How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Quartzsite Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Quartzsite AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Quartzsite residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the USA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school near Quartzsite AZ, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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. 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Quartzsite AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Quartzsite AZ trucking schools are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required 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 ride-alongs or simulations. 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 indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Quartzsite AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction 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 drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Quartzsite AZ schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the Quartzsite AZ school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing 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 good truck driver school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Quartzsite AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of Quartzsite AZ 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 provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the Quartzsite AZ schools you are reviewing 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 Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Quartzsite AZ school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing 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 must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Quartzsite AZ. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate 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 low job placement rate or few employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other 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 assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Quartzsite AZ.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Trucker?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a truck driver, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Truck Driver School Quartzsite AZ
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Quartzsite AZ.
A Bit About Quartzsite Arizona
Quartzsite is a town in La Paz County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population was 3,677.
Interstate 10 runs directly through Quartzsite and is at the intersection of U.S. Route 95 and Arizona State Route 95 with I-10.
Quartzsite is located at 33°39′54″N 114°13′15″W / 33.66500°N 114.22083°W / 33.66500; -114.22083 (33.665116, −114.220913).
According to the United States Census Bureau Quartzsite is all land and has a total area of 36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2).
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