How to Find the Best CDL Training School near South Dennis Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near South Dennis MA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your South Dennis residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and South Dennis MA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver 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 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 brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the South Dennis MA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the South Dennis 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 certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of South Dennis MA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Massachusetts licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Massachusetts and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. 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 obtaining the personalized 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 train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most South Dennis MA schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide lots of 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 driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary 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 become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the South Dennis MA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the South Dennis MA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Massachusetts, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Massachusetts testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the South Dennis MA school you enroll in provides 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 devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many South Dennis MA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other South Dennis 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 evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Getting A Class A CDL South Dennis Massachusetts
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Getting A Class A CDL and wanting information on the topic Trucker Schools Near Me. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving 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 choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in South Dennis MA.
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South Dennis, Massachusetts
South Dennis is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Dennis in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,643 at the 2010 census, the most of the 5 CDPs in Dennis.
South Dennis is located on Cape Cod in the center of the town of Dennis at 41°42′21″N 70°9′45″W / 41.70583°N 70.16250°W / 41.70583; -70.16250. It is bordered by the town of Brewster to the northeast, the town of Harwich to the southeast, the CDPs of Dennis Port to the south and West Dennis to the southwest, the town of Yarmouth to the west, and the CDPs of Dennis and East Dennis to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the South Dennis CDP has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.3 km2). 4.6 square miles (11.8 km2) of it is land, and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2) of it (4.19%) is water.
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