Category Archives: Connecticut

Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Somers CT

How to Pick a Trucking School near Somers Connecticut

Somers CT truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Somers CT. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Somers residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll obtain the right 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 qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance 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 Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Somers CTIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Somers CT, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 short summaries of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 required to drive 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 might also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.

How to Evaluate a Trucking School

Questions to ask Somers CT truck driving schoolsWhen you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Somers CT truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as 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 should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Somers CT area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered 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 quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Somers CT schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. 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 numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Connecticut licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Connecticut and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Somers CT schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several 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 instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Somers CT schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with numerous 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Somers CT schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Connecticut, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Connecticut testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Somers CT school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance 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 companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Somers CT employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Somers CT area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Somers CT?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Somers Connecticut area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Somers, Connecticut

Somers /ˈsʌmərz/ is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut. The population was 11,444 at the 2010 census. The town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). In 2007, Money Magazine named Somers, Connecticut 53rd on its list of 100 Best Places to Live, based on "economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."

Bordering Massachusetts, Somers is considered part of the City of Springfield, Massachusetts NECTA. Somers is only 9 miles from the City of Springfield, Massachusetts, and considered more oriented toward it than the City of Hartford, Connecticut, which lies 16 miles to the south.

Somers was originally part of the Agawam Plantation in the 17th century. Agawam Plantation became Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1641 and in 1682, the Enfield Parish broke off from the Springfield settlement. In 1689, the first settler, Benjamin Jones, came to Somers in what was then East Enfield about a half mile from the current town center, as it was only a summer house and in the winter, he and his family returned back to Enfield for several years though out of fear of the Native Americans. In 1711, several more families settled the Somers area to help start a village. The families of Kibbe, Pease, Root, and Megregory were the first to settle the area. The Village was given the name Wallop but was changed to East Enfield shortly after. In the year 1734, East Enfield became a town and was renamed Somers, after John Somers, 1st Baron Somers.[1] In the year 1749, Somers joined the Connecticut Colony. The Four Town Fair which is usually held after the third weekend in September is one of the oldest fairs in the Country.

Select the Best Trucking School Somers CT

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Somers CTPicking the right truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Somers CT.

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