How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Sun Valley Nevada
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Sun Valley NV. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Sun Valley residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal way to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Nevada and within the USA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Sun Valley NV, we will highlight Class A and 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). Following are short descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Sun Valley NV truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Sun Valley NV truck driver schools are accredited due to 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 required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks 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 typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Sun Valley NV schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Nevada licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Nevada and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Sun Valley NV schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the Sun Valley NV school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will provide plenty of 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark 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 Sun Valley NV schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain Sun Valley NV trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer 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 less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Nevada, ask if the Sun Valley NV schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Nevada testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Sun Valley NV school you select 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 teacher should be prepared to dedicate 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 accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Sun Valley NV. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed in Sun Valley NV.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask truck driving applicants is "What made you choose trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a trucker, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety 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 outstanding truck driver and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Right Truck Driver School Sun Valley NV
Selecting the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to look into 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 many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Sun Valley NV.
A Bit About Sun Valley Nevada
Sun Valley, Nevada
Sun Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Washoe County, Nevada, USA. The population was 19,299 at the 2010 census. It is north of Reno and is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Sun Valley is located at 39°35′47″N 119°46′28″W / 39.59639°N 119.77444°W / 39.59639; -119.77444 (39.596390, -119.774345).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.6 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,461 people, 6,380 households, and 4,816 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,297.2 inhabitants per square mile (500.9/km²). There were 6,703 housing units at an average density of 446.8 per square mile (172.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 79.78% White, 2.20% African American, 1.93% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.62% Pacific Islander, 9.51% from other races, and 3.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.13% of the population.
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