How to Choose a Truck Driver School near Parker Arizona
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Parker AZ. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Parker residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target 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 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 Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Arizona and within the USA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near Parker AZ, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 summaries for the 2 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 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 needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Parker AZ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Parker AZ trucking schools are accredited because of 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. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Parker AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arizona licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, 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. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Parker AZ schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the Parker AZ school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, 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. Although driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Parker AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from certain Parker AZ truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations 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 work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out 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 several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the Parker AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Parker AZ school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job 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 obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new career in Parker AZ. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Parker AZ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Tractor Trailer Operator?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Right CDL School Parker AZ
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an essential 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 many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about 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 choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Parker AZ.
A Bit About Parker Arizona
Parker (Mojave 'Amat Kuhwely, formerly 'Ahwe Nyava) is the county seat of La Paz County, Arizona, United States, on the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The population was 3,083 at the 2010 census.
Founded in 1908, the town was named after Ely Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government. The original town site of Parker was surveyed and laid out in 1909 by a railroad location engineer by the name of Earl. H. Parker for the Arizona & California Railway. The town officially incorporated in 1948 and became the county seat for the newly created La Paz county on January 1, 1983.
The town's name and origin began when a post office called Parker was established January 6, 1871, at Parker's Landing and the site of the Parker Indian Agency, named for Ely Parker, on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, 4 miles down river from the site of the railroad bridge of the modern town, to serve the Indian agency.:118 What became Parkers Landing was established on the river as the place to land and pick up cargo and personnel for the Indian Agency and the U. S. Army detachment that was stationed there at Camp Colorado from 1864 to 1869 during the first years of the Reservation. Camp Colorado was abandoned after wind blown sparks from the departing steamboat Cocopah rapidly burned down the brush huts of the officers of the garrison, and endangered its barracks and storehouses. :66, n.61
Parker is located at 34°8′41″N 114°17′23″W / 34.14472°N 114.28972°W / 34.14472; -114.28972 (34.144644, -114.289686).
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