How to Choose a Trucking School near Mayer Arizona
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Mayer AZ. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Mayer residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Arizona and within the United States, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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 choose a truck driver school near Mayer AZ, 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the two 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 more 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 required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 might also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
Once you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Mayer AZ truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are a few additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Mayer AZ truck driver schools are accredited due to the stringent process and expense 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 certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Mayer AZ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arizona licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arizona and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Mayer AZ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the Mayer AZ school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish ample 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 necessary training methods, they are no replacement 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 good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Mayer AZ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of Mayer AZ truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free 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 starting out. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arizona, find out if the Mayer AZ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arizona testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Mayer AZ school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new career in Mayer AZ. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out 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 lower job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance 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 must be submitted in Mayer AZ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask truck driving prospects is "What made you decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Best CDL School Mayer AZ
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the appropriate 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 consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced 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 choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Mayer AZ.
A Bit About Mayer Arizona
Mayer is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,408 at the 2000 census. Mayer includes three sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Mayer Apartments, Mayer Business Block, and Mayer Red Brick Schoolhouse.
From May to June 1942, 245 Japanese Americans were confined at the Mayer Assembly Center, one of 17 temporary detention camps built to hold Japanese Americans removed from the West Coast after the U.S. entered World War II. The 69 families were mostly from Maricopa County's Salt River Valley area, and lived in military-style barracks on the converted Civilian Conservation Corps camp for just under a month before being transferred to the more permanent and isolated internment camp at Poston, Arizona.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,408 people, 585 households, and 379 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 70.2 people per square mile (27.1/km²). There were 714 housing units at an average density of 35.6 per square mile (13.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 93.82% White, 1.21% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 2.63% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 8.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 585 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.94.
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