Category Archives: Nebraska

How To Get Class A CDL Valparaiso NE

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driving Classes near Valparaiso Nebraska

tractor truck in Valparaiso NE Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Valparaiso NE. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Valparaiso home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

Valparaiso NE long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Valparaiso NE, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). 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 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.

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How to Research a Trucking School

Valparaiso NE truck driving schoolWhen you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Valparaiso NE truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Valparaiso NE area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Valparaiso NE schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain 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 assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Nebraska 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 must be licensed in Nebraska and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following 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 receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Valparaiso NE schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify 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. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Valparaiso NE schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit 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 limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Valparaiso NE schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Nebraska, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Nebraska testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Valparaiso NE school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Valparaiso NE employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Valparaiso NE area vocational or trade 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 must be completed.

How To Get Class A CDL Valparaiso Nebraska

Valparaiso NE long haul truckSelecting the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get Class A CDL and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver License Class.  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 may need to look into 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 trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Valparaiso NE.

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    Valparaiso, Nebraska

    As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 570 people, 241 households, and 157 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,017.9 inhabitants per square mile (393.0/km2). There were 276 housing units at an average density of 492.9 per square mile (190.3/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.7% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

    There were 241 households of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.9% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

    The median age in the village was 41.4 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 16% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

     

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