How to Select a CDL Training School near Joseph City Arizona
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Joseph City AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Joseph City home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally in Arizona and within the USA, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Joseph City AZ, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 needed 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 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 may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example 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 drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Joseph City AZ truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Joseph City AZ truck driving schools are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an 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 training and curriculum will comply with 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 business. A poorly ranked 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 best of Joseph City AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arizona and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized 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 professes 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 skillfully takes time. Most Joseph City AZ schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the Joseph City AZ school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. After all, 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark 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 Joseph City AZ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of Joseph City AZ trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make 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 trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, ask if the Joseph City AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arizona testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Joseph City 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 instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Joseph City AZ. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like 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 reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Joseph City AZ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a trucker, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering 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, aim 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 candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Trucking School Joseph City AZ
Choosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught 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 proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving 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 choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Joseph City AZ.
A Bit About Joseph City Arizona
Joseph City, Arizona
Joseph City (elevation 5,000 ft) is an unincorporated community located in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. It is located on Interstate 40 about eighty miles east of Flagstaff and about thirty-five miles west of Petrified Forest National Park. In 2010, there were 1,386 inhabitants.
Joseph City was settled in 1876 by colonists from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This band of 73 pioneers was led by Captain William C. Allen. They traveled to the Little Colorado River basin of Arizona. Joseph City was one of four Little Colorado River colonies. The other colonies were Brigham City, Sunset, and Obed. Joseph City is the only remaining colony.
The hardest trial for the new colonists was trying to get water for their crops. This meant that they had to try and tame the Little Colorado River. This was difficult due to the flooding season that would destroy dams along the river.The first dam was built in 1876, shortly after the colonists arrived in the area. For the next eighteen years the colonists built ten more dams. The eleventh dam was built in 1894. This dam lasted for twenty-nine years. In 1923, the eleventh dam was destroyed and the colonists were forced to build a new dam. This dam still currently stands and directs water to the inhabitants still in the city.
The name of the colony changed two times since its colonization. The area settled by Captain Allen's group was called Allen's Camp, in honor of their leader. There was a name change in January 1878 to St. Joseph. This change was brought about when the Little Colorado Stake was organized. This name was suggested in order to honor Joseph Smith founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. In 1923 there was a final name change to Joseph City. Due to mail and freight shipment confusions, the Santa Fe Railway, that also ran through Saint Joseph, Missouri, asked that St. Joseph, Arizona change its name. The residents of the town voted and the name became Joseph City.
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