How to Find a CDL Training School near Van Horn Texas
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Van Horn TX. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Van Horn home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally in Texas and within the United States, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Van Horn TX, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 drive 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Van Horn TX truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole 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 prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Van Horn TX truck driving schools are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty 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 driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Van Horn TX 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 regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Texas licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Texas and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Van Horn TX schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the Van Horn TX school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide ample 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Van Horn TX schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some Van Horn TX truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Texas, find out if the Van Horn TX schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Texas testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Van Horn TX school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession in Van Horn TX. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? 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 available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Van Horn TX.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask truck driving prospects is "What made you pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a truck driver, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Truck Driving School Van Horn TX
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is an essential 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 mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Van Horn TX.
A Bit About Van Horn Texas
Van Horn, Texas
Van Horn is a town in and the county seat of Culberson County, Texas, in the United States. According to the 2010 census, Van Horn had a population of 2,063, down from 2,435 at the 2000 census. It is the westernmost incorporated community in the Central Time Zone part of the state of Texas.
Van Horn is located in southwestern Culberson County at 31°2′33″N 104°49′59″W / 31.04250°N 104.83306°W / 31.04250; -104.83306 (31.042489, -104.832928).Interstate 10 passes through the town, leading east 120 miles (190 km) to Fort Stockton and northwest 118 miles (190 km) to El Paso. Van Horn is the western terminus of U.S. Route 90; from Van Horn it leads southeast 73 miles (117 km) to Marfa. Texas State Highway 54 leads north from Van Horn 65 miles (105 km) to Pine Springs and the Guadalupe Mountains.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all land. Threemile Peak (or Threemile Mountain), elevation 4,868 feet (1,484 m), rises to the northwest overlooking the town.
Van Horn is the westernmost town in the U.S. Central Time Zone.
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