How to Select a CDL Training School West Long Branch New Jersey
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near West Long Branch NJ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your West Long Branch residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and West Long Branch NJ, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the West Long Branch NJ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional things 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 Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the West Long Branch NJ area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked 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 top West Long Branch NJ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the New Jersey licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Jersey and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of West Long Branch NJ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide sufficient 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the West Long Branch NJ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver 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 maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the West Long Branch NJ schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in New Jersey, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Jersey testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the West Long Branch NJ school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out 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 West Long Branch NJ employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other West Long Branch NJ area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near West Long Branch NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the West Long Branch New Jersey area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
West Long Branch, New Jersey
West Long Branch is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,097, reflecting a decline of 161 (-1.9%) from the 8,258 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 568 (+7.4%) from the 7,690 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the home of Monmouth University.
Prior to being called West Long Branch, the area had been called Mechanicsville from the 18th century through the Civil War, and then Branchburg in the 1870s. The name West Long Branch appears in the 1889 Wolverton Atlas of Monmouth County, and seems to have derived its name from its proximity to a section of the Shrewsbury River.
In 1908, the residents of what was the West Long Branch section of Eatontown thought that they were not getting a fair return on their taxes. A request was made that the West Long Branch section be separated from Eatontown. The Township of Eatontown strongly resisted as there were several large estates in the West Long Branch section that were a source of considerable taxes. An act of the New Jersey Legislature was passed on April 7, 1908, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized an election. On May 5, 1908, the referendum was held in West Long Branch, with voters approving the separation. The borough takes its name from Long Branch, which in turn takes its name from the "long branch" or south branch of the Shrewsbury River.
Pick the Right Truck Driver School West Long Branch NJ
Choosing the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in West Long Branch NJ.
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