If you're considering a career in truck driving, Yuma may be the city for you. This city has a thriving truck driving industry that sends truck drivers to other Arizona cities or even other states. There may be lots of opportunities for new drivers, ranging from local and regional routes to over-the-road positions that require long stints away from home. To find out more about training for a truck driving career, contact the schools listed in your area to request information.
The first step, though, is looking into truck driving schools in Yuma. There are several program options in this city, including employer-based training and independent trucking schools. You'll have to first decide whether you want a CDL-A or a Class B CDL before you can select the right program for you.
Trucking schools in Yuma all have the same goal: to prepare you for the licensing exams required in the state of Arizona. If you're pursuing a Class A CDL, you can plan on learning how to drive on a multi-combination vehicle. Those who plan on earning a Class B CDL may get their driving practice behind the wheel of a single vehicle.
As you begin your CDL training in Yuma, you'll learn about the various restrictions put in place for CDL drivers. The Arizona Department of Transportation requires applicants to provide the following documents:
• Medical Examiner Certificate
• Social security card
• Current driver's license
• Proof of legal residency in the United States
• Documentation of one year of driving experience
If you want additional endorsements on your CDL, you must take additional knowledge tests and written tests. The Arizona Department of Transportation lists the following available endorsements:
• Bus/school bus driver
• Passenger endorsement
• Multiple, double, or triple trailer
Your training, whether you're earning a Class B CDL or Class A CDL, will likely focus on practical experience. Before the state of Arizona will administer you a CDL, you must demonstrate your ability to safely navigate a big rig on the road. This involves applying for a learner's permit and using your learner's permit to attend driving school. CDL programs in Yuma can teach you how to park, back up, drive straight, drive on winding roads, and navigate highways.
The job outlook in Yuma is extremely positive. There are many companies in Arizona that have a significant truck driver shortage. O*Net expects job openings for light truck drivers to increase by 21% between 2012 and 2012, a growth rate that's 17% higher than the national average. For heavy truck drivers, job openings are expected to grow by 19% in the same time frame (O*Net, 2012).
Salaries in Yuma are fairly similar to the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that light truck drivers in this area earn an average salary of $37,190 per year. The median income for heavy truck drivers is $35,610 per year (BLS, 2013).
There are quite a few truck driving employers in Yuma, due to the driver shortage across the state. Before you start applying for jobs, it's important to decide whether you want to drive in and near Yuma, throughout Arizona, or around the country. Local drivers may drive during the day and spend every evening at home. If you become a regional driver, it's likely that you'll drive long distances, spend a night away from home, and return the next day. Over-the-road driving often involves spending one to two weeks away from home at one time. Major employers in Yuma include C.R. England, Swift Transportation, CRST Expedited, and Republic Services.
To learn more about the trucking industry and community in Yuma, you may wish to join the Arizona Trucking Association. This group can help you get more from your career by offering educational seminars, networking events, licensing services, and compliance assistance.