How to Enroll in the Right Truck Driving School near Chino Valley Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Chino Valley AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Chino Valley residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Chino Valley AZ, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify 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 Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Chino Valley AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Chino Valley AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Chino Valley AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Chino Valley AZ 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 Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, 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 actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. 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 furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Chino Valley AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally 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 receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Chino Valley AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Chino Valley AZ school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Chino Valley AZ employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Chino Valley AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Chino Valley AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Chino Valley Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Chino Valley, Arizona
Chino Valley is located at 34°45′30″N 112°26′59″W / 34.75833°N 112.44972°W / 34.75833; -112.44972 (34.758381, -112.449758). The town is located adjacent the southeast terminus of Chino Valley, about 9 miles (14 km) north at Paulden. The smaller north-trending Little Chino Valley lies just east of the townsite.
Chino Valley is the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona. The capital moved to Prescott, 15 miles (24 km) away, in 1864. U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple, while traveling through the area in 1854, gave the community its name. "Chino" is the Spanish name for the abundant curly grama grass growing in the area.
In 1895, a narrow gauge branch of the United Verde and Pacific Railroad to Jerome, joining the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway, was completed, and Jerome Junction was established. In 1923, the activities of Jerome Junction were absorbed by Chino Valley.
Best CDL Schools Chino Valley AZ
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to starting 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 available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best CDL Schools. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Chino Valley AZ.
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