How to Enroll in the Best CDL Driving Classes near Union Kentucky
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Union KY. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Union home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll get the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address 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?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Union KY, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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 select a truck driver school, we will discuss 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 brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Union KY truck driving schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Union KY 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Union KY schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. 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 supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Kentucky licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Kentucky and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Union KY schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques 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 important that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish ample 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 operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Union KY schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining 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 work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Union KY schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Kentucky, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Kentucky testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Union KY school you enroll in provides 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 spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Union KY employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Union KY area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
CDL Class Union Kentucky
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation 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 several options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Class and wanting information on the topic Best CDL Training. However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want 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 truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Union KY.
Truck On in These Other Kentucky Locations
Union University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located in Jackson, Tennessee, with additional campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville. The university is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and relates to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Union is one of the top tier institutions in the Southern Region, listed for each of the past 19 years by U.S. News & World Report, and is notable for having trained a United States Supreme Court justice, and in the sports world as the place where Bear Bryant began his football coaching career.
Union University is the heir to some of the oldest universities in the Southeast. The school is a union of several different schools: West Tennessee College, formerly known as Jackson Male Academy, Union University of Murfreesboro, Southwestern Baptist University, and Hall-Moody Junior College of Martin, Tennessee.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8