How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Wayland Kentucky
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Wayland KY. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Wayland residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective 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 ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Wayland KY, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Wayland KY trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must 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 following are several additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Wayland KY area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking 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. On the other hand, even the top Wayland KY schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. 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 stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Kentucky licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Kentucky and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train 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 Wayland KY schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor 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. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Wayland KY schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Wayland KY schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Kentucky, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Kentucky testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV regards 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 short term, it’s essential that the Wayland KY school you choose offers 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 willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing 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 hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Wayland KY employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Wayland KY area 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 get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wayland KY?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wayland Kentucky area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
In 1913, the Elk Horn Coal Company established the town of Wayland, which they named after Clarence Wayland Watson, the president of the company. The next year on May 18, the town post office was established. Wayland was incorporated as a sixth-class city in 1923.
Wayland is located in southwestern Floyd County at 37°26′43″N 82°48′4″W / 37.44528°N 82.80111°W / 37.44528; -82.80111 (37.445289, -82.801131), in the valleys of the Right Fork Beaver Creek and its tributary, Steele Creek. Kentucky Route 7 passes through the city, leading north (downstream along the Right Fork) 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Garrett and south (upstream) 9 miles (14 km) to Topmost.
As of the census of 2000, there were 298 people, 118 households, and 86 families residing in the city. The population density was 430.6 people per square mile (166.8/km²). There were 133 housing units at an average density of 192.2 per square mile (74.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.66% White, and 0.34% from two or more races.
Choose the Right Truck Driver School Wayland KY
Selecting the right truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Wayland KY.
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