How to Decide on a Trucking School near Ubly Michigan
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Ubly MI. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Ubly home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Ubly MI, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class 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). Below are short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Ubly MI truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, including 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 carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Ubly MI area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively 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 best of Ubly MI schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous 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 Michigan licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Michigan and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual 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 insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Ubly MI schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish plenty of 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Ubly MI schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Ubly MI schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Michigan, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Michigan testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Ubly MI school you select 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 instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Ubly MI employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Ubly MI area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Ubly MI?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ubly Michigan 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 858 people, 382 households, and 224 families residing in the village. The population density was 640.3 inhabitants per square mile (247.2/km2). There were 418 housing units at an average density of 311.9 per square mile (120.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.1% White, 0.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 382 households of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.4% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.88.
The median age in the village was 40.8 years. 23% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 25% were from 45 to 64; and 19.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 46.2% male and 53.8% female.
Select the Ideal Trucking School Ubly MI
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance 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 available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Ubly MI.
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