How to Choose the Right Trucker School near Holbrook Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Holbrook AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Holbrook residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll get the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal 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? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Holbrook AZ, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address 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). Following are short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 needed to operate 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. 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Holbrook AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Holbrook AZ area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Holbrook AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher 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 claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Holbrook AZ schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of 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 important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality 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. After all, 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Holbrook AZ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement 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 associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Holbrook AZ schools you are considering 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 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Holbrook AZ school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. 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 Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Holbrook AZ employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Holbrook AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask 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.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Holbrook AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Holbrook Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs, after a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon afterwards a store and saloon were established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
Class A Truck Driving School Holbrook AZ
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is a critical 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 many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class A Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking 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 truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Holbrook AZ.
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