How to Choose the Right Truck Driver Classes near Marana Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Marana AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Marana residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest 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 Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Marana AZ, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 required 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Marana AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Marana AZ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Marana AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. 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 personal instruction 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 teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Marana AZ schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Marana AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Marana AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Marana AZ school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Marana AZ employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Marana AZ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Truck Driving Training Schools Marana Arizona
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Training Schools and wanting information on the topic Weekend Truck Driving School. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need 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 enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Marana AZ.
Truck On in These Other Arizona Locations
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 14