How to Find a CDL Training School York Haven Pennsylvania
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near York Haven PA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your York Haven residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address 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 CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and York Haven PA, a driver needs to 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 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 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 operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the York Haven PA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the York Haven PA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical 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 standard, and that they will be given plenty 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed 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 best of York Haven PA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Pennsylvania licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Pennsylvania and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most York Haven PA schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable 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 York Haven PA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the York Haven PA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Pennsylvania, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Pennsylvania testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the York Haven PA 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 prepared to dedicate 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many York Haven PA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other York Haven PA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near York Haven PA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the York Haven Pennsylvania area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
York Haven, Pennsylvania
York Haven is a borough in York County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 709 at the 2010 census. The borough is the home of the Brunner Island coal-fired electrical generation plant, located on the Susquehanna River on Wago Road and operated by PPL.
As of the census of 2000, there were 809 people, 278 households, and 197 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,531.8 people per square mile (976.1/km²). There were 305 housing units at an average density of 954.5 per square mile (368.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.04% White, 0.74% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.24% of the population.
There were 278 households out of which 48.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.40.
Choose the Right Truck Driver School York Haven PA
Choosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation 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 many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in York Haven PA.
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