How to Decide on the Right CDL Driving Classes near New Preston Marble Dale Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near New Preston Marble Dale CT. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your New Preston Marble Dale home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and New Preston Marble Dale CT, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose 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). Below are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed 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 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 operate 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the New Preston Marble Dale CT truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the New Preston Marble Dale 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 obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate 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 stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top New Preston Marble Dale CT schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Connecticut licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. 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 attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most New Preston Marble Dale CT schools provide training courses 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 Trainers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will furnish lots 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the New Preston Marble Dale CT schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified 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 associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the New Preston Marble Dale CT schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Connecticut testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the New Preston Marble Dale 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 particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit 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 Assistance Provided? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few New Preston Marble Dale CT employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other New Preston Marble Dale CT area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out 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 need to be submitted.
Truck Driving Training Programs New Preston Marble Dale Connecticut
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Training Programs and wanting information on the topic CDL Class B Training. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in New Preston Marble Dale CT.
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New Preston, Connecticut
New Preston is a rural village in the northwestern corner of the town of Washington in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The village is also at the center of a census-designated place (CDP), whose population was 1,110 at the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP, which includes the entire northwestern quadrant of the town of Washington, including the village of Marbledale, Mount Bushnell and Meeker Swamp, has a total area of 7.8 square miles (20 km2), of which, 7.4 square miles (19 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (5.86%) is water. The dominant geographic feature of New Preston is Lake Waramaug, which is situated just north of the New Preston village center and is the headwaters of the East Aspetuck River, which runs through the village center and over New Preston Falls. The terrain is characterized by steep hills and narrow valleys, with a preponderance of talus slopes and ledge rock.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,110 people, 439 households, and 303 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 150.1 people per square mile (58.0/km²). There were 563 housing units at an average density of 76.1 per square mile (29.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.84% White, 0.36% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.
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