How to Select the Best Truck Driving School near Deerfield Beach Florida
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Deerfield Beach FL. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Deerfield Beach residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Deerfield Beach FL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and 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 short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate 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 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 CDL is required to operate 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. 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Deerfield Beach FL truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are several more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Deerfield Beach FL area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Deerfield Beach FL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Florida licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Florida and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Deerfield Beach FL schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient 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 necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Deerfield Beach FL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly 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 ask if the Deerfield Beach FL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Florida, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Florida testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Deerfield Beach FL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates 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 Deerfield Beach FL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Deerfield Beach FL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining 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.
How To Choose CDL Classes Deerfield Beach Florida
Choosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 How To Choose CDL Classes and wanting information on the topic School For Truck Driving. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to look into 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Deerfield Beach FL.
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Deerfield Beach, Florida
Deerfield Beach is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States, just south of the Palm Beach County line. The city is named for the numerous deer that once roamed the area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 75,018. It is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which is home to an estimated 6,158,824 inhabitants as of 2017[update].
Deerfield Beach's history dates to 1890 when a small settlement named Hillsborough was developed along the Hillsboro River. As the population grew to 20 by 1898, the settlement was now served by its own post office and the town was named Deerfield for the deer that grazed along the river.
By the early 20th century, as the town's population continued to grow, the Florida East Coast Railroad constructed tracks en route to Miami bisecting Deerfield. Deerfield's early settlers were mostly farmers who grew pineapples, tomatoes, green beans, squash and fished along the Intracoastal Waterway. Deerfield remained a largely agricultural community, but in 1939 the town's name was changed to Deerfield Beach to let tourists know it has a beach. In 1952, the original Deerfield Beach Pier was built of wood.
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