How to Choose a Truck Driver School near Stanfield Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Stanfield AZ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Stanfield residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick 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 talk 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 United States, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school near Stanfield AZ, we will highlight 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). Following are short summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 CDL is required to operate 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 might also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Stanfield AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Stanfield AZ trucking schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Stanfield 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 history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts 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 good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Stanfield AZ schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Stanfield AZ school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to 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.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Stanfield AZ schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from a number of Stanfield AZ truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up 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 ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arizona, find out if the Stanfield AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Stanfield 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 spend 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 must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Stanfield AZ. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed in Stanfield AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may 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 attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a truck driver, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Trucking School Stanfield AZ
Selecting the right truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced 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 firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Stanfield AZ.
A Bit About Stanfield Arizona
Stanfield is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. The population was 651 at the 2000 census.
Stanfield is located at 32°52′54″N 111°57′49″W / 32.88167°N 111.96361°W / 32.88167; -111.96361 (32.881612, -111.963473).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 651 people, 187 households, and 146 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 164.2 people per square mile (63.5/km²). There were 202 housing units at an average density of 51.0/sq mi (19.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 50.69% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 11.37% Native American, 0.92% Pacific Islander, 30.88% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 61.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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