Category Archives: Maine

CDL Training Schools Wayne ME

How to Enroll in the Right Trucking Classes near Wayne Maine

tractor truck in Wayne ME Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Wayne ME. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Wayne home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn 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 pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

Wayne ME long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Wayne ME, a driver needs to get 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 discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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). Following are short descriptions of 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. A few 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 needed 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 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a CDL School

Wayne ME truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Wayne ME truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Wayne ME area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of 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 program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Wayne ME schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Maine licensing department to verify 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 Maine and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Wayne ME schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out 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 satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide lots of 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wayne ME schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Wayne ME schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Maine, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Maine testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Wayne ME school you choose 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 dedicate 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 commitments.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Wayne ME employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Wayne ME 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 reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

CDL Training Schools Wayne Maine

Wayne ME long haul truckPicking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local 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 critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training Schools and wanting information on the topic CDL A School.  But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Wayne ME.

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