How to Find the Right Trucking Classes near Yulee Florida
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Yulee FL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what 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 a number of variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Yulee residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target 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 remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Yulee FL, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type 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 explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 might also require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Yulee FL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Yulee FL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Yulee FL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Florida licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Florida and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, 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 personalized attention 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 professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Yulee FL schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements 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 laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent 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 actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though 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 receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Yulee FL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Yulee FL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Florida, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Florida testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Yulee FL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Yulee FL employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Yulee FL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
CDL Drivers License Training Yulee Florida
Picking the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to launching 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 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 CDL Drivers License Training and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving School Cost. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Yulee FL.
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Yulee is a Census county division (CCD) in Nassau County, Florida, United States. The population is currently 28,798 as of April 2018. Yulee is part of the Jacksonville metropolitan area, which was home to 1,504,980 people in 2017. Today, the Yulee CCD is a residential bedroom community for those who commute to Jacksonville, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, or other locations in Southeast Georgia, but is working to diversify its tax base.
Yulee is located within 15 miles of Amelia Island and the Jacksonville International Airport and is home to the Florida State College at Jacksonville's Nassau Center, the White Oak Conservation, two renown golf courses, the Nassau Wildlife Management Area, Robert M. Foster Justice Center, Four Creeks State Forest, the Yulee Branch Library, Nassau County Sheriff's Office Headquarters, and the Florida Welcome Center on Interstate 95. In addition the Yulee CCD is provided regional services by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.
The racial makeup of Yulee in 2014 was 89.2% White, 7.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population. 77.9% of the population was 18 years of age or older.
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