Category Archives: Oklahoma

Commercial Drivers License Schools Weatherford OK

How to Pick the Best Truck Driving Classes near Weatherford Oklahoma

tractor truck in Weatherford OK Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Weatherford OK. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Weatherford residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Weatherford OK long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Weatherford OK, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify 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 differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive 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 CDL 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Assess a CDL School

Weatherford OK truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Weatherford OK truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as 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 carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Weatherford OK area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Weatherford OK 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 employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Oklahoma licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Oklahoma and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Weatherford OK schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of 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 regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Weatherford OK schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Weatherford OK schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Oklahoma, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Oklahoma testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Weatherford OK school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Weatherford OK employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Weatherford OK area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Commercial Drivers License Schools Weatherford Oklahoma

Weatherford OK long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available 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 Commercial Drivers License Schools and wanting information on the topic Professional Driver Training.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Weatherford OK.

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    Weatherford, Oklahoma

    Weatherford is located at 35°32′18″N 98°41′14″W / 35.53833°N 98.68722°W / 35.53833; -98.68722 (35.5384097, -98.6872467). The elevation is 1,634 feet (498 m).[2] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.44 square miles (16.7 km2).[7]

    Situated on land made available to homesteaders as part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening on April 19, 1892, Weatherford was incorporated on August 3, 1898, on a townsite location chosen by banking and civic leader Beeks Erick. By 1900, the town's population was 1,017. The town's original post office was located approximately two miles north of town, on William John and Lorinda Powell Weatherford's homestead. Lorinda Weatherford served as its postmaster and namesake. In its early years, farming and ranching provided the major economic base, with corn, cotton, and maize the major crops. Additionally, a brick plant, a cement plant, and a broom factory provided jobs as well as supplies for early residents.[8]

    As of the census[5] of 2015, there were 12,126 people, 3,991 households, and 2,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,699.3 people per square mile (656.3/km²). There were 4,468 housing units at an average density of 770.1 per square mile (297.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.7% White, 4.9% African American, 2.3% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 6.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.8% of the population.

     

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