How to Pick the Right CDL Driving Classes near Eloy Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Eloy AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Eloy home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select 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 talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Eloy AZ, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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. Some 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 kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Eloy AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Eloy AZ area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Eloy AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Arizona licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers 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 individual attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Eloy AZ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some 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, an excellent trucking school will furnish 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between 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 Eloy AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver 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 ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Eloy AZ schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Eloy AZ 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 particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out 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 lower job placement rate or few Eloy AZ employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Eloy AZ area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
CDL Training And Job Placement Eloy Arizona
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many 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 Training And Job Placement and wanting information on the topic CDL Course. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver 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 regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Eloy AZ.
Truck On in These Other Arizona Locations
Eloy is a city in Pinal County, Arizona, United States, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tucson and about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census estimates in 2017, the population of the city is 19,168.
According to the U.S. Census of 2000, the city has a total area of 98.9 square miles (256 km2). The city offers a varied range of community facilities for its citizens. Outside the city limits, the city has a planning area of almost 560 square miles (1,500 km2).
As of the census of 2011, there were 16,964 people, 2,492 households, and 1,988 families residing in Eloy. The population density was 144.8 people per square mile (55.9/km²). There were 2,734 housing units at an average density of 38.1 per square mile (14.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58% Hispanic or Latino, 5.32% Black or African American, 41% White, 4.48% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 31.48% from other races, and 4.71% from two or more races.