How to Decide on the Right CDL Driving School near Wills Point Texas
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Wills Point TX. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Wills Point residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Wills Point TX, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will address 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). Following are brief descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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. Some 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 drive certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school 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 Research a Truck Driving School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Wills Point TX truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Wills Point TX area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Wills Point TX schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Texas licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Texas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention 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 claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Wills Point TX schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While 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 gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Wills Point TX schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations 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 freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Wills Point TX schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Texas, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Texas testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Wills Point TX school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Wills Point TX employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Wills Point TX area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining 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 Wills Point TX?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wills Point Texas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wills Point, Texas
Founded in 1873, Wills Point gets its name from an early American settler, William Wills, who had arrived in the area circa 1848. Wills eventually purchased a cabin from Adam Sullivan in 1852 . The name 'point' may also derive from the shape of the original timberline near the cabin, though there have been unsubstantiated arguments that the name relates to the area's elevation. The layout of the city was the work of engineer General Grenville M. Dodge of the California Construction Company. The downtown streets were laid with red bricks upon packed sand in the 1920s by locals and remain in use. Downtown Wills Point has many of its original buildings that are over one hundred years old including the Wills cabin, a drug store, a dry good store, and a law office. Governor George W. Bush officially named Wills Point the Bluebird Capital of Texas in 1995.
The Majestic Movie theater was opened in 1926 by Karl C. LyBrand and was still family operated by Karl C. Lybrand III until its closure on October 4, 2010. It had been the oldest continuously operated movie theater in Texas run by a single family. The Bruce & Human Drug Company, located on the corner of 4th Street and James, was built in 1879 and is the oldest family owned drug store in Texas.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Wills Point has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.
Get CDL Wills Point TX
Selecting the right trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available 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 Get CDL. However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving 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 choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Wills Point TX.
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