How to Find a Trucking School near Arizona City Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Arizona City AZ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Arizona City residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally in Arizona and within the USA, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify 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 Arizona City AZ, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Arizona City AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Arizona City AZ trucking schools are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective 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 calls for 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Arizona City AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction 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 train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Arizona City AZ schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the Arizona City AZ school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few 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.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will provide plenty 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though 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. Check with the Arizona City AZ schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some Arizona City AZ truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive 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 having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent 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 driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the Arizona City AZ schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Arizona City AZ 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 must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new career in Arizona City AZ. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Arizona City AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving applicants is "What made you select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Truck Driving School Arizona City AZ
Picking the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation 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 several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash 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 choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Arizona City AZ.
A Bit About Arizona City Arizona
Phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,615,017 people (as of 2016[update]), Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people as of 2010[update]. In addition, Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and, at 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2), it is the largest city in the state, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" of Phoenix's economy. These industries remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable.
The city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, and has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the Valley of the Sun, as well as the entire state.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona