Category Archives: Oklahoma

Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Tulsa OK

How to Find a Trucking School near Tulsa Oklahoma

Tulsa OK truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Tulsa OK. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Tulsa residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target 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 talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Tulsa OKIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Tulsa OK, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver 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 brief descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Questions to ask Tulsa OK truck driving schoolsWhen you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Tulsa OK trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Tulsa OK area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed 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 Tulsa OK 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 history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Oklahoma licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Oklahoma and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Tulsa OK schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Tulsa OK schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Tulsa OK schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed 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 contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Oklahoma testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Tulsa OK 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 instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Tulsa OK employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Tulsa OK area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask 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 Tulsa OK?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tulsa Oklahoma area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa /ˈtʌlsə/ is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States. As of July 2015[update], the population was 403,505, an increase of 11,599 over that reported in the 2010 Census.[5] It is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 981,005 residents in the MSA and 1,151,172 in the CSA.[6] The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma,[7] with urban development extending into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.[5]

Tulsa was settled between 1828 and 1836 by the Lochapoka Band of Creek Native American tribe. For most of the 20th century, the city held the nickname "Oil Capital of the World" and played a major role as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry.[8]

Historically, a robust energy sector fueled Tulsa's economy; however, today the city has diversified and leading sectors include finance, aviation, telecommunications and technology.[9] Two institutions of higher education within the city have sports teams at the NCAA Division I level, Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa.

Choose the Ideal Trucking School Tulsa OK

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Tulsa OKChoosing the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to think about 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 enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Tulsa OK.

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