How to Pick the Best CDL Driving Classes near Lukeville Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Lukeville AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Lukeville residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Lukeville AZ, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on 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 short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Lukeville AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Lukeville AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Lukeville AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Lukeville 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 Good are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s important 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 prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some 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.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will furnish lots of 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 essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Lukeville AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Lukeville AZ schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving 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 benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Lukeville 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 certain 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Lukeville AZ employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Lukeville AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out 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 must be submitted.
Schools For Truck Driving Lukeville Arizona
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge 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 Schools For Truck Driving and wanting information on the topic How Can I Get My CDL License. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want 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 select 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 choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Lukeville AZ.
Truck On in These Other Arizona Locations
The community consists of the Lukeville Port of Entry border crossing into Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico, together with a gas station, a US Post Office, a duty-free shop, and a stop-over spot for buses that are bound for Phoenix and Tucson. It is the terminus of State Route 85 and is located entirely within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lukeville has a desert climate, abbreviated "BWh" on climate maps.