How to Pick the Right CDL Training School near Keams Canyon Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Keams Canyon AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Keams Canyon home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective 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 decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Keams Canyon 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 driving school, we will highlight 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). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Keams Canyon AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some more things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Keams Canyon AZ area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required 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 lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Keams Canyon AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly 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 time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Keams Canyon AZ schools provide 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 important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will provide lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Keams Canyon AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Keams Canyon AZ schools you are looking at 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 trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Keams Canyon AZ school you enroll in 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 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 must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Keams Canyon AZ employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Keams Canyon AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Keams Canyon AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Keams Canyon Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Keams Canyon, Arizona
Pongsikya is a narrow box canyon named after a plant of edible greens that survived along the seasonal stream that drains from Antelope Mesa and flows through the three mile long canyon. Here William Keam, and then his cousin Thomas Keam, operated a trading post during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They served the Navajo Indians and opened the door to commercial trade for the Hopi Indians. The nearest trading post was some fifty miles away and Keam’s trading post was 13 miles east of the Hopi Indian’s settlements on First Mesa. With the opportunity for full year round trade nearby, the regional Indians quickly identified the canyon with the traders and the name Keams Canyon took hold.
As of the census of 2000, there were 260 people, 74 households, and 44 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 28.0 people per square mile (10.8/km²). There were 106 housing units at an average density of 11.4/sq mi (4.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 7.69% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 89.62% Native American, and 2.31% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 74 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 20.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.56.
School For CDL License Keams Canyon AZ
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 School For CDL License. However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Keams Canyon AZ.
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