How to Find the Best CDL Driving School near Rochdale Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Rochdale MA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Rochdale home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll get the right education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Rochdale MA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic 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 as well as 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. 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 required to drive 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 operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Rochdale MA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Rochdale MA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Rochdale MA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Massachusetts licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Massachusetts and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Rochdale MA schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, 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 important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Rochdale MA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. 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 refer to 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 reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Rochdale MA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Massachusetts, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Massachusetts testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Rochdale MA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed 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 commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating 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 referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Rochdale MA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Rochdale MA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Tractor Trailer Driving School Rochdale Massachusetts
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered 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 Tractor Trailer Driving School and wanting information on the topic CDL Classes. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money 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 choose an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Rochdale MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
One of the early settlers in town was Dr. Samuel Green, who lived in a house at 2 Charlton St. in Greenville (which is now part of Rochdale, a village in Leicester). Dr. Green trained many other doctors in the early 1700s. This constituted the first medical school in Massachusetts. The Green family was involved in the creation of both Worcester's Green Hill Park and New York City's Central Park.
Although no significant battles of the American Revolution were fought in the area, Leicester citizens played a large role in the conflict's start. At a Committee of Safety meeting in 1774, Leicester's Colonel William Henshaw declared that "we must have companies of men ready to march upon a minute's notice"—coining the term "minutemen", a nickname for the militia members who fought in the revolution's first battles. Henshaw would later become an adjutant general to Artemas Ward, who was second in command to George Washington in the Continental Army.
Before the British troops marched to Lexington and Concord, looking for the ammunition and equipment held by the Americans, that ammunition and equipment was moved further West to four locations in the town of Leicester, including the house Dr. Green built at 2 Charlton Street. This information can be found in books held on reserve in the Leicester Public Library. When they heard that the British had attacked, Leicester's own Minutemen gathered on Leicester Common. They marched quickly to join with other Minutemen on April 19, 1775, to fight at the first conflict between Massachusetts residents and British troops, the Battles of Lexington and Concord. A few months later on June 17, 1775, a freed slave and Leicester resident named Peter Salem fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he killed British Major John Pitcairn. Both men are memorialized in Leicester street names (Peter Salem Road, Pitcairn Avenue), as is Colonel Henshaw (Henshaw Street).
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