How to Find a Truck Driving School near West Sayville New York
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near West Sayville NY. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your West Sayville home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss 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 USA and West Sayville NY, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify 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 discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Following are short descriptions of the two 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. Some 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 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the process of researching the West Sayville NY trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the West Sayville NY area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top West Sayville NY schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the New York licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in New York and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater 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 watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of West Sayville NY schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the West Sayville NY schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the West Sayville NY schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? 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 York, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at New York testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the West Sayville NY school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few West Sayville NY employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other West Sayville NY area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near West Sayville NY?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the West Sayville New York area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
West Sayville, New York
West Sayville is located on the South Shore of Long Island in the Town of Islip. Its coordinates are 40°43’54”N 73°6’18”W (40.731594, -73.099701). West Sayville’s coastline borders the Great South Bay.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, West Sayville has a total area of 2.10 square miles (5.45 km2), of which 2.10 square miles (5.44 km2) is land and 0.0077 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.31%, is water.
The United States Census Bureau reported that during the 2010 census, the population of West Sayville was 5,011, with a population density of 2,386.2 per square mile. Of the total population, 2,407 (48.0%) were males and 2,604 (52.0%) were females.
Pick the Right Truck Driving School West Sayville NY
Choosing the right truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver 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 decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in West Sayville NY.
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