How to Choose a CDL Driving School near Tuba City Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Tuba City AZ. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Tuba City residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Tuba City AZ, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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 may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Tuba City AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Tuba City AZ area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Tuba City AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider 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 provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Tuba City AZ schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to 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.
Adequate 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 real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Tuba City AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Tuba City AZ schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Tuba City AZ school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. 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 attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Tuba City AZ employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Tuba City AZ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Tuba City AZ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tuba City Arizona area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Tuba City, Arizona
Tuba City (Navajo: Tó Naneesdizí) is an unincorporated town in Coconino County, Arizona, on Navajo lands, in the United States. It is the second-largest community in Coconino County. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 8,611 at the 2010 census. It is the Navajo Nation's largest community, slightly larger than Shiprock, New Mexico, and the headquarters of the Western Navajo Agency. The Hopi village of Moenkopi lies directly to its southeast.
The name of the town honors Tuuvi, a Hopi man from Oraibi who converted to Mormonism. The Navajo name for Tuba City, Tó Naneesdizí translates as "tangled waters", which probably refers to the many below-ground springs that are the source of several reservoirs.
Tuba City is located within the Painted Desert near the western edge of the Navajo Nation. The town is situated on U.S. Route 160, near the junction with Arizona State Route 264. Tuba City is located about 50 miles (80 km) from the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Most of Tuba City's residents are Navajo, with a small Hopi minority. It is located within Arizona's 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Tom O'Halleran.
Select the Best Truck Driving School Tuba City AZ
Picking the ideal trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in 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 receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Tuba City AZ.
More Trucking Locations in Arizona