How to Pick a Trucking School near Freedom Wyoming
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Freedom WY. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Freedom residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll receive the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Wyoming and within the USA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Freedom WY, we will address Class A and Class 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 descriptions 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. 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 more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Freedom WY truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Freedom WY truck driver schools are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Freedom WY schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships 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 get in touch with the Wyoming licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Wyoming and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Freedom WY schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the Freedom WY school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Freedom WY schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some Freedom WY trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Wyoming, ask if the Freedom WY schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Wyoming testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Freedom WY 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 particular 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Freedom WY. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed in Freedom WY.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What made you choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a trucker, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing 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 interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Right Trucking School Freedom WY
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Freedom WY.
A Bit About Freedom Wyoming
Michael Duncan Wyly (born c. 1939) is a retired U.S. Marine Colonel. In 1979, Colonel Wyly was head of tactics at the Amphibious Warfare School (AWS) where he, with John Boyd, introduced maneuver warfare.
Wyly enlisted as a Marine private in 1957. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1958 and graduated in 1962 as Second Lieutenant of Marines. He served as Jim Webb's company commander in the Vietnam War. He co-wrote the Maneuver Warfare Handbook for the Marine Corps with William Lind.
He was Executive Director of Bossov Ballet Theatre, a non-profit ballet company in Pittsfield, Maine until the end of 2013. Wyly's role as director of a Ballet school is seen as unusual for a former Marine and has been the subject of articles in the Wall Street Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Wyly's views were criticized in a July 1997 Atlantic Monthly article "The Widening Gap Between the Military and Society" by Thomas E. Ricks. "It is one matter to acknowledge that much in American society today is deserving of contempt. It is another matter to propose that the role of the U.S. military -- especially an all-volunteer professional military oriented toward conservative Republicanism -- is to fix those problems. Yet that is what some are doing." Ricks then quotes Wyly from the March, 1995, issue of the Marine Corps Gazette. "It is no longer enough for Marines to 'reflect' the society they defend, They must lead it, not politically but culturally. For it is the culture we are defending." 
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