How to Decide on a Trucking School near Anaktuvuk Pass Alaska
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Anaktuvuk Pass AK. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Anaktuvuk Pass residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Anaktuvuk Pass AK, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short 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 greater 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 CDL is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Anaktuvuk Pass AK truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Anaktuvuk Pass AK area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Anaktuvuk Pass AK schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships 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 placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alaska licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alaska and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Anaktuvuk Pass AK schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs among 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. Get in touch with the Anaktuvuk Pass AK schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Anaktuvuk Pass AK schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alaska, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alaska testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Anaktuvuk Pass AK school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty 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 holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Anaktuvuk Pass AK employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Anaktuvuk Pass AK area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Anaktuvuk Pass AK?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Anaktuvuk Pass Alaska area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska
Anaktuvuk Pass (Inupiaq: Anaqtuuvak, IPA: [ɐnɑqtuːvɐk], Anaqtuġvik, or Naqsraq, IPA: [naχʂɑq]) is a city in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 282 at the 2000 census and 324 as of the 2010 census.
There was a nomadic group of Inupiat called Nunamiut that lived inland in northern Alaska and lived by hunting caribou instead of the marine mammals and fish hunted by the rest of the Inupiat, who live on the coast. The Nunamiut traded with the coastal people for other items they needed. A decline in caribou populations in about 1900 and in the 1920s caused many Nunamiut to move to the coastal villages. In 1938, several families of Nunamiut moved back to the Brooks Range, around Tulugak and the Killik River. In 1949 the Killik River group moved to Tulugak Lake, fifteen miles north of where the village lies today. Anaktuvuk Pass is the only Nunamiut settlement.
This settlement attracted Inupiaq people from many other locations, and villagers today lead a somewhat more sedentary lifestyle than in earlier nomadic times. The City was incorporated in 1959. A Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1966.
Select the Right Trucking School Anaktuvuk Pass AK
Picking the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local 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 crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving 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 soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Anaktuvuk Pass AK.
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