How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Tad West Virginia
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Tad WV. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Tad home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll get the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Tad WV, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify 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 highlight Class A and 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 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Tad WV truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Tad WV area are accredited due to 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 several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Tad WV schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the West Virginia licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in West Virginia and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers 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 obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes 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 Tad WV schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Tad WV schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining 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 flexibility 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 get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Tad WV schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in West Virginia, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at West Virginia testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Tad WV school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out 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 lower job placement rate or few Tad WV employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Tad WV 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 evaluating 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 Tad WV?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Tad West Virginia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Tad (given name)
Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Tad WV
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance 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 to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Tad WV.
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