How to Choose a CDL Training School near Vicco Kentucky
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Vicco KY. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what 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 variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Vicco home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your objective 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 purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Kentucky and within the USA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Vicco KY, we will highlight Class A and 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 short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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. 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Vicco KY trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Vicco KY trucking schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Vicco KY schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Kentucky licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Kentucky and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Vicco KY schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the Vicco KY school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to 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.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Vicco KY schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some Vicco KY truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement 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 affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Kentucky, find out if the Vicco KY schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Kentucky testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Vicco KY school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Vicco KY. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are comparable to 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 aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted in Vicco KY.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a truck driver, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Best Truck Driver School Vicco KY
Picking the right truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local 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 vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select 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 obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Vicco KY.
A Bit About Vicco Kentucky
Vicco is a home rule-class city in Perry County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 334 at the 2010 census. On January 16, 2013, Vicco became the smallest city in the United States to pass an ordinance outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Vicco was originally a coal mining town; its name comes from the initials of the Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company. The city was known for its bars and entertainment; The New York Times described it as "the local coal miner's Vegas." The decline of the coal industry in the region brought economic trouble to Vicco, as local businesses closed and the city faced severe budget deficits. However, the city has recently attempted a revival, having restarted its defunct police force among other measures.
Vicco is located at 37°12′58″N 83°3′40″W / 37.21611°N 83.06111°W / 37.21611; -83.06111 (37.216186, -83.061089).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.
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