How to Choose a CDL Training School near Virginia City Nevada
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Virginia City NV. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Virginia City residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Virginia City NV, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type 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 explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive 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 drive 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. Several 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 passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
When you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Virginia City NV trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Virginia City NV area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Virginia City NV schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Nevada licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Nevada and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Virginia City NV schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy 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 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 driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Virginia City NV schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver 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 best way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Virginia City NV schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Nevada, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Nevada testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Virginia City NV school you enroll in 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 spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask 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 placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Virginia City NV employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Virginia City NV area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Virginia City NV?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Virginia City Nevada area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Virginia City, Nevada
Virginia City sprang up as a boomtown with the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver deposit discovery in the United States, with numerous mines opening. At the city's peak of population in the mid-1870s, it had an estimated 25,000 residents. The mines' output declined after 1878, and the city itself declined as a result. As of the 2010 Census the population of Virginia City was about 855, and that of Storey County 4,000.
Peter O'Riley and Patrick McLaughlin are credited with the discovery of the Comstock Lode.Henry T. P. Comstock's name was associated with the discovery through his own machinations. According to folklore, James Fennimore, nicknamed Old Virginny Finney, christened the town when he tripped and broke a bottle of whiskey at a saloon entrance in the northern section of Gold Hill, soon to become Virginia City.
In another story, the Ophir Diggings were named in honor of Finney as he was "one of the first discoverers of that mining locality, and one of the most successful prospectors in that region." Finney "was the best judge of placer ground in Gold Canyon," locating the quartz footwall of the Ophir on 22 February 1858, the placers on Little Gold Hill on 28 January 1859, and the placers below Ophir in 1857.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School Virginia City NV
Choosing the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on 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 truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Virginia City NV.
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