How to Pick the Best Truck Driving School near Bethel Connecticut
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Bethel CT. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Bethel residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal method to ensure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss 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 Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Bethel CT, an operator needs to attain 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 pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. Several 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 operate 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. Some 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 may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Bethel CT trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Bethel CT area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Bethel CT schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Connecticut licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Bethel CT schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. 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 furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Bethel CT schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Bethel CT schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Connecticut testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Bethel CT school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start 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 grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Bethel CT employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Bethel CT area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Bus Driver Training Bethel Connecticut
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 Bus Driver Training and wanting information on the topic Dump Truck Training School. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about 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 option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Bethel CT.
Truck On in These Other Connecticut Locations
Bethel (/ˈbɛθəl/) is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, about 69 miles (111 km) from New York City. Its population was 18,584 at the 2010 census. The town center is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). The core area of the town center has also been designated as a historic district
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.9 square miles (44 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (44 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.53%, is water. The CDP corresponding to the town center has a total area of 4.1 square miles (11 km2), all land. Bethel borders Redding to the south, Danbury to the west, Brookfield to the north, and Newtown to the east.
As of the 2010 census Bethel had a population of 18,584. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 88.8% white, 1.8% black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 2.8% from some other race and 1.9% from two or more races. 7.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino from any race.
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