How to Pick a Trucking School near Sudlersville Maryland
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Sudlersville MD. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Sudlersville residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified 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 talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Sudlersville MD, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss 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). Below are brief 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 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 greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Sudlersville MD truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Sudlersville MD area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Sudlersville MD schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Maryland licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Maryland and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. 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 receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Sudlersville MD schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark 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 Sudlersville MD schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain 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 period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous 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 flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally 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 get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Sudlersville MD schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Maryland, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Maryland testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Sudlersville MD school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Sudlersville MD employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Sudlersville MD area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Sudlersville MD?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sudlersville Maryland area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sudlersville is a town in the far northeastern corner of Queen Anne's County, Maryland, United States. The ZIP code is 21668 and the area code is 410. The population was 497 at the 2010 census. It is perhaps best known as the hometown of Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Jimmie Foxx. Other famous residents include astronomer and mathematician Simon Newcomb.
As of the census of 2010, there were 497 people, 211 households, and 119 families residing in the town. The population density was 528.7 inhabitants per square mile (204.1/km2). There were 244 housing units at an average density of 259.6 per square mile (100.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 82.9% White, 6.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 4.8% from other races, and 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.4% of the population.
There were 211 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.
Choose the Best Truck Driving School Sudlersville MD
Picking the right trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to consider 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 trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Sudlersville MD.
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