How to Pick the Right CDL Driving School near Raynham Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Raynham MA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Raynham residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Raynham MA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for the two 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Raynham MA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, such as 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 should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Raynham MA area are accredited due to the stringent 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 several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated 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 Raynham MA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Massachusetts licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Massachusetts and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Raynham MA schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish sufficient 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Raynham MA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Raynham MA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Massachusetts, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Massachusetts testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Raynham MA school you select offers 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 teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Raynham MA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Raynham MA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Dump Truck Driver Training Raynham Massachusetts
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Dump Truck Driver Training and wanting information on the topic The Best Truck Driving Schools. However, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Raynham MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
Raynham is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located approximately 32 miles (51 km) south of Boston and 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Providence, Rhode Island. The population was 13,383 at the 2010 census. It has one village, Raynham Center.
It was to that area three years earlier that Roger Williams, proponent of separation of church and state, of paying indians for land acquired and abolishing slavery, had escaped, traveling 55 miles during a January blizzard. He was fleeing a conviction for sedition and heresy of the General Court of Salem, and it was here that the local Wampanoags offered him shelter at their winter camp. Their Sachem Massasoit hosted Williams for the three months until spring.
In 1652, bog iron was found along the Two Mile (Forge) River. Soon after, the Taunton Iron Works was established by residents James and Henry Leonard. It was the first successful iron works established in what was then Plymouth Colony, and operated from 1656 to 1876. It was not the "First Iron Works in America", as proclaimed on the Town's official seal, having been predated by the Saugus and Braintree iron works. The success of the Taunton Iron Works, however, led to the establishment of other iron works throughout the colonies.
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