How to Choose a Truck Driver School near Mountain Village Alaska
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Mountain Village AK. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Mountain Village residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills 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? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Alaska and within the United States, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Mountain Village AK, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive 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. Some 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
After you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Mountain Village AK trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Mountain Village AK truck driving schools are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards 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 poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Mountain Village AK schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement 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 firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alaska licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alaska and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Mountain Village AK schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Mountain Village AK school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Mountain Village AK schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from certain Mountain Village AK trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Alaska, ask if the Mountain Village AK schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alaska testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Mountain Village AK school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty 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 employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Mountain Village AK. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out 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 recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade 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 least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Mountain Village AK.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right Trucking School Mountain Village AK
Picking the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new profession 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 many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Mountain Village AK.
A Bit About Mountain Village Alaska
Mountain Village, Alaska
Mountain Village (Asaacarsaq in Central Yup'ik) is a city in Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, United States, located on the Yukon River near the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. At the 2000 census the population was 755.
As of the census of 2000, there were 755 people, 183 households, and 146 families residing in the city. The population density was 173.7 people per square mile (67.0/km²). There were 211 housing units at an average density of 48.5 per square mile (18.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 6.36% White, 90.46% Native American, 0.13% Pacific Islander, and 3.05% from two or more races. 0.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 183 households out of which 56.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.13 and the average family size was 4.69.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 42.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.
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