How to Decide on a Trucking School near Sevier Utah
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Sevier UT. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Sevier residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Sevier UT, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three 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 select a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class 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 two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive 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 CDL is required to operate 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Sevier UT trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are several more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Sevier UT area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 fulfill 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 negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Sevier UT schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Utah licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Utah and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Sevier UT schools offer training programs 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 earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Sevier UT schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations 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 choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Sevier UT schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Utah, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Utah testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Sevier UT school you choose provides 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 prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out 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 Sevier UT employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Sevier UT area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Sevier UT?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sevier Utah area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sevier (/sɛˈvɪər/ sə-VEER) is an unincorporated community in southwestern Sevier County, Utah, United States. It lies in the valley of the Sevier River along U.S. Route 89 southwest of the city of Richfield, the county seat of Sevier County. Its elevation is 5,584 feet (1,702 m).
Sevier has experienced rapid population growth in the 1990s and 2000s, and seasonal migrant laborers, mostly of Mexican and other Hispanic nationalities, made the population transfluid over the course of the year.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Sevier has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
Pick the Best Truck Driver School Sevier UT
Picking the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to consider 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 trucking 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 no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Sevier UT.
More Trucking Locations in Utah