Category Archives: Mississippi

Top Trucking Schools Tougaloo MS

How to Pick the Right Truck Driver Classes near Tougaloo Mississippi

tractor truck in Tougaloo MS Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Tougaloo MS. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Tougaloo residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Tougaloo MS long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Tougaloo MS, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class 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). Following are short explanations for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Tougaloo MS truck driving schoolWhen you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Tougaloo MS trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are several more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Tougaloo MS area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks 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 business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Tougaloo MS schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. 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 supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Mississippi licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Mississippi and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Tougaloo MS schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful 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 subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide 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 operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Tougaloo MS schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific 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 many different 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 freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Tougaloo MS 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 permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Mississippi, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Mississippi testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Tougaloo MS school you select 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Tougaloo MS employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Tougaloo MS area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.

Top Trucking Schools Tougaloo Mississippi

Tougaloo MS long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Top Trucking Schools and wanting information on the topic Obtaining A CDL.  However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive 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 many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Tougaloo MS.

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