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Tooele UT area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of 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 calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Tooele UT schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Utah licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Utah and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next 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 getting the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly 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 time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Tooele UT schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish sufficient 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 necessary training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Tooele UT schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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 choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Tooele UT schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Utah, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Utah testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Tooele UT school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Tooele UT employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Tooele UT area vocational or trade 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 a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Tooele UT?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tooele Utah area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Tooele (/tuˈɪlə/ ( listen) too-IL-ə) is a city in Tooele County in the U.S. state of Utah. The population was 22,502 at the 2000 census, and 32,115 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Tooele County. About 30 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City, Tooele is known for Tooele Army Depot, for its views of the nearby Oquirrh Mountains and the Great Salt Lake.
The Tooele Valley had no permanent settlement when Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley in July 1847; it was covered with abundant tall grass. The Mormons first used the valley as wintering grounds for their herds. In September 1849, three families settled on a small stream south of present Tooele City. Other families slowly joined them, and by 1853 Tooele City Corporation was organized.
The 20th century brought more industrialization; in 1904 the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad built a line through the city, and in 1909 the International Smelting and Refining Company smelter was built in Carr Fork/Pine Canyon east of the city . The Tooele Valley Railway, a seven-mile line, ran from the smelter west to the Union Pacific Railroad main line. This line brought ore from various area mines to the smelter; later a 20,000 ft aerial tramway was also used to transport ore from the mine to the smelter. By 1941 a 22,000 ft tunnel had been completed through the mountain, to move ore to the smelter entirely underground. The smelter began processing copper in 1910, with lead and zinc processing commencing in 1912. In 1946 the copper smelter ceased operation, the zinc operation halted in 1968, and the lead processing was halted in 1972. The entire site was demolished during 1972-74. However, consideration was being given during this latter period to extracting ore from Carr Fork Canyon, rather than relying on the ore from the east face of the mountain range. In 1969 the mining company began exploration drilling. In 1974 a copper mine and mill ("Carr Fork Operations") was started; it began processing ore in 1979, and ran until 1981. The Tooele Valley Railway was used to haul away the scrap when the International smelter was torn down, and remained to serve the Pine Canyon mill. It was shut down and abandoned when the Pine Canyon “Carr Fork” mine and mill shut down; its last day of operation was 28 August 1982.
Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Tooele UT
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Tooele UT.
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