How to Choose a Truck Driver School near South Jordan Utah
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near South Jordan UT. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your South Jordan residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll receive the right education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Utah and within the United States, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near South Jordan UT, we will discuss Class A and Class 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 brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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 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 types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
Once you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the South Jordan UT truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many South Jordan UT trucking schools are accredited because of the demanding 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 obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with 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 business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top South Jordan UT schools had to start from their first day of training, so use 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 graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Utah licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Utah and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly 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 comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most South Jordan UT schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the South Jordan UT school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish plenty of 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary among 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. Get in touch with the South Jordan UT schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of South Jordan UT trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different 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 freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Utah, ask if the South Jordan UT schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Utah testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the South Jordan UT school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career in South Jordan UT. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. 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 must be submitted in South Jordan UT.
Why Did You Want to Become a Truck Driver?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask truck driving candidates is "What compelled you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a truck driver, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Trucking School South Jordan UT
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation 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 vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in South Jordan UT.
A Bit About South Jordan Utah
South Jordan, Utah
South Jordan is a city in south central Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The city lies in the Salt Lake Valley between the 9,000-foot (2,700 m) peaks of the Oquirrh Mountains and the 12,000-foot (3,700 m) peaks of the Wasatch Mountains and is part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The Jordan River flows through the middle of the valley and the city has a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) section of the Jordan River Parkway that contains fishing ponds, trails, parks and natural habitat. Salt Lake County fair grounds and equestrian park, 67-acre (27 ha) Oquirrh Lake and 27 other parks are located inside the city. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 50,418.
The city was founded 18 miles (29 km) south of Salt Lake City along the banks of the Jordan River in 1859 by Mormon settlers. An agrarian town for most of its history, today it is a rapidly growing bedroom community of Salt Lake City. Kennecott Land, a land development company, has recently begun construction on the master-planned Daybreak Community for the entire western half of South Jordan. Daybreak could potentially double South Jordan's population. South Jordan is the first city in the world with two temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Jordan River Utah Temple and Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple). The city has two TRAX light rail stops, as well as one commuter rail stop on the FrontRunner. South Jordan is also a growing tech hub with headquarters of companies like IT software company, Ivanti
The first known inhabitants were members of the Desert Archaic Culture who were nomadic hunter-gatherers. From 400 A.D. to around 1350 A.D., the Fremont people settled into villages and farmed corn and squash. Changes in climatic conditions to a cooler, drier period and the movement into the area of ancestors of the Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone, led to the disappearance of the Fremont people. When European settlers arrived, there were no permanent Native American settlements in the Salt Lake Valley, but the area bordered several tribes – the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone to the north, the Timpanogots band of the Utes to the south in Utah Valley, and the Goshutes to the west in Tooele Valley.
The only recorded trapper to lead a party through the area was Étienne Provost, a French Canadian. In October 1824, Provost's party was lured into an Indian camp somewhere along the Jordan River north of Utah Lake. The people responsible for the attack were planning revenge against Provost's party for an earlier unexplained incident involving other trappers. Provost escaped, but his men were caught off-guard and fifteen of them were killed.
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