How to Select a CDL Driving School near White Deer Texas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near White Deer TX. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your White Deer residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select 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 discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and White Deer TX, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the White Deer TX trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the White Deer TX area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, 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. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an 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 comply with 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 rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top White Deer TX schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Texas licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Texas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual attention 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most White Deer TX schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs 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. Contact the White Deer TX schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different 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 freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the White Deer TX schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Texas, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Texas testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the White Deer TX school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver 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 rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many White Deer TX employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other White Deer TX area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near White Deer TX?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the White Deer Texas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
White Deer, Texas
White Deer is located at 35°25′52″N 101°10′33″W / 35.431015°N 101.175749°W / 35.431015; -101.175749. It is situated along U.S. Highway 60 in east central Carson County, 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Panhandle, the Carson County seat, and 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Amarillo.
The community was first settled around 1882, when the British-owned Francklyn Land and Cattle Company, later reorganized as the White Deer Land Company, occupied the area and began stocking it with cattle. George Tyng, general manager of the property, built the headquarters for White Deer or Diamond F Ranch at the site in 1887. Around the same time, the Purcell Company purchased land in the vicinity as a right-of-way for the Southern Kansas Railway of Texas. A depot was built in 1888. The site was initially known as "Paton" (after John Paton), then "Whig", before being renamed White Deer in January 1899 – after nearby White Deer Creek. During the 1890s, British shareholders began selling land for small farms and ranches to settlers. The community moved to its present location near the railroad line in 1908. A year later, Henry Czerner and Ben Urbanczyk established a community of Polish farmers from central Texas at the northeastern edge of town. There were approximately 50 people living in White Deer by 1910.
The discovery of oil and gas in Carson County in 1919 brought growth to White Deer and the surrounding area. The community incorporated in 1921, and the population had risen to 200 by the mid-1920s. At the peak of the oil boom in the late 1920s, White Deer was home to nearly 3,000 people. Soon after, the city experienced a period of decline. A disastrous fire in 1931, the negative economic impact of the Great Depression, as well as tornadoes in 1945 and 1951 were all contributing factors in White Deer's decline. In the late 1950s, the town became a shipping point for grain and cattle produced in the area. By 1980, the population was 1,210. That figure decreased to 1,125 in 1990 and 1,060 in 2000.
Choose the Best CDL School White Deer TX
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape 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 get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. 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 White Deer TX.
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