How to Decide on a Truck Driving School near Willow Island Nebraska
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Willow Island NE. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Willow Island residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Willow Island NE, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss 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 explanations 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 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 CDL is needed to drive 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
After you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Willow Island NE truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Willow Island NE area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Willow Island NE schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Nebraska licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Nebraska and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding 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 time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Willow Island NE schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient 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 essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Willow Island NE schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Willow Island NE schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Nebraska, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Nebraska testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Willow Island NE school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Willow Island NE employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Willow Island NE area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Willow Island NE?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Willow Island Nebraska area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Willow is a 1988 American high fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. Davis plays the eponymous lead character and hero: a reluctant farmer who plays a critical role in protecting a special baby from a tyrannical queen who vows to destroy her and take over the world in a high fantasy setting.
Lucas conceived the idea for the film in 1972, approaching Howard to direct during the post-production phase of Cocoon in 1985. Bob Dolman was brought in to write the screenplay, coming up with seven drafts before finishing in late 1986. It was then set up at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and principal photography began in April 1987, finishing the following October. The majority of filming took place at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England, as well as Wales and New Zealand. Industrial Light & Magic created the visual effects sequences, which led to a revolutionary breakthrough with digital morphing technology. The film was released in 1988 to mixed reviews from critics, but was a modest financial success, received two Academy Award nominations, and has developed a cult following amongst fantasy fans.
When a prophecy states that a female child with a special birthmark will herald the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda, she imprisons all pregnant women in her realm to prevent its fulfillment. When the child is born, the mother begs the midwife to hide the infant and smuggle her to safety. The midwife reluctantly accepts and leaves Nockmaar Castle unnoticed. The mother is executed; the midwife is hunted down and eventually found. Knowing she cannot escape, the midwife sets the baby on a makeshift raft of grass and sends her down a river before being killed by Nockmaar hounds. Bavmorda, furious about the escape, sends her daughter Sorsha and her army's commander, General Kael, to find the baby.
Choose the Ideal Trucking School Willow Island NE
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Willow Island NE.
More Trucking Locations in Nebraska