How to Pick the Best Truck Driving Classes near East Haven Connecticut
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near East Haven CT. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your East Haven home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and East Haven CT, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one 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 focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind 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 summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the East Haven CT truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the East Haven CT area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top East Haven CT schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Connecticut licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of East Haven CT schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the East Haven CT schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the East Haven CT schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Connecticut testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the East Haven CT school you enroll in provides 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 willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few East Haven CT employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other East Haven CT area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Dump Truck Training East Haven Connecticut
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets 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 Dump Truck Training and wanting information on the topic Trucking Schools. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to consider 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in East Haven CT.
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East Haven, Connecticut
East Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 29,257. Located 3 miles (5 km) east of New Haven, it is part of the Greater New Haven area. East Haven is 35 miles (56 km) from Hartford, 82 miles (132 km) from New York City, 99 miles (159 km) from Providence, Rhode Island, and 140 miles (230 km) from Boston.
The Connecticut Colony granted the town petition for Township in May 1707 and colonists changed the name from Iron Works Village to East Haven. Some outstanding land issues with New Haven and a minor feud with Governor Gurdon Saltonstall resulted in the rescinding of the township status; the area was made a parish of New Haven.
New Haven and neighboring towns such as East Haven have been destinations for a new wave of immigrants since the late 20th century, the majority of whom in East Haven are Latinos from Puerto Rico. In the 2010 census, Hispanics and Latinos made up more than 10% of the town's population.
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