How to Find the Right Truck Driving School near Russell Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Russell MA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge 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. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Russell home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified 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 discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Russell MA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are short summaries of the two 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. 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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, for example school or passenger 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 Research a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Russell MA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Russell MA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving 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. Having said that, even the best of Russell MA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Massachusetts licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Massachusetts and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding 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 comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Russell MA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will furnish 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Russell MA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified 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 relationships with many different 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Russell MA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Massachusetts, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Massachusetts testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Russell MA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Russell MA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Russell MA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Best Trucking Schools Russell Massachusetts
Choosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best Trucking Schools and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving School Near Me. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Russell MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
Russell is in western Hampden County, bordered by Granville to the south, Blandford to the west, Huntington to the north, Montgomery to the northeast and Westfield to the southeast. The main village, Russell, is in the northwest part of town and is a census-designated place. The village of Woronoco is in the eastern part of town. Both villages are along the Westfield River and are connected by U.S. Route 20, which leads southeast 8 miles (13 km) to Westfield and northwest 27 miles (43 km) to Lee. Interstate 90, the Massachusetts Turnpike, crosses the center of Russell, but has no exits in the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Russell has a total area of 17.8 square miles (46.0 km2), of which 17.3 square miles (44.9 km2) are land and 0.42 square miles (1.1 km2), or 2.39%, are water.
The town has two very different sections: South Quarter is mainly uplands at elevations from 1,000 to 1,400 feet (300 to 430 m) along the rim of a plateau west of the Connecticut River Valley, while the rest of the town is a deep valley along the swift Westfield River.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 11