How to Select a Trucking School near Sandy Utah
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Sandy UT. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Sandy home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge 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 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Utah and within the United States, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Sandy UT, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 may also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Sandy UT trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Sandy UT truck driving schools are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue 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. However, even the top Sandy UT schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Utah licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Utah and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. 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 obtaining the individual instruction 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 insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Sandy UT schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to check out the Sandy UT school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. 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 provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Sandy UT schools you are considering 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 some Sandy UT trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Utah, ask if the Sandy UT schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Utah testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Sandy UT school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession in Sandy UT. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 Sandy UT.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask truck driving applicants is "What made you choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a truck driver, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Select the Best Trucking School Sandy UT
Selecting the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance 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 receive the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need to think about 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 enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Sandy UT.
A Bit About Sandy Utah
Sandy (officially known as Sandy City) is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The population was 87,461 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth-largest city in Utah.
Sandy is home to the Shops at South Town shopping mall; the Jordan Commons entertainment, office and dining complex; and the South Towne Exposition Center. It is also the location of the soccer-specific Rio Tinto Stadium, which hosts Real Salt Lake home games, and opened on October 8, 2008.
The city is currently developing an urban, walkable and transit-oriented city center called The Cairns. A formal master plan was adopted in January 2017 to accommodate regional growth and outlines developments and related guidelines through the next 25 years, while dividing the city center into distinct villages. The plan emphasizes sustainable living, walkability, human-scaled architecture, environmentally-friendly design, and nature-inspired design while managing population growth and its related challenges.
Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains thirteen miles (19 km) south of Salt Lake City, Sandy was a likely area for early settlement. The area was first used by nomadic bands of Paiute, Shoshone, and Bannock Indians who roamed along the base of the mountains as they travelled from their winter home at Utah Lake to their summer fishing grounds at Bear Lake.
More Cities of Interest in Utah