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Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools South Glastonbury CT

How to Select a CDL Driving School near South Glastonbury Connecticut

South Glastonbury CT truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near South Glastonbury CT. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your South Glastonbury residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal 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 objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in South Glastonbury CTIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and South Glastonbury CT, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short descriptions for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to operate 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. Several 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 need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Research a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask South Glastonbury CT truck driving schoolsOnce you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the South Glastonbury CT truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the South Glastonbury CT area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of South Glastonbury CT schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Connecticut licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Connecticut 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 attention they will need. This is especially true regarding 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 relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most South Glastonbury CT schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, 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 some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish lots of 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although 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. Contact the South Glastonbury CT schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work 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 best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the South Glastonbury CT schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Connecticut, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Connecticut testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the South Glastonbury CT school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty 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 attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few South Glastonbury CT employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other South Glastonbury CT area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near South Glastonbury CT?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the South Glastonbury Connecticut area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Glastonbury, Connecticut

Glastonbury is an affluent town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, formally founded in 1693 with settlers first arriving in 1636. The town was named after Glastonbury in Somerset, England.[1] Glastonbury is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Hartford. The town center is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). The population was 34,427 at the 2010 census.[2]

In 2013, the South Glastonbury zip code, 06073, was ranked the 11th wealthiest zip code in Connecticut. The town also has the Crystal Ridge neighborhood, which is estimated to be the wealthiest neighborhood in the Greater Hartford area.[3][4]

In 1636, thirty families were settled in Pyaug, a tract of land belonging to Wethersfield on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, bought from the Native American chief Sowheag for 12 yards (11 m) of trading cloth. In 1672, Wethersfield and Hartford were granted permission by the General Court to extend the boundary line of Pyaug 5 miles (8 km) to the east. By 1690, residents of Pyaug had gained permission from Wethersfield to become a separate town and, in 1693, the town of Glassenbury was created.[5]

Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School South Glastonbury CT

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in South Glastonbury CTPicking the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm 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 a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in South Glastonbury CT.

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