How to Find a CDL Driving School near Keams Canyon Arizona
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Keams Canyon AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Keams Canyon residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target 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 talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the United States, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Keams Canyon AZ, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 more 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a CDL School
After you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Keams Canyon AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are some more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Keams Canyon AZ trucking schools are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Keams Canyon AZ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction 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 claims 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 professionally takes time. Most Keams Canyon AZ schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the Keams Canyon AZ school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators 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 become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Keams Canyon AZ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some Keams Canyon AZ 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 provide it are called captives. So rather than having 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 free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the Keams Canyon AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Keams Canyon AZ school you choose provides 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 teacher should be willing to devote 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession in Keams Canyon AZ. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking 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 reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Keams Canyon AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask truck driving applicants is "What made you choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Trucking School Keams Canyon AZ
Selecting the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Keams Canyon AZ.
A Bit About Keams Canyon Arizona
Keams Canyon, Arizona
Pongsikya is a narrow box canyon named after a plant of edible greens that survived along the seasonal stream that drains from Antelope Mesa and flows through the three mile long canyon. Here William Keam, and then his cousin Thomas Keam, operated a trading post during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They served the Navajo Indians and opened the door to commercial trade for the Hopi Indians. The nearest trading post was some fifty miles away and Keam’s trading post was 13 miles east of the Hopi Indian’s settlements on First Mesa. With the opportunity for full year round trade nearby, the regional Indians quickly identified the canyon with the traders and the name Keams Canyon took hold.
As of the census of 2000, there were 260 people, 74 households, and 44 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 28.0 people per square mile (10.8/km²). There were 106 housing units at an average density of 11.4/sq mi (4.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 7.69% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 89.62% Native American, and 2.31% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 74 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 20.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.56.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 35.8% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 3.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 124.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 135.7 males.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona