How to Find a Truck Driving School near West College Corner Indiana
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near West College Corner IN. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your West College Corner residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills 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? That 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and West College Corner IN, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify 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 highlight Class A and 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). Following are short summaries for 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. Some 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the West College Corner IN trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the West College Corner IN area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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 certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of West College Corner IN schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Indiana licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Indiana and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of West College Corner IN schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide lots 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, 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 can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the West College Corner IN schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous 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 giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the West College Corner IN schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Indiana, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Indiana testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the West College Corner IN school you choose offers 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 instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few West College Corner IN employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other West College Corner IN 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 assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near West College Corner IN?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the West College Corner Indiana area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
West College Corner, Indiana
West College Corner, also known as just College Corner, is a town in Union Township, Union County, Indiana, United States, located about five miles northwest of Oxford, Ohio. The population was 676 at the 2010 census. The town is bordered on the east by the state line with Ohio. Across it is the village of College Corner, Ohio. The town's public school, part of the Union County–College Corner Joint School District, is bisected by the state line and is operated jointly with the Ohio authorities. It owes its name to the Ohio town, which was in the northwestern corner of the "College Township", the survey township designated by the Ohio General Assembly as the site of the state college that became Miami University. This survey township was later organized as a civil township, Oxford Township.
As of the census of 2010, there were 676 people, 274 households, and 174 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,503.7 inhabitants per square mile (966.7/km2). There were 310 housing units at an average density of 1,148.1 per square mile (443.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 274 households of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.5% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.
Select the Best Trucking School West College Corner IN
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to starting your new vocation 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 offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in West College Corner IN.
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