How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Rockland Idaho
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Rockland ID. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Rockland residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Rockland ID, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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. A few 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 require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger 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 Research a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Rockland ID trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are some more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Rockland ID area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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 know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Rockland ID schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Idaho licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Idaho and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Rockland ID schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with 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.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he 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 Rockland ID schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom 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 best way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Rockland ID schools you are looking at are captive or independent 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 driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Idaho, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Idaho testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Rockland ID school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Rockland ID employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Rockland ID area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Rockland ID?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Rockland Idaho area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Rockland claims its founding in 1879, 11 years before Idaho achieved its statehood in 1890. The Rockland Valley was traveled by trappers before its founding, but its first permanent settlers entered the valley in 1878. At that time, Hildalgo Guadelupe Valdez herded his cattle into the valley and chose the valley as his home. In efforts to establish his home he dug a ditch from the East Fork Creek as means to irrigate his 30 acres of land. Thus, he was granted his "Water Right" on Feb. 15, 1879. Not only was he the first settler in the valley, but also the first irrigated farmer in the valley.
Rockland is located at 42°34′24″N 112°52′35″W / 42.57333°N 112.87639°W / 42.57333; -112.87639 (42.573469, -112.876344). Rockland is named after Rock Creek which flows north west into the Snake River.
As of the census of 2010, there were 295 people, 97 households, and 76 families residing in the city. The population density was 983.3 inhabitants per square mile (379.7/km2). There were 114 housing units at an average density of 380.0 per square mile (146.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.7% White and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
Choose the Right Truck Driving School Rockland ID
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might 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 choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Rockland ID.
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