How to Choose a Truck Driving School Windham New York
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Windham NY. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Windham residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your goal 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 objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Windham NY, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic 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 type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Windham NY trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some more things 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 Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Windham NY area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine 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. However, even the top Windham NY schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the New York licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in New York and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction 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 insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Windham NY schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current 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 best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish lots 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Windham NY schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Windham NY schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in New York, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at New York testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Windham NY school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Windham NY employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Windham NY area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Windham NY?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Windham New York area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Windham (town), New York
Windham is a town in Greene County, New York, United States. The population was 1,703 at the 2010 census. The town was probably named for the town or county of Windham, Connecticut, as many of its earliest settlers came from that state as well as other parts of New England. The town has two nicknames: "Land in the Sky" and "Gem of the Catskills".
The region was first settled around 1780. The town was formed from the town of Woodstock in 1798 while still part of Ulster County. After the formation of Greene County, several other towns were formed from parts of Windham. These towns include Hunter and Lexington (1813), Prattsville (1833), and part of Ashland in 1848. In 1900, the town's population was 1,240.
The major source of income in Windham is the Windham Mountain ski resort, formerly called "Ski Windham". This ski area brings a lot of its skiers up from the New York City area as well as other areas in the Northeast. In August 2010, Windham hosted the 2010 World Cup Mountain Bike Race, the first time its finals occurred on American soil in 20 years of competition. In August 2014, Windham again hosted the World Cup Mountain Bike Race, as the only US stop of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
Pick the Ideal CDL School Windham NY
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need 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 school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Windham NY.
Other Awesome Locations in New York
Business Results 1 - 10 of 9