How to Choose a Truck Driving School near Camp Verde Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Camp Verde AZ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Camp Verde home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the United States, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Camp Verde AZ, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate 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 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 more 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 operators may be qualified to drive 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 types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Camp Verde AZ trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are several additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Camp Verde AZ truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training 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 driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed 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 Camp Verde AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention 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 claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Camp Verde AZ schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Camp Verde AZ school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Camp Verde AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from certain Camp Verde AZ trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous 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 freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the Camp Verde AZ schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Camp Verde AZ school you select offers 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 instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession in Camp Verde AZ. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating 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 employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted in Camp Verde AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask truck driving prospects is "What made you decide on trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a trucker, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Truck Driving School Camp Verde AZ
Picking the right truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to look into 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 firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Camp Verde AZ.
A Bit About Camp Verde Arizona
Camp Verde, Arizona
The town hosts an annual corn festival in July, sponsored and organized by Hauser and Hauser Farms. Other annual festivals include Fort Verde Days (October); the Pecan, Wine and Antiques Festival (February); and the Crawdad Festival (June).
The 42.6 sq mi (110 km2) town is intersected by I-17, extending 8 miles (13 km) to the West and 10 miles (16 km) to the East of the interstate. Three freeway exits provide local access: Exits 285, 287, and 289. The Town's Historic Downtown is approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) from I-17 and contains a grocery store, physician facilities, shopping, dining, historical museum, Fort Verde State Historic Park, chamber of commerce/visitor center and town offices. Camp Verde is located at 34°34′0″N 111°51′22″W / 34.56667°N 111.85611°W / 34.56667; -111.85611 (34.566713, -111.856194).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.6 square miles (110 km2), of which, 42.6 square miles (110 km2) of it is land and 0.02% is water. It is in the Verde River valley. To the southwest lie the Black Hills mountain range. Camp Verde is surrounded by Prescott National Forest. The Mogollon Rim is just north of the town and forms the southwestern edge of the large, geologically ancient Colorado Plateau.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,451 people, 2,611 households, and 2,538 families residing in the town. The population density was 222.0 people per square mile (85.7/km²). There were 3,969 housing units at an average density of 93.2 per square mile (36.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.05% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 7.31% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 2.23% from two or more races. 10.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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