How to Select a CDL Training School near Plaistow New Hampshire
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Plaistow NH. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Plaistow home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective 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 decide on 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Plaistow NH, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify 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 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). Below are brief summaries of 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 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Plaistow NH trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Plaistow NH area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Plaistow NH schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the New Hampshire licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Plaistow NH 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 Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to 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 satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide sufficient 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Plaistow NH schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit 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 Plaistow NH schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New Hampshire, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Hampshire testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Plaistow NH school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher 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 needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Plaistow NH employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Plaistow NH area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Plaistow NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Plaistow New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Plaistow, New Hampshire
Plaistow was officially established as a town in 1749 after the 1739 resolution of a long-running boundary dispute between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Province of New Hampshire. It is the only town outside the United Kingdom with the name Plaistow. In 1776 the western part of Plaistow became a separate town, Atkinson.
The present town hall was built in 1895. Each year, the town celebrates "Old Home Day", with a parade, fireworks, and carnival-type atmosphere on the Town Hall Lawn to celebrate the town's anniversary.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.64 square miles (27.55 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.09%, are water. The highest point in Plaistow is an unnamed summit at 384 feet (117 m) above sea level near the town's northern end.
Choose the Best CDL School Plaistow NH
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets 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 critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Plaistow NH.
More Trucking Locations in New Hampshire
Business Results 1 - 10 of 90