How to Find a Truck Driver School near Congress Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Congress AZ. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Congress residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance 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 Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the USA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school near Congress AZ, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind 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 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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. 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
After you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Congress AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Congress AZ trucking schools are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Congress AZ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss 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 receiving the individual attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Congress AZ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the Congress AZ school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide plenty 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 driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Congress AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from certain Congress AZ truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement 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 maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the Congress AZ schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Congress AZ school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession in Congress AZ. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed in Congress AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask truck driving applicants is "What compelled you to pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a truck driver, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Right CDL School Congress AZ
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape 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 obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Congress AZ.
A Bit About Congress Arizona
Congress is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. Once a gold-mining center and then a ghost town, Congress now serves as a retirement and bedroom community for nearby Wickenburg. The population was 1,717 at the 2000 census.
Gold was discovered at Congress in 1884. By 1893, the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway passed within three miles of the mine, at Congress Junction. Congress boomed, and remained prosperous until the mid-1930s, when the mines closed. Total gold production at the Congress Mine exceeded $8 million, at the then-current price of $20.67 per ounce—or about $400 million, at the 2007 price.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 37.7 square miles (98 km2), of which, 37.6 square miles (97 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.08%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,717 people, 821 households, and 579 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 45.6 people per square mile (17.6/km²). There were 1,070 housing units at an average density of 28.4 per square mile (11.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.92% White, 0.52% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 1.81% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. 7.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona