How to Choose a Truck Driving School Westhampton Beach New York
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Westhampton Beach NY. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Westhampton Beach home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills 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 select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Westhampton Beach NY, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 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 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 Truck Driver School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Westhampton Beach NY trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Westhampton Beach NY area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver 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. However, even the top Westhampton Beach NY schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the New York licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in New York and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Westhampton Beach NY schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide plenty 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Westhampton Beach NY schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different 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 giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Westhampton Beach NY schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New York, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at New York testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Westhampton Beach NY school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Westhampton Beach NY employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Westhampton Beach NY area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Attending Truck Driving School near Westhampton Beach NY?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Westhampton Beach New York area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Westhampton Beach, New York
The Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach is an incorporated village on the southeast coast of Long Island. Administratively it is in the town of Southampton, Suffolk County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 1,721.
Like most of the shoreline of southern Long Island, the beach at Westhampton Beach was eroding shoreward. This became a political issue in the 1960s. The project to protect the beaches in the area from further erosion was started by the Army Corp of Engineers in 1966, but was only partially completed because of the failure to secure funds from the state and local government. In addition the project design was seriously flawed. As a result, there was increased erosion at the beaches in Westhampton Beach while, up current, the beaches actually grew. During the late 1970s and through the 1980s, beach homes were washed away with every severe storm (nor'easter) that hit the coast. It was only after the nor'easter of November 1992 destroyed over eighty homes, that the Army Corp of Engineers began renewed repair efforts. In the mid-1990s, fifteen historic houses were relocated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The homes were moved off the beach and out of harm's way, at least for a while, but the beach is still eroding and addition damage is incurred with every storm. Additional work was required after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 2.35%, is water.
Choose the Right CDL School Westhampton Beach NY
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Westhampton Beach NY.
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