How to Find a Truck Driving School near Wellsville Kansas
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Wellsville KS. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Wellsville residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally in Kansas and within the USA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Wellsville KS, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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 brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive 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 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. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Wellsville KS trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Wellsville KS truck driving schools are accredited because of the demanding process and expense 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 certain advantages. Prospective students know 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 actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Wellsville KS schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Kansas licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Kansas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Wellsville KS schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s imperative 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 prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to visit the Wellsville KS school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish sufficient 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 necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs 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 Wellsville KS schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of Wellsville KS trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Kansas, ask if the Wellsville KS schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Kansas testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Wellsville KS school you choose 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 instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career in Wellsville KS. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed in Wellsville KS.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Truck Driver?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Truck Driving School Wellsville KS
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Wellsville KS.
A Bit About Wellsville Kansas
Wellsville is a city in Franklin County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,857.
Wellsville was platted in 1870. The town was named after D.L. Wells, a railroad construction engineer.
The first post office in Wellsville was established in October 1870.
In 1893, baseball star Charlie Bennett went hunting with pitcher John Clarkson. Bennett got off the train in Wellsville to speak to an acquaintance; when he tried to reboard, he slipped and fell under the train's wheels. Bennett lost both legs in the accident. He was fitted with artificial limbs but his baseball career was over; he lived until 1927.
More Cities of Interest in Kansas