How to Find a Trucking School near Waterflow New Mexico
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Waterflow NM. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Waterflow residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal 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 target 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 talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Waterflow NM, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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. Several 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 kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Waterflow NM trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Waterflow NM area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Waterflow NM schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New Mexico licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Mexico and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of 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 requires time. The majority of Waterflow NM schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Waterflow NM schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular 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 rather than maintaining 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 be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Waterflow NM schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in New Mexico, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Mexico testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Waterflow NM school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Waterflow NM employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Waterflow NM area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Waterflow NM?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Waterflow New Mexico area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Waterflow, New Mexico
Waterflow is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States on the north side of the San Juan River. It is immediately west of Fruitland and north across the river from the Navajo Nation. It is east of Shiprock.
The area now known as Waterflow is traditional Navajo territory. This place was called Chʼį́įdii Łichííʼ (Red Devil) in reference to Walter Stallings who operated a trading post in the area; nowadays, Tséyaa Akʼahí (beneath-rock oil) seems to be another designation in reference to the nearby oil fields, as can be seen on billboards in the area (pictured).
The early Anglo settlers in this area named the place "Jewett Valley", and established Jewett Valley Cemetery as early as 1886. Although some reports say these pioneers were predominantly Catholic, one of the earliest families to be buried in this cemetery, the Hunts, have long been LDS.
Select the Ideal Truck Driving School Waterflow NM
Choosing the right truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Waterflow NM.
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