How to Pick the Best Truck Driver School near Woodville Florida
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Woodville FL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Woodville home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Woodville FL, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 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. Several 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 may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Woodville FL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Woodville FL area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are a number of 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 mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? 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 Woodville FL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Florida licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Florida and employ instructors 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 greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Woodville FL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Woodville FL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Woodville FL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Florida, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Florida testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Woodville FL school you choose 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 teacher should be willing to commit 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Woodville FL employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Woodville FL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Certified CDL Trucker Schools Woodville Florida
Choosing the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Certified CDL Trucker Schools and wanting information on the topic Area Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Woodville FL.
Truck On in These Other Florida Locations
Woodville is a census-designated place in Leon County, Florida, United States, just south of Tallahassee, Florida. The population was 2,978 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Tallahassee, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The American Civil War Battle of Natural Bridge, in March 1865, occurred in what is now Woodville, at the Natural Bridge (approximately six miles from Woodville proper). This is where the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole, the Natural Bridge Sink and flows underground, reemerging .25 miles (0.40 km) later.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,006 people, 1,182 households, and 855 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 427.8 people per square mile (180.5/km²). There were 1,278 housing units at an average density of 198.9/sq mi (76.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 79.34% White, 18.30% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population.
There were 1,182 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.92.