How to Decide on the Best CDL Driving School near Canton Connecticut
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Canton CT. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Canton home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the optimal method to ensure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Canton CT, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are short explanations for the 2 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 operate 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. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 drive specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Canton CT truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Canton CT area are accredited because of the stringent 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Canton CT schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Connecticut licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Canton CT schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Canton CT schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific 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 maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Canton CT schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Connecticut testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized 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 duration, it’s imperative that the Canton CT school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Canton CT employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Canton CT area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Class B CDL School Canton Connecticut
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession 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 several options available 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 Class B CDL School and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving School Prices. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Canton CT.
Truck On in These Other Connecticut Locations
Canton is a town, incorporated in 1806, in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,840 at the 2000 census and 10,292 as of the 2010 census. It is bordered by Granby on the north, Simsbury on the east, Avon and Burlington on the south, New Hartford on the west, and Barkhamsted on the northwest. Running through it is the Farmington River. The town includes the villages of North Canton, Canton Center, Canton (Canton Valley), and Collinsville. In September 2007, Collinsville was ranked in Budget Travel magazine as one of the "Ten Coolest Small Towns In America".
The name was taken from Canton, China. Other towns such as Canton, Massachusetts and Canton, Ohio have used the name for the town. It separated from Simsbury in 1806. At the Collins ax factory in Collinsville, Elisha Root invented the important industrial technique of die casting.
The Canton Historical Museum in Collinsville is located in a building of the former Collins Axe Company, founded by Samuel W. Collins and one of the first ax factories in the world. It displays a 19th-century general store, a post office, a printing press and blacksmith and barber shops. Vehicles, tools and farm implements are also exhibited, as well as a working railroad diorama, Victorian fashions, toys and dolls.
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