How to Pick the Right Truck Driving Classes near Sun City Florida
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Sun City FL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Sun City home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Sun City FL, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 might also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Sun City FL truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Sun City FL area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common 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 standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Sun City FL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Florida licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, 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 not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Sun City FL schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great 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 real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real 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 reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Sun City FL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Sun City FL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third 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 advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Florida testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Sun City FL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Sun City FL employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Sun City FL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Truck Driving Courses Sun City Florida
Picking the right truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Courses and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving School Cost. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may want 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 choose an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Sun City FL.
Truck On in These Other Florida Locations
Sun City Center, Florida
Sun City Center is an unincorporated census-designated place in southern Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is located south of Tampa and north of Sarasota on I-75. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,258. The ZIP Code serving the community is 33573.
Sun City Center is an age-restricted community, which consists of single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses, and apartment buildings. It has its own hospital and several nursing home facilities. It is legal to drive golf carts on the wide, palm-lined streets during daylight hours, and most shopping has special parking slots for same. There are about seven golf courses, various hobby shops, and an outdoor and two indoor pools in the main clubhouse area. There are clubs for almost any interest or hobby, including ham radio, computers, art, woodworking, photography, sewing, cards, investments, and dancing.
Sun City Center is located in southern Hillsborough County at 27°42′48″N 82°21′35″W / 27.71333°N 82.35972°W / 27.71333; -82.35972 (27.713353, -82.359659). It is bordered to the northwest by Apollo Beach, to the northeast by Balm, to the east by Wimauma, and to the west by Ruskin. Interstate 75 forms the northwestern edge of the CDP, with access from Exit 240, Sun City Center Boulevard (State Road 674). U.S. Route 301 forms the eastern edge of the CDP, and the southern edge follows the Little Manatee River. Tampa is 24 miles (39 km) to the north, and Bradenton is 21 miles (34 km) to the southwest via I-75, or 25 miles (40 km) via US-301.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 36