How to Enroll in the Right Truck Driving School near Stoughton Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Stoughton MA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to consider before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Stoughton residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Stoughton 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 topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address 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). Below are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL 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. 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Stoughton MA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Stoughton MA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given 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 fulfill 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 poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Stoughton MA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Massachusetts licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Massachusetts and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Stoughton MA schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria 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 laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish sufficient 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, 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. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Stoughton MA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Stoughton MA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Massachusetts, find out if the schools you are considering 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 centers. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Stoughton MA school you choose 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 willing 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 fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Stoughton MA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Stoughton MA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Truck Driving School Tuition Stoughton Massachusetts
Picking the right truck driving school is a critical first step to launching 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 available 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 Truck Driving School Tuition and wanting information on the topic CDL Class. However, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose 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 choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Stoughton MA.
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Stoughton /ˈstoʊtən/ (official name: Town of Stoughton) is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 26,962 at the 2010 census. The town is located approximately 17 miles (27 km) from Boston, 25 miles (40 km) from Providence, and 35 miles (56 km) from Cape Cod.
Stoughton was settled in 1713 and officially incorporated in 1726, from the southwestern portion of the large town of Dorchester. At its founding, it included the current towns of Sharon (which separated in 1765), Canton (which separated in 1797) and Avon (which separated in 1888). It was named after William Stoughton, who was the first chief justice of Colonial Courts and the notorious chief justice of the Salem Witch Trials.
The Suffolk Resolves were written in Old Stoughton (current day Milton, Massachusetts) at Doty's Tavern. They are thought to be the basis for the Declaration of Independence.[by whom?] The meeting included the Rev. Samuel Dunbar and Paul Revere; the site was chosen by Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren.
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