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Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Wheelersburg OH

How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Wheelersburg Ohio

Wheelersburg OH truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Wheelersburg OH. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income 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 assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Wheelersburg residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest 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 Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Wheelersburg OHTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wheelersburg OH, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify 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 Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations of the 2 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 may also require endorsements to drive certain types 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 qualified to operate.

How to Research a Trucking School

Questions to ask Wheelersburg OH truck driving schoolsOnce you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Wheelersburg OH truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location 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 instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional factors that you should research while conducting 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 Wheelersburg OH area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks 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 rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Wheelersburg OH schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Ohio licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Ohio and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following 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 receiving the individual instruction 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Wheelersburg OH schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great 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 operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Wheelersburg OH schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Wheelersburg OH 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 allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Ohio, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Ohio testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Wheelersburg OH school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. 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 obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Wheelersburg OH employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Wheelersburg OH area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wheelersburg OH?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wheelersburg Ohio area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Wheelersburg, Ohio

Wheelersburg is a census-designated place (CDP) in Scioto County, Ohio, United States. It lies along the northern banks of the Ohio River in southern Ohio. Wheelersburg is approximately 7 miles (11 km) east of Portsmouth and 14 miles (23 km) west of Ironton. It is in Porter Township. The population was 6,437 at the 2010 census.[3]

Wheelersburg was originally called Concord, and under the latter name was platted in 1824.[4] The present name honors Major Porter Wheeler, a pioneer settler.[4] By 1833, Wheelersburg had about 150 inhabitants.[5] A post office called Wheelersburgh was established in 1879, and the name was changed to Wheelersburg in 1893.[6]

Wheelersburg suffered an F5 (maximum wind speeds of 261–318 miles per hour) tornado on April 23, 1968, in which seven people were killed and 93 people injured, costing nearly $5 million in damages. Wheelersburg is below the Ohio state average for tornado activity, however.[8]

Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Wheelersburg OH

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Wheelersburg OHPicking the right trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Wheelersburg OH.

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