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Truck Driving Schools Near Me | CDL Training Verona VA 24482

How to Decide on a CDL Driving School Verona Virginia

Verona VA truck driving schoolCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Verona VA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Verona residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

tractor trailer in Verona VATo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Verona VA, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 explanations for the two 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 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

How to Assess a Truck Driver School

big red tractor in Verona VAAfter you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Verona VA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Verona VA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Verona VA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Virginia licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Virginia and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater 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 professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Verona VA schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish ample 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Verona VA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Verona VA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Virginia, find out 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 from competing schools for test times at Virginia testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Verona VA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Verona VA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Verona VA 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 examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Attending Truck Driving School near Verona VA?

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

Verona, Virginia

Verona is a census-designated place (CDP) in Augusta County, Virginia, United States. The population was 4,239 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Staunton–Waynesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 4,239 people, 1,457 households, and 984 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 605.6 people per square mile (232.9/km²). There were 1,556 housing units at an average density of 222.3/sq mi (85.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.7% White, 8.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 1,457 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.87.

Select the Best Truck Driving School Verona VA

Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even 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 company of your choice, or one of many associated 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 Verona VA.

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