How to Find a Trucking School near Vernon Texas
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Vernon TX. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Vernon home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Texas and within the USA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Vernon TX, we will focus on 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 summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 required to drive 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
After you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Vernon TX truck driving schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Vernon TX trucking schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given 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 curriculum and training will meet 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 reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Vernon TX schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Texas licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Texas and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater 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 concerning 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 relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Vernon TX schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the Vernon TX school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Vernon TX schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of Vernon TX trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Texas, find out if the Vernon TX schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Texas testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Vernon TX school you select 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 instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession in Vernon TX. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other 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 assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted in Vernon TX.
Why Did You Want to Be a Trucker?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask truck driving applicants is "What made you choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to trucking, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Best CDL School Vernon TX
Selecting the right truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold 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 receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Vernon TX.
A Bit About Vernon Texas
Mount Vernon, Texas
Mount Vernon started as a settlement near the Fanning Springs (on Holbrook Street south of the present town square). Affidavits filed to establish land titles soon after the Texas Revolution document the settlement by squatters in Spanish Texas commencing in 1818.
By 1848 the United States government established a post office, and in 1849 a formal town site was laid out on land donated by Stephen and Rebecca Keith for the town of Mount Vernon. Since there were two other Mount Vernons in Texas, the post office was called "Keith" and then "Lone Star" before the name "Mount Vernon" became available in 1875. Franklin County was carved out of Titus County in 1875, and Mount Vernon was elected county seat in competition with other communities.
The county's economy was based in agriculture with corn and cotton, followed by over 500,000 peach trees in production in the 1920s, watermelons in the 1930s, and the state's top record production of cane syrup in the 1940s. The 1936 discovery of oil on C.G. Hughes' land in the north part of the county led to a more diversified economy, with oil production continuing today combined with light industry, manufacturing, and diverse agricultural endeavors. Mount Vernon, as county seat, was assured a continuing vital existence as the economic center for the county. The town boasted churches, doctors, lawyers, and many varied stores in a time before people had the ability to travel far. The town voted to incorporate in 1910 under a mayor/council form of government. In 1911 a bond issue was passed to create a public waterworks. Electric and gas utility service followed.
The downtown area reflects a small-town atmosphere. The central plaza has a picturesque gazebo and park benches. On the north side of the square is a classical revival 1912 white limestone courthouse with a chiming clock tower. The courthouse recently underwent an extensive restoration as part of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and has been returned to its 1912 grandeur.
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