How to Select a CDL Driving School near Vaughn Washington
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Vaughn WA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Vaughn home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn 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 pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Vaughn WA, an operator must 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 select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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. Some 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, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Vaughn WA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Vaughn WA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Vaughn WA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Washington licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Washington and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention 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 claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Vaughn WA schools offer training courses 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 Teachers? As previously stated, 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 requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though 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 Vaughn WA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Vaughn WA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Washington, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Washington testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Vaughn WA school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure 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, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Vaughn WA employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Vaughn WA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Vaughn WA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Vaughn Washington area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Robert Francis Vaughn (November 22, 1932 – November 11, 2016) was an American actor noted for his stage, film and television work. His best-known television roles include suave spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960s series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; wealthy detective Harry Rule in the 1970s series The Protectors; Morgan Wendell in the 1978–79 mini series Centennial; formidable General Hunt Stockwell in the fifth season of the 1980s series The A-Team; and grifter and card sharp Albert Stroller in the British television drama series Hustle (2004–2012), for all but one of its 48 episodes. He also appeared in the British soap opera Coronation Street as Milton Fanshaw, a love interest for Sylvia Goodwin between January and February 2012.
In film, he portrayed quiet, skittish gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven, Major Paul Krueger in The Bridge at Remagen, the voice of Proteus IV, the computer villain of Demon Seed, Walter Chalmers in Bullitt, Ross Webster in Superman III, General Woodbridge in The Delta Force, and war veteran Chester A. Gwynn in The Young Philadelphians, which earned him a 1960 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Robert Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932 in New York City, to Gerald Walter Vaughn, a radio actor, and his wife, Marcella Frances (Gaudel), a stage actress. His parents divorced, and Vaughn lived with his grandparents in Minneapolis while his mother traveled and performed.
Pick the Best Truck Driving School Vaughn WA
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills 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 to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want 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 enroll in an independent truck driver 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 get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Vaughn WA.
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