How to Select a Truck Driving School near Tyrone Oklahoma
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Tyrone OK. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Tyrone residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll obtain the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Tyrone OK, an operator must get 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. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions for 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 greater 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Tyrone OK trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Tyrone OK area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Tyrone OK schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Oklahoma licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Oklahoma and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. 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 personal 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 an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Tyrone OK schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors 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.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good 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 Tyrone OK schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Tyrone OK schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Oklahoma, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Oklahoma testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Tyrone OK school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Tyrone OK employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Tyrone OK area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Tyrone OK?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tyrone Oklahoma area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
As of the census of 2000, there were 880 people, 324 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,139.8 people per square mile (828.7/km2). There were 374 housing units at an average density of 909.4 per square mile (352.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 77.39% White, 0.34% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 18.64% from other races, and 2.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.52% of the population.
There were 324 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town, the population was spread out with 31.1% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.
Select the Right CDL School Tyrone OK
Picking the right truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation 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 critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Tyrone OK.
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