How to Decide on a CDL Driving School near Ossipee New Hampshire
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Ossipee NH. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Ossipee home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That 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 Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Ossipee NH, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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. Some 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Ossipee NH truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are several more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Ossipee NH area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Ossipee NH schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the New Hampshire licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Ossipee NH schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Ossipee NH schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Ossipee NH schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in New Hampshire, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Hampshire testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Ossipee NH school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Ossipee NH employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Ossipee NH area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Ossipee NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ossipee New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Ossipee, New Hampshire
Ossipee is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,345 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Carroll County. Ossipee, which includes several villages, is a resort area and home to part of Pine River State Forest.
Originally known as Wigwam Village, and then New Garden, the town was named for the Ossipee Indians, one of the twelve Algonquian tribes. It was once the site of an Indian stockade fort, designed to protect the tribe from the Mohawks in the west. In 1725, the Indian stockade was destroyed, and then rebuilt by Captain John Lovewell. The new fort was one of the largest in New England. The fort was located where the second green of Indian Mound Golf now is. Wood, ramrods and the brass bolt used for the gate were discovered when the course was built. On February 22, 1785, the legislature incorporated Ossipee as a town.
Although the surface of the town is "rough and uneven, and in some parts rocky and mountainous," farmers found it suitable for pasturage, as well as for cultivating wheat and potatoes. Principal goods were produce, lumber and cattle. In 1859, when the population was 2,123, Ossipee contained twelve sawmills, five gristmills, twelve clapboard and shingle mills, one bedstead factory, one door factory, a sash and blind factory, one paper mill and four tanneries. The Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad in 1871 reached Ossipee Corner, with service extended in 1875 to Center Ossipee. The trains brought commerce and tourists, helping the town develop as a summer resort. Railroad service, however, would be discontinued in 1961 for passengers, and in 1972 for freight.
Choose the Ideal CDL School Ossipee NH
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught 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 necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about 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 enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Ossipee NH.
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