Category Archives: New York

Weekend CDL Training Westford NY

How to Choose the Right Trucking School near Westford New York

tractor truck in Westford NY Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Westford NY. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Westford residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover 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 CDL Will You Require?

Westford NY long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Westford NY, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight 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 brief explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 CDL is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Westford NY truck driving schoolWhen you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Westford NY truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Westford NY area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered 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 caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Westford NY schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the New York licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New York and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Westford NY schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will provide plenty 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Westford NY schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Westford NY schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New York, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at New York testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Westford NY school you enroll in 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Westford NY employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Westford NY area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Weekend CDL Training Westford New York

Westford NY long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Weekend CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver School.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to look into 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 choose an independent trucker 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 get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Westford NY.

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    Project West Ford

    Project West Ford (also known as Westford Needles and Project Needles) was a test carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory on behalf of the United States Military in 1961 and 1963 to create an artificial ionosphere above the Earth.[1] This was done to solve a major weakness that had been identified in US military communications.[2]

    At the height of the Cold War, all international communications were either sent through undersea cables or bounced off the natural ionosphere. The United States Military was concerned that the Soviets might cut those cables, forcing the unpredictable ionosphere to be the only means of communication with overseas forces.[1] So, a ring of 480,000,000[3]copper dipole antennas (1.78 cm long needles, 25.4μm [1961] / 17.8μm [1963] in diameter)[4][5] was placed in orbit to facilitate global radio communication. The length was chosen because it was half the wavelength of the 8 GHz signal used in the study.[1] The dipoles collectively provided passive support to Project Westford's parabolic dish (located in the town of Westford) to communicate with distant sites. In 1958, at MIT’s Lincoln Lab, Walter E. Morrow started Project Needles.[1]

    A failed first attempt launched on October 21, 1961;[5] the needles failed to disperse. The project was eventually successful with the May 9, 1963[5] launch, with radio transmissions carried by the man-made ring. However, the technology was ultimately shelved, partially due to the development of the modern communications satellite and partially due to protests from other scientists.[1][2] The needles were placed in medium Earth orbit between 3,500 and 3,800 kilometres (2,200–2,400 mi) high at 96 and 87 degree inclinations and contributed to Earth's orbital debris.[6] British radio astronomers, together with optical astronomers and the Royal Astronomical Society, protested this action.[7][8][9] The Soviet newspaper Pravda also joined the protests under the headline "U.S.A. Dirties Space".[10] The issue was raised in the United Nations where then US Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson defended the project.[11] Stevenson studied the published journal articles on Project West Ford. Using what he learned on the subject and citing the articles he had read, he successfully allayed the fears exhibited by the vast majority of UN ambassadors from other countries. He and the articles explained that sunlight pressure would cause the dipoles to only remain in orbit for a short period of approximately three years. The international protest ultimately resulted in a consultation provision included in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.[1][7] Fifty years later in 2013, some of the dipoles that did not deploy correctly still remain in clumps which make up a small amount of the orbital debris tracked by NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office.[12][13]

     

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