How to Select the Right CDL Driving School near Chinle Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Chinle AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of 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 a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Chinle residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective 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? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Chinle AZ, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations 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 may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Chinle AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Chinle AZ area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Chinle AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use 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, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Arizona licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching 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 teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Chinle AZ schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out 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 level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Chinle AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Chinle AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher 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 duration, it’s essential that the Chinle AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Chinle AZ employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Chinle 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 evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Chinle AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Chinle Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Chinle (Navajo: Chʼínílį́) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Apache County, Arizona. The name in Navajo means "flowing out" and is a reference to the location where the water flows out of the Canyon de Chelly. The population was 4,518 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.1 square miles (41.6 km2), of which 16.0 square miles (41.5 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.16%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,366 people, 1,358 households, and 1,076 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 334.7 people per square mile (129.2/km²). There were 1,644 housing units at an average density of 102.6 per square mile (39.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.28% Native American, 6.39% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 1.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
CDL Truck Driver Training Chinle AZ
Selecting the right truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available 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 CDL Truck Driver Training. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want 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 choose an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Chinle AZ.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arizona Locations