How to Pick a Truck Driving School near Ucon Idaho
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Ucon ID. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Ucon residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder 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?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Ucon ID, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 for 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 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Ucon ID truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary 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 some additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Ucon ID area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks 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 typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Ucon ID schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Idaho licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Idaho and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Ucon ID schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers 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 crucial 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 standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide plenty 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 important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Ucon ID schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Ucon ID schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Idaho, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Idaho testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Ucon ID school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates 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 Ucon ID employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Ucon ID area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Ucon ID?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ucon Idaho area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,108 people, 336 households, and 277 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,402.5 inhabitants per square mile (541.5/km2). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 465.8 per square mile (179.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population.
There were 336 households of which 50.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.3% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 17.6% were non-families. 14.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.30 and the average family size was 3.69.
The median age in the city was 28.6 years. 38.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.2% were from 25 to 44; 19.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.1% male and 46.9% female.
Pick the Best Trucking School Ucon ID
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced 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 company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Ucon ID.
More Trucking Locations in Idaho