How to Find the Right Truck Driving School near Seekonk Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Seekonk MA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Seekonk residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Seekonk MA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief explanations 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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 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 might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger 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 Research a Trucking School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Seekonk MA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Seekonk MA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent 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 caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Seekonk MA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Massachusetts licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Massachusetts and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Seekonk MA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to 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? Above all else, a great trucking school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Seekonk MA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Seekonk MA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Massachusetts, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Massachusetts testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Seekonk MA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. 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 companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Seekonk MA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Seekonk MA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Cost Of CDL Training Seekonk Massachusetts
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge 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 Cost Of CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driving Schools. However, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to think about 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 option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Seekonk MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
Seekonk is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, on the Massachusetts border with Rhode Island. It was incorporated in 1812 from the western half of Rehoboth. The population was 14,371 at the 2016 census. Until 1862, the town of Seekonk also included what is now the City of East Providence, Rhode Island. The land in the western half of the town was given to Rhode Island by the United States Supreme Court as part of a longstanding boundary dispute with Massachusetts.
The earliest known inhabitants of Seekonk were Native Americans from the Wampanoag Tribe. The name Wampanoag means People of the Morning Light. This name refers to the geographical area of the tribe. Living in the East they would be the first people to greet the sun each morning. The area now known as Seekonk and Rehoboth provided agricultural and water resources with abundant food supplies. During the warm summer months the Natives spent time near the rivers and oceans in what is now Southeastern Massachusetts. In the winter months the Natives lived inland, including several locations in Seekonk. At one time there were three Native American villages in the area we now call Seekonk.
There have been many spellings of the name Seekonk. Some of the various spellings include Seconch, Sink Hunk, Secquncke, Seaconke, and Squannakonk. The symbol of the goose in flight is used on the Town Seal.
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