How to Pick the Best CDL Driving Classes near Theriot Louisiana
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Theriot LA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to think about before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Theriot residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover 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 Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Theriot LA, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will focus on 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 brief explanations of the 2 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 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Theriot LA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Theriot LA area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an 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 fulfill 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 ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Theriot LA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Louisiana licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Louisiana and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Theriot LA schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide sufficient 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 driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Theriot LA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as 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 tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Theriot LA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Louisiana, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Louisiana testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Theriot LA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend 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 obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Theriot LA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Theriot LA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance 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 must be completed.
Truck Driver Training Program Theriot Louisiana
Picking the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driver Training Program and wanting information on the topic How To Choose A Truck Driver School. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to consider 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 enroll in 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 no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Theriot LA.
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A shortstop in college, Theriot was converted to second base for his major league debut, but played shortstop throughout the 2007–2009 seasons. Theriot then was switched back to second base to make room for the rookie Starlin Castro, who took his spot at shortstop on May 7, 2010. Theriot also played third base, right field, and left field.
Theriot graduated from Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge, La in 1998. While there he played 3 seasons on the basketball team as a point guard and 4 seasons on the baseball team as a shortstop. He was a highly decorated baseball player, so he opted to not play basketball during his senior year of high school to focus on his baseball skills. While at Broadmoor he played alongside childhood friends, Mike Woods and Trae Duncan, and together they set Louisiana High School Athletic Association history by becoming All American infielders from the same high school. They all later became 1st team All State for class 4A at third base, shortstop, and second base, becoming the first trio to earn such awards.
Theriot played college baseball at Louisiana State University and was named to the College World Series all-tournament team in 2000. On June 12, 2000, Theriot broke up a no-hitter that was being thrown by his future teammate, Mark Prior, then pitching for Southern Cal.