How to Choose a CDL Training School near Wytopitlock Maine
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Wytopitlock ME. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Wytopitlock home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll receive the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable 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 rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Wytopitlock ME, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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. 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Wytopitlock ME truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Wytopitlock ME area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered 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 caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Wytopitlock ME schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Maine licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Maine and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Wytopitlock ME schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great 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 driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wytopitlock ME schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular 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 instead of maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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 have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Wytopitlock ME schools you are looking at are independent or captive 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 trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Maine, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Maine testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Wytopitlock ME school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out 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 hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Wytopitlock ME employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Wytopitlock ME area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wytopitlock ME?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wytopitlock Maine area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Maine State Route 171
State Route 171 (SR 171) is part of Maine's system of numbered state highways. It runs 17.8 miles (28.6 km) from an intersection with SR 169 in Prentiss to an intersection with U.S. Route 2A (US 2A) in Reed Plantation. SR 171 travels through Drew Plantation and the unincorporated community of Wytopitlock.
Select the Ideal Truck Driving School Wytopitlock ME
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an important 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 critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want 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 truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Wytopitlock ME.
More Trucking Locations in Maine