How to Select the Right Truck Driving School near Kayenta Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Kayenta AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important 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 want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Kayenta residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams 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 remainder 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?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Kayenta 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 discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 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. Several 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 kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Kayenta AZ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Kayenta AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks 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 rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Kayenta AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. 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 personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Kayenta AZ schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some 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.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish ample 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Kayenta AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously 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 make sure to inquire if the Kayenta AZ schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Kayenta AZ school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Kayenta AZ employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Kayenta AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Kayenta AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Kayenta Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Kayenta (Navajo: Tó Dínéeshzheeʼ) is a U.S. census-designated place (CDP) which is part of the Navajo Nation and is in Navajo County, Arizona. The population was 5,189 at the 2010 census. Kayenta is located 25 miles (40 km) south of Monument Valley and contains a number of hotels and motels which service visitors to Monument Valley. Like other places on the Navajo Nation, it is illegal to serve alcohol. Arizona does not observe Daylight Time; however, the Navajo reservation does.
Kayenta Township is the only municipal-style government on the Navajo Nation. It is regarded as a political sub-division of the Navajo Nation. It is managed by a five-member elected town board, which hires the township manager.
Kayenta is the name for the Chapter, as well as the township. Kayenta Chapter (a political division within the Navajo Nation that is analogous to a county within a state) encompasses land in both Utah and Arizona. Thus, the Navajo Nation's census figures for Kayenta Chapter are significantly different from those of Kayenta proper.
Trucking Classes Kayenta AZ
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Trucking Classes. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Kayenta AZ.
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