How to Enroll in the Best Trucking Classes near Verdunville West Virginia
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Verdunville WV. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Verdunville home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss 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 Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Verdunville WV, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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 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 needed 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Verdunville WV trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Verdunville WV area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Verdunville WV schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the West Virginia licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in West Virginia and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Verdunville WV schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, 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 tools, they are no replacement 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 between schools, a good benchmark 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 Verdunville WV schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Verdunville WV schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in West Virginia, ask 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 West Virginia testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Verdunville WV school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Verdunville WV employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Verdunville WV 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Local CDL Training Verdunville West Virginia
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available 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 Local CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Driving Truck School. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Verdunville WV.
Truck On in These Other West Virginia Locations
West Virginia Route 73
West Virginia Route 73 is an east–west state highway located in the Logan, West Virginia area. The western terminus of the route is at an interchange with U.S. Route 119 a half-mile north of Verdunville and three miles (5 km) west of Logan. The eastern terminus is at West Virginia Route 10 outside Logan.