How to Decide on a CDL Driving School near Eloy Arizona
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Eloy AZ. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Eloy residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective 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 objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the United States, an operator needs to attain 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. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Eloy AZ, 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 needed 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. Several 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 might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Eloy AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Eloy AZ truck driver schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Eloy AZ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining 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 associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. 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 getting the individual attention 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 drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Eloy AZ schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Eloy AZ school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide plenty of 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Eloy AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some Eloy AZ trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, ask if the Eloy AZ schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Eloy AZ 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 particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession in Eloy AZ. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver 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 need to be submitted in Eloy AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Tractor Trailer Operator?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Best Trucking School Eloy AZ
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is a critical 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 forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, 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 entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Eloy AZ.
A Bit About Eloy Arizona
According to the U.S. Census of 2000, the city has a total area of 98.9 square miles (256 km2). The city offers a varied range of community facilities for its citizens. Outside the city limits, the city has a planning area of almost 560 square miles (1,500 km2).
As of the census of 2011, there were 16,964 people, 2,492 households, and 1,988 families residing in Eloy. The population density was 144.8 people per square mile (55.9/km²). There were 2,734 housing units at an average density of 38.1 per square mile (14.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58% Hispanic or Latino, 5.32% Black or African American, 41% White, 4.48% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 31.48% from other races, and 4.71% from two or more races.
There were 2,492 households out of which 50.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 21.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.2% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 3.94.
In the city, the population was spread out with 33.7% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 15.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 137.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 154.8 males.
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