How to Select the Right Trucking School near Ehrenberg Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Ehrenberg AZ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Ehrenberg residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Ehrenberg AZ, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries for the 2 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 needed 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 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Ehrenberg AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Ehrenberg AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Ehrenberg AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, 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 attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Ehrenberg AZ schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing 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? Most importantly, a good trucking school will provide sufficient 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Ehrenberg AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Ehrenberg AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Ehrenberg AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Ehrenberg AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Ehrenberg AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Ehrenberg AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ehrenberg Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Ehrenberg, also historically spelled "Ehrenburg" is a census-designated place (CDP) in La Paz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,470 at the 2010 census. Ehrenberg is named for its founder, Herman Ehrenberg.
Ehrenberg is located on the Colorado River, which forms the border with Riverside County, California, near the city of Blythe. It is situated close to Interstate 10, at the southern end of Parker Valley and next to the Palo Verde Valley.
In 1863, German mining engineer Herman Ehrenberg was hired to survey a new townsite along the Colorado River, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from La Paz, Arizona. The town, named Mineral City, began to grow in 1866, after a new landing was established there, supported by the steamboat captains of the George A. Johnson Company. Mineral City now attracted miners and many businessmen away from La Paz and by September 20, 1869 had grown large enough to win a post office. The same year it was renamed Ehrenberg.:96
CDL A School Ehrenberg AZ
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered 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 CDL A School. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Ehrenberg AZ.
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