How to Select a Truck Driving School near Piermont New Hampshire
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Piermont NH. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Piermont home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, 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 pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Piermont NH, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class 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). Following are brief summaries of the 2 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 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. Several 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Piermont NH trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Piermont NH area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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 certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Piermont NH schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New Hampshire licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Piermont NH schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier 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 criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual 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 alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Piermont NH schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Piermont NH schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in New Hampshire, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Hampshire testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Piermont NH school you choose 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 prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Piermont NH employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Piermont NH area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid 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 Piermont NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Piermont New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Piermont, New Hampshire
Aaron Lane, who grew up in Piermont, was the first permanent settler in the Mojave Desert area now known as Victorville, California. A biography of Lane sheds light on life in Piermont during the mid-19th century.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.8 square miles (103 km2), of which 38.5 sq mi (100 km2) is land and 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2) is water, comprising 3.34% of the town. It is drained by Indian Pond Brook, Eastman Brook and Bean Brook, tributaries of the Connecticut River, which forms the western boundary. Piermont's highest point is the summit of Piermont Mountain, at 2,717 feet (828 m) above sea level.
Piermont is bordered by the towns of Haverhill to the north, Warren to the east, Wentworth to the southeast, Orford to the south, and Bradford, Vermont, across the Connecticut River to the west. Piermont is 27 miles (43 km) north of Lebanon and 72 miles (116 km) southwest of Berlin, New Hampshire.
Choose the Best Truck Driving School Piermont NH
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation 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 several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Piermont NH.
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