How to Enroll in the Right CDL Training School near Staffordville Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Staffordville CT. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Staffordville residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective 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 rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Staffordville CT, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License 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 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 might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Staffordville CT trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should 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 below are some additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Staffordville CT area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Staffordville CT schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Connecticut licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Connecticut and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention 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 time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Staffordville CT schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though 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 stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide lots of 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Staffordville CT schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Staffordville CT schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Connecticut, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Connecticut testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Staffordville CT school you select offers 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 willing to commit 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 obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate 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 Staffordville CT employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Staffordville CT area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
How To Choose A CDL Driving School Staffordville Connecticut
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Choose A CDL Driving School and wanting information on the topic Semi Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider 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 trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Staffordville CT.
Truck On in These Other Connecticut Locations
Stafford is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States, settled in 1719. The population was 12,192 at the 2010 census. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford. The town most likely derives its name from Staffordshire, in England.
The Colonial Town of Stafford began as a rural agricultural community in the eastern part of Hartford County. It became part of Tolland County upon the latter's formation on 13 October 1785. The easy availability of water power from the tributaries of the Willimantic River led to industrialization, and this abundance of power helped generate local population growth. By the mid-19th century, Stafford was connected by railroad to markets across New England, and before the State Highway projects of the 1920s and 1930s, the town had a trolley connection to Rockville, CT.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.8 sq mi (152.2 km2), of which, 58.0 sq mi (150.1 km2) of it is land and 0.81 sq mi (2.1 km2) of it (1.38%) is water; it is the 3rd largest town in Connecticut based on area.
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