How to Pick the Best CDL Driving Classes near Voluntown Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Voluntown CT. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Voluntown residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified 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 address 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 Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Voluntown CT, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver 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 address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Following are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 needed 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Voluntown CT truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Voluntown CT area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Voluntown CT schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Connecticut licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving 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 professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Voluntown CT schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide ample 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, 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. Although driving time varies between 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. Get in touch with the Voluntown CT schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking 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 offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally 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 be sure to ask if the Voluntown CT schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are looking at 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 centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Voluntown 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 certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Voluntown CT employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Voluntown CT area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Bus Driver Training Voluntown Connecticut
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new vocation 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Bus Driver Training and wanting information on the topic Dump Truck Training School. However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to look into 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 select an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Voluntown CT.
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The town was named for the English volunteers in the 1675 Indian wars (King Philip's War) who stayed to fight "and went not away". One of the original founders of Voluntown was Lieutenant Thomas Leffingwell, who secured the town's approval in the colonial legislature and surveyed its original layout. Maj. General Benedict Arnold, the infamous Revolutionary War turncoat was a landholder.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.8 square miles (103 km2). 38.9 square miles (101 km2) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) of it (2.14%) is covered by surface water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,528 people, 952 households, and 702 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.0 people per square mile (25.1/km²). There were 1,091 housing units at an average density of 28.0 per square mile (10.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.64% White, 0.55% African American, 0.99% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.40% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population. 13.2% were of English, 12.5% French Canadian, 11.5% Irish, 9.2% American, 8.9% French, 8.0% Polish, 7.6% Italian, 7.3% German and 5.6% Finnish ancestry according to Census 2000.
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