How to Find a Truck Driver School near Wellborn Florida
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Wellborn FL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Wellborn residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll receive the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Wellborn FL, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief descriptions for the two 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 greater 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 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. 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 operate certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Wellborn FL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, 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 factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are several more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Wellborn FL area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Wellborn FL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Florida licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Florida and hire instructors 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 higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is especially 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 drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Wellborn FL 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 already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers 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 standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through 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 good truck driver school will furnish 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Wellborn FL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Wellborn FL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Florida, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Florida testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Wellborn FL school you select 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 teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Wellborn FL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Wellborn FL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wellborn FL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wellborn Florida area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Wellborn is an unincorporated community in Suwannee County, Florida, United States. Wellborn is located near U.S. Route 90 (State Road 10), 11 miles (18 km) east-southeast of Live Oak. It also includes County Roads 137 and 250. Wellborn has a post office with ZIP code 32094.
Pick the Right CDL School Wellborn FL
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation 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 a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Wellborn FL.
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