How to Find the Right CDL Driving School near Oxford North Carolina
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Oxford NC. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Oxford residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Oxford NC, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three 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 driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to 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 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 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. 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
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How to Research a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Oxford NC truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Oxford NC area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Oxford NC schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the North Carolina licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in North Carolina and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher 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 watch out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Oxford NC schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Oxford NC schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly 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 get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Oxford NC schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in North Carolina, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at North Carolina testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Oxford NC school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Oxford NC employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Oxford NC area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
CDL School Cost Oxford North Carolina
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL School Cost and wanting information on the topic I Want To Be A Truck Driver. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Oxford NC.
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Oxford, North Carolina
The town's history dates to 1761, when local legislator Samuel Benton built a plantation home and called it "Oxford." The legislature ordered the area around his plantation to be the seat of Granville County. The town was not incorporated until 1816.
The first Masonic orphanage for children in the United States was built in Oxford. It was originally established as St. John's College in 1858. The college ceased operations shortly after opening, however. In 1872 the community decided that the property should be repurposed to educate disadvantaged populations. In December 1873 the first residents were admitted to the Oxford Orphans Asylum, which is today known as the "Masonic Home for Children at Oxford." 
In 1851 James H. Horner established Horner Military Academy, which enrolled many young men from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and other states. Many of the students went on to become leaders in the United States government, such as James Crawford Biggs, Solicitor General under President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the inception of the New Deal.
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