How to Decide on a Trucking School Sullivan New Hampshire
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Sullivan NH. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Sullivan residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance 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 Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Sullivan NH, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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 descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Sullivan NH trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Sullivan NH area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Sullivan NH schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the New Hampshire licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially 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 drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Sullivan NH schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish plenty of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Sullivan NH schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Sullivan NH schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New Hampshire, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at New Hampshire testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Sullivan NH school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious 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 graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Sullivan NH employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Sullivan NH area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near Sullivan NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sullivan New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sullivan, New Hampshire
Named for General John Sullivan and incorporated on September 27, 1787, Sullivan was formed from parts of Gilsum, Keene, Nelson and Stoddard. Farming became the chief occupation. By 1859, the population was 468. In 1867, Sullivan was the first town in New Hampshire to dedicate a monument to its soldiers lost in the Civil War. The monument sits across from the Sullivan Congregational Church.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), of which 18.5 sq mi (48 km2) is land and 0.2 sq mi (0.52 km2) is water, comprising 1.02% of the town. It is drained by Ferry Brook, Meetinghouse Brook, Spaulding Brook and Otter Brook. The highest point in Sullivan is the summit of Boynton Hill at 1,739 feet (530 m) above sea level, in the northern part of town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 746 people, 282 households, and 208 families residing in the town. The population density was 40.3 people per square mile (15.6/km²). There were 299 housing units at an average density of 16.2 per square mile (6.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.39% White, 0.13% African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.27% Asian, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.
Choose the Right Truck Driving School Sullivan NH
Selecting the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to think about 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 school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Sullivan NH.
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