How to Decide on the Right Truck Driving School near Polacca Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Polacca AZ. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Polacca home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest 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 Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Polacca AZ, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of 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 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 required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 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 need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Polacca AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Polacca AZ area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator 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. On the other hand, even the best of Polacca AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized attention 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 train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Polacca AZ schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out 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 happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide lots of 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 essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Polacca AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known 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 place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Polacca AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Polacca AZ school you select provides 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Polacca AZ employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Polacca AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Class B CDL School Polacca Arizona
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession 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 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 Class B CDL School and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving School Prices. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to think about 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 enroll in an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Polacca AZ.
Truck On in These Other Arizona Locations
The rate of college-level education in Polacca is quite a bit lower than the national average among all cities of 21.84%: just 10.39% of people here over 25 have a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree. The per capita income in Polacca in 2010 was $10,331, which is low income relative to Arizona and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $41,324 for a family of four. Polacca also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 39.82% of its population below the federal poverty line.
The town of Polacca does not have a sales tax and there is only one convenience store. There are no hotels, restaurants, gas stations, or department stores in Polacca. Many of the residents are employed by one of six major employers. Many of the residents not employed locally are artists who rely on tourists, local galleries, art shows, and internet sales.
The town of Polacca is located in northeastern Arizona on the Colorado Plateau. Natural resources on the Colorado Plateau include coal, uranium, petroleum, and natural gas. Polacca is located along Arizona State Route 264 7.5 miles (12.1 km) northeast of the Hopi Second Mesa. Polacca has a post office with ZIP code 86042.