How to Find the Right Truck Driving School near Waban Massachusetts
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Waban MA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Waban residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow 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? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Waban MA, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 CDL is needed 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 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 operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Waban MA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several additional 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 trucking schools in the Waban MA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks 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 poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Waban MA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Massachusetts licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Massachusetts and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Waban MA schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though 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 vital that the instructors keep 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 ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard 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 Waban MA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Waban MA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Massachusetts, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Massachusetts testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Waban MA school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Waban MA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Waban MA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
How To Get A Truck License Waban Massachusetts
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills 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 How To Get A Truck License and wanting information on the topic How To Get A Class B CDL. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Waban MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
Waban was named for Waban, the first Massachusett Indian converted to Christianity, in 1646. Although Waban lived in Nonantum, a hill in the northeasternmost part of Newton, the area around the present village of Waban was a favored hunting ground. Dr. Lawrence Strong, in his history of the town, wrote:
The village was one of four in Newton to retain its branch library until June 2008. As of September 2009, the Waban branch library has re-opened as the Waban Library Center, a community-based facility.
In the Washington Post's 2013 study of the most affluent and well-educated zip codes in America, Waban (02468) ranked third in the nation. The study was based on an index of the percent of college graduates and median household income in each of America's zip codes. It ranked only behind Kenilworth, Illinois and Short Hills, New Jersey, making it the most affluent zip code in the state.
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