How to Decide on the Best CDL Training School near Warwick Massachusetts
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Warwick MA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Warwick residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the proper education. 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 target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover 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 Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Warwick MA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 short descriptions of 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive 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 need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Warwick MA truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for example 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 should 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 Warwick MA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Warwick MA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Massachusetts licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Massachusetts and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal 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 insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Warwick MA schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few 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? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide sufficient 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 methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time varies among 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 Warwick MA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Warwick MA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of 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 looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Massachusetts testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Warwick MA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Warwick MA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Warwick MA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
How To Be A Trucker Warwick Massachusetts
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Be A Trucker and wanting information on the topic Commercial Driver Training. However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Warwick MA.
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The land that became Warwick was one of four tracts of land established by Massachusetts in 1735 to compensate the descendants of the officers and soldiers who served during the "expedition to Canada" and the Battle of Quebec in 1690. The area was initially called Gardner's Canada and original proprietors were named in 1736. A 1737 owners list names the initial land owners, few of whom appear to have remained to settle the town once it was incorporated in 1763.
It took another 25 years to attract sufficient numbers of settlers to support a town and its minister. In 1760, such numbers were reached and the town hired a young Reverend Lemuel Hedge. The town was formed officially, as Warwick, on February 17, 1763. Its first officers were James Ball (town clerk), Moses Evans, Jeduthan Morse, James Ball (selectman and assessors), Amzi Doolittle (treasurer), Samuel Ball (constable), and James Ball (collector).
As the Revolutionary War approached, the town voted unanimously in favor of independence, although the town minister preached against it. Rev. Lemuel Hedge was barred from leaving the town in July 1775. He died October 15, 1777, the day British General Burgoyne surrendered his troops to the colonists in Saratoga. In 1776, Lieutenant Thomas Rich was selected to represent the town at the General Assembly of Massachusetts.
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