How to Find a CDL Training School near Cortaro Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Cortaro AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Cortaro residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the United States, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near Cortaro 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below 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 more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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. 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 operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Cortaro AZ truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Cortaro AZ truck driving schools are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Cortaro AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. 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 higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Cortaro AZ schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the Cortaro AZ school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide plenty of 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 important 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 between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Cortaro AZ schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from certain Cortaro AZ truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations 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 have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arizona, find out if the Cortaro AZ schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Arizona testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Cortaro AZ school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Cortaro AZ. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio 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 few employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Cortaro AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask truck driving applicants is "What compelled you to pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a truck driver, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Right Truck Driving School Cortaro AZ
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge 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. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Cortaro AZ.
A Bit About Cortaro Arizona
Cortaro is a neighborhood of Marana, Arizona in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Cortaro is located along Interstate 10 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Tucson. Cortaro has a post office with ZIP code 85652.
More Cities of Interest in Arizona