How to Find a Truck Driver School near Rocklake North Dakota
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Rocklake ND. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Rocklake residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master 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 discuss in the remainder 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 Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Rocklake ND, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 brief explanations for the two 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. A few 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 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
Once you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Rocklake ND trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Rocklake ND area are accredited due to the demanding 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 obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Rocklake ND schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the North Dakota licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in North Dakota and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Rocklake ND schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Rocklake ND schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly 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 obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Rocklake ND schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in North Dakota, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at North Dakota testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Rocklake ND school you enroll in offers 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 spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Rocklake ND employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Rocklake ND area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out 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 need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Rocklake ND?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Rocklake North Dakota area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Rocklake, North Dakota
Rocklake is a city in Towner County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 101 at the 2010 census. The city lies a few miles south of the Canada–United States border, near the junction of U.S. Route 281 and North Dakota State Highway 5.
As of the census of 2010, there were 101 people, 63 households, and 23 families residing in the city. The population density was 459.1 inhabitants per square mile (177.3/km2). There were 103 housing units at an average density of 468.2 per square mile (180.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White and 5.0% Native American.
There were 63 households of which 11.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.7% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 63.5% were non-families. 61.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 25.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.60 and the average family size was 2.61.
Choose the Right CDL School Rocklake ND
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the appropriate 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 even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Rocklake ND.
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