How to Find the Right Trucking School near West Barnstable Massachusetts
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near West Barnstable MA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway 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 income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your West Barnstable residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and West Barnstable MA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify 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 focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the West Barnstable MA truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the West Barnstable MA area are accredited because of the demanding 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 obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top West Barnstable MA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Massachusetts licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Massachusetts and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of West Barnstable MA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some 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.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the West Barnstable MA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the West Barnstable MA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Massachusetts, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Massachusetts testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the West Barnstable MA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few West Barnstable MA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other West Barnstable MA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
CDL School Near Me West Barnstable Massachusetts
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available 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 CDL School Near Me and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving Classes. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker 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 no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in West Barnstable MA.
Truck On in These Other Massachusetts Locations
Barnstable (/ˈbɑːrnstəbəl/ BARN-stə-bəl) is a city, referred to as the Town of Barnstable, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the county seat of Barnstable County. Barnstable is the largest community, both in land area and population, on Cape Cod. At the 2010 census it had a population of 45,193. The town contains several villages (one of which is also named Barnstable) within its boundaries. Its largest village, Hyannis, is the central business district of the county and home to Barnstable Municipal Airport, the airline hub of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Additionally, Barnstable is a 2007 winner of the All-America City Award.
Barnstable takes its name from Barnstaple, Devon, England. The area was first explored by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. It was one of the first towns to be settled in Plymouth Colony, one year behind Sandwich, in 1638, and was incorporated on September 4,1639, the same day as the towns of Sandwich and Yarmouth. On the first Tuesday of December, the same year, its deputies took their seats in the general court. The early settlers were farmers, led by the Reverend Joseph Hull, the founder of Barnstable. A memorial tablet was dedicated there in 1939 (the 300th anniversary of the town's founding) marking the site of his home, and the rock from which he preached still stands along the highway there.
Soon after the town's founding, agriculture, fishing and salt works became its major industries. By the end of the 19th century, there were some 804 ships harbored in the town. But the role of sailing ships declined with the rise of ocean-going steamships and the railroad, which had arrived in 1854.
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