How to Choose the Best Truck Driving School near East Glastonbury Connecticut
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near East Glastonbury CT. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your East Glastonbury home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and East Glastonbury CT, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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). Following are short descriptions for the 2 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 might also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of researching the East Glastonbury CT trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the East Glastonbury CT area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 fulfill 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 be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of East Glastonbury CT schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Connecticut licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of East Glastonbury CT schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified 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 vital that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, 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 necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the East Glastonbury CT schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of 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 freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the East Glastonbury CT schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Connecticut testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the East Glastonbury CT school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask 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 placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few East Glastonbury CT employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other East Glastonbury CT area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Local CDL Training East Glastonbury Connecticut
Choosing the right truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Local CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Driving Truck School. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in East Glastonbury CT.
Truck On in These Other Connecticut Locations
Glastonbury is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, formally founded in 1693 with settlers first arriving in 1636. The town was named after Glastonbury in Somerset, England. Glastonbury is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Hartford. The town center is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). The population was 34,427 at the 2010 census.
In 1636, thirty families were settled in Pyaug, a tract of land belonging to Wethersfield on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, bought from the Native American chief Sowheag for 12 yards (11 m) of trading cloth. In 1672, Wethersfield and Hartford were granted permission by the General Court to extend the boundary line of Pyaug 5 miles (8 km) to the east. By 1690, residents of Pyaug had gained permission from Wethersfield to become a separate town and, in 1693, the town of Glassenbury was created.
The ties have not been completely broken: the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States still runs between South Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, also then part of Wethersfield, as it did as far back as 1655. One result of being split off from Wethersfield was that the town was built along a main road, rather than around the large green that anchors most New England towns. After part of New London Turnpike was realigned to eliminate the rotary in the middle of town during the mid-20th century, a small green was established there.
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