How to Select the Right Truck Driving School near Mesilla Park New Mexico
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Mesilla Park NM. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Mesilla Park home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick 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 discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Mesilla Park NM, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 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 greater 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 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 drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Mesilla Park NM trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Mesilla Park NM area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Mesilla Park NM schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New Mexico licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in New Mexico and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. 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 higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention 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 drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Mesilla Park NM schools offer 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 mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with 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 qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable 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 Mesilla Park NM schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with numerous 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 flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Mesilla Park NM schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in New Mexico, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at New Mexico testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Mesilla Park NM school you choose 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 instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Mesilla Park NM employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Mesilla Park NM area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Mesilla Park NM?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Mesilla Park New Mexico area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
KMVR (104.9 FM, "Magic 105") is a radio station licensed to serve Mesilla Park, New Mexico. The station is owned by Bravo Mic Communications, LLC. It airs a Hot Adult Contemporary music format featuring artists such as Nelly Furtado, Duran Duran, The Fray, The Cure, Green Day, Madonna, Lifehouse, and others. Its sister stations are KOBE, KVLC, KXPZ. KMVR-FM broadcasts on 104.9 from Mesilla Park NM. The Format is Hot Mod AC and has the slogan "Your Favorite Music" The core artists include Adele, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, Train & fun. Its studios and transmitter are located separately in Las Cruces.
CDL Classes Cost Mesilla Park NM
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 Classes Cost. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Mesilla Park NM.
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