How to Find a Trucking School near Vernon New Jersey
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Vernon NJ. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Vernon home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal way to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Vernon NJ, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick 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). Below are short 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 more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Vernon NJ truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are several additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Vernon NJ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Vernon NJ schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning 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 companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the New Jersey licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in New Jersey and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Vernon NJ schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide ample 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for actual 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 reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Vernon NJ schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom 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 many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Vernon NJ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New Jersey, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at New Jersey testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Vernon NJ 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 dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Vernon NJ employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Vernon NJ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Vernon NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Vernon New Jersey area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Vernon Township, New Jersey
Vernon Township is a township in Sussex County, New Jersey, United States. It is located about one hour's drive from New York City and is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 23,943, reflecting a decline of 743 (-3.0%) from the 24,686 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,475 (+16.4%) from the 21,211 counted in the 1990 Census. It is both the most populous municipality and the largest in area in the county.
Vernon is home to Mountain Creek (formerly Great Gorge and Vernon Valley), a ski resort and water park as well as the Crystal Springs Resort's Minerals Hotel and Elements Spa. The Hidden Valley ski resort, which opened in 1976 and occupied a 140-acre (57 ha) property that included one of New Jersey's three remaining downhill skiing facilities, closed at the end of the 2013 season and could find no buyers at an auction held that year; it has since reopened as the National Winter Activity Center.
The Great Gorge Playboy Club was located in the Vernon community of McAfee, but was sold and turned into a hotel, now called the Legends Resort & Country Club. Opened in 1972 at a cost of $20 million, featuring 700 rooms and 27 holes of golf, the hotel was sold to Americana in 1982 and later was resold to Metairie Corp. which branded the property as the Legends Resort and Country Club. In 2017, the township started eviction proceedings against low-income residents who had been living in the defunct resort on a permanent basis.
Select the Right Truck Driving School Vernon NJ
Picking the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might 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 choose an independent trucking 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 no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Vernon NJ.
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