How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Seligman Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Seligman AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Seligman home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Seligman AZ, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Seligman AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Seligman AZ area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Seligman AZ 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 relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, 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 individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Seligman AZ schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of 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 teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish 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 important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Seligman AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Seligman AZ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Seligman AZ school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Seligman AZ employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Seligman AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Dump Truck Training Seligman Arizona
Choosing the right truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance 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 to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Dump Truck Training and wanting information on the topic Trucking Schools. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Seligman AZ.
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Seligman is located at 35°19′42″N 112°52′27″W / 35.32833°N 112.87417°W / 35.32833; -112.87417 (35.328199, −112.874303), at 5,240 feet (1,600 m) in elevation, alongside the Big Chino Wash, in a northern section of Chino Valley. The wash is a major tributary of the Verde River. Seligman is a popular stopping point along Historic U.S. Route 66.
Originally, Seligman was called "Prescott Junction", because it was the railroad stop on the Santa Fe mainline junction with the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company feeder line running to Prescott, in the Arizona Territory. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) had reached it in 1882. In 1886 it was renamed Seligman, after Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of J.W. Seligman Co. of New York, who helped finance the railroad lines in the area. The original feeder line to Prescott was replaced in 1891 by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway with the Santa Fe mainline junction at Ash Fork instead.
Because of its flat land Seligman became a large switching yard consisting of many tracks, and served as a large livestock shipping center for the areas ranchers. It was also a terminal point for changing train crews between Winslow and Needles, who used overnight cottages in the town.