How to Select the Right Trucking School near Congress Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Congress AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Congress residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Congress AZ, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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 certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Congress AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are several more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Congress AZ area are accredited due to the demanding 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Congress AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent 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 Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Congress AZ schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional 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 instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Congress AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Congress AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Congress AZ school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance 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 employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Congress AZ employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Congress AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Congress AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Congress Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Congress is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. Once a gold-mining center for the Congress Mine and then a ghost town, Congress now serves as a retirement and bedroom community for nearby Wickenburg. The population was 1,717 at the 2000 census.
Gold was discovered at the Congress Mine in 1884. By 1893, the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway passed within three miles of the mine, at Congress Junction. Congress boomed, and remained prosperous until the mid-1930s, when the mines closed. Total gold production at the Congress Mine exceeded $8 million, at the then-current price of $20.67 per ounce — or about $400 million, at the 2007 price.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 37.7 square miles (98 km2), of which, 37.6 square miles (97 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.08%) is water.
Tractor Trailer Training Congress AZ
Choosing the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Tractor Trailer Training. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need 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 trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Congress AZ.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arizona Locations