Category Archives: Iowa

Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Wall Lake IA

How to Select a Truck Driving School near Wall Lake Iowa

Wall Lake IA truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Wall Lake IA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get 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 prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Wall Lake home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Wall Lake IAIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wall Lake IA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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 explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 drive 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 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Wall Lake IA truck driving schoolsAfter you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Wall Lake IA trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Wall Lake IA area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Wall Lake IA schools had to start 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 job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Iowa licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Iowa and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Wall Lake IA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Wall Lake IA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Wall Lake IA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Iowa, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Iowa testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Wall Lake IA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Wall Lake IA employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Wall Lake IA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wall Lake IA?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wall Lake Iowa area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Wall Lake, Iowa

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 819 people, 335 households, and 217 families residing in the city. The population density was 665.9 inhabitants per square mile (257.1/km2). There were 366 housing units at an average density of 297.6 per square mile (114.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.8% White, 0.1% Asian, and 0.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.1% of the population.

There were 335 households of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.2% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 49.3 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.2% were from 45 to 64; and 28.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.9% male and 54.1% female.

Choose the Right Truck Driving School Wall Lake IA

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Wall Lake IAChoosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Wall Lake IA.

More Trucking Locations in Iowa

  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Boyden IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Otho IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Keokuk IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Stanhope IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Wellsburg IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Washta IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools West Liberty IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Humeston IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Halbur IA
  • Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Floris IA
  •  

     

    The location could not be found.

     

    Business Results 1 - 10 of 1

    Aaall States Auto Transport
    4 Reviews
    Vehicle Shipping
    Phone:
    102 E 2nd St, Schaller, IA 51053