How to Decide on the Right Trucker School near Andover Connecticut
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Andover CT. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Andover home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Andover CT, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes 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 discuss Class A and 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 descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive 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 might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Andover CT truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Andover CT area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Andover CT schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Connecticut licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Andover CT schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Andover CT schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations 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 flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Andover CT schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Connecticut, find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 Connecticut testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Andover CT school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Andover CT employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Andover CT area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Truck Driving School Near Me Andover Connecticut
Picking the right truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving School Near Me and wanting information on the topic Trucking Classes. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Andover CT.
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.7 square miles (41 km2), of which, 15.5 square miles (40 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.53%) is water. Most of the water of that is Andover Lake.
As of the 2010 United States Census Andover had a population of 3,303. The racial composition of the population was 95.9% white, 1.1% black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.5% from some other race and 1.2% reporting two or more race. 1.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,036 people, 1,150 households, and 861 families residing in the town. The population density was 196.4 people per square mile (75.8/km²). There were 1,198 housing units at an average density of 77.5 per square mile (29.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.64% White, 0.92% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.55% of the population.
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