How to Find a CDL Training School near Rogers Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Rogers CT. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Rogers residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest 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?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Rogers CT, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 needed to operate 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Rogers CT trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized 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 or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Rogers CT area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Rogers CT schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Connecticut licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. 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 obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Rogers CT schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to 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.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish plenty 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Rogers CT schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of 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. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Rogers CT schools you are looking at 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 truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Connecticut testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Rogers CT 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 particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Rogers CT employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Rogers CT area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask 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 must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Rogers CT?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Rogers Connecticut area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Joe Rogers Jr.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School Rogers CT
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to consider 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 choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Rogers CT.
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