Category Archives: North Carolina

Getting Your CDL Wilkesboro NC

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Wilkesboro North Carolina

tractor truck in Wilkesboro NC Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Wilkesboro NC. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Wilkesboro residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder 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?

Wilkesboro NC long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Wilkesboro NC, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 short summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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 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 need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Wilkesboro NC truck driving schoolWhen you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Wilkesboro NC truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Wilkesboro NC area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Wilkesboro NC schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search 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 boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the North Carolina licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in North Carolina and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Wilkesboro NC schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several 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 crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Wilkesboro NC schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Wilkesboro NC schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in North Carolina, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at North Carolina testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Wilkesboro NC school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Wilkesboro NC employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Wilkesboro NC area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Getting Your CDL Wilkesboro North Carolina

Wilkesboro NC long haul truckSelecting the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Getting Your CDL and wanting information on the topic How To Obtain A Class B CDL.  However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Wilkesboro NC.

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    Wilkesboro, North Carolina

    Wilkesboro is a town in and the county seat of Wilkes County, North Carolina.[5] The population was 3,413 at the 2010 census.[6] The town is located along the south bank of the Yadkin River, directly opposite the town of North Wilkesboro. Wilkesboro is the home of the annual MerleFest festival.

    Wilkesboro was founded in 1800 and quickly designated as the county seat. The town is built atop a low, broad ridge which runs for over a mile along the south bank of the Yadkin River. For many decades a popular historic spot in Wilkesboro was the "Tory Oak", a large oak tree from which Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a well-known Wilkes County patriot during the American Revolutionary War, hung Loyalist militia leaders who supported the British King and opposed American independence from Britain. The oak was located behind the old Wilkes County courthouse. During the American Civil War many of Wilkesboro's residents remained loyal to the Union and opposed the Confederacy. In March 1865 General George Stoneman, a Union cavalry leader, led a raid through the town. Shortly after the war ended, Tom Dula (Dooley), a Confederate veteran, was tried and hanged for the murder of his fiancee, Laura Foster. Many people were convinced that one of Dula's jealous ex-girlfriends murdered Foster, and that Dula was innocent of the crime. Dula's story was turned into a top-selling ballad in 1958 by the Kingston Trio, the song was entitled "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley". The story was subsequently turned into a 1959 movie starring Michael Landon as Dula, and each summer the Wilkes Playmakers present a popular play based on the story.

    The Robert Cleveland Log House, Downtown Wilkesboro Historic District, Federal Building, J. T. Ferguson Store, Thomas B. Finley Law Office, J. L. Hemphill House, Johnson-Hubbard House, Old Wilkes County Jail, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Cemetery, Wilkes County Courthouse, Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church, and Wilkesboro-Smithey Hotel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7]

     

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