How to Find a Trucking School near Holbrook Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Holbrook AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Holbrook home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally in Arizona and within the USA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Holbrook AZ, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Holbrook AZ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Holbrook AZ trucking schools are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Holbrook AZ 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 history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona 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 ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Holbrook AZ schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the Holbrook AZ school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some 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.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide lots 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 operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Holbrook AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of Holbrook AZ truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the Holbrook AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Holbrook AZ school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career in Holbrook AZ. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted in Holbrook AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Tractor Trailer Operator?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to choose trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Truck Driving School Holbrook AZ
Picking the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to look into 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 option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Holbrook AZ.
A Bit About Holbrook Arizona
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
Holbrook was founded in 1881 or 1882, when the railroad was built, and named to honor the first chief engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs for a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon after a store and saloon was established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona