How to Select a CDL Driving School near Rindge New Hampshire
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Rindge NH. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Rindge residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Rindge NH, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below 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 more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 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 types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Rindge NH truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are a few additional factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Rindge NH area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated 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 plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Rindge NH schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the New Hampshire licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio 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 particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Rindge NH schools offer 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 Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide lots of 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Rindge NH schools you are considering 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 enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Rindge NH schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in New Hampshire, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at New Hampshire testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Rindge NH school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Rindge NH employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Rindge NH area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Rindge NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Rindge New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Rindge, New Hampshire
Rindge is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,014 at the 2010 census. Rindge is home to Franklin Pierce University, the Cathedral of the Pines, and part of Annett State Forest.
The land in and around Rindge was originally inhabited by ancestors of the Abenaki tribe of Native Americans. Archeological evidence from nearby Swanzey indicates that the region was inhabited as much as 11,000 years ago (coinciding with the end of the last glacial period). As much as half of the Western Abenakis were victims of a wave of epidemics that coincided with the arrival of Europeans in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Later, many of the Western Abenaki present in southwestern New Hampshire chose to relocate to Canada during Colonial times, primarily due to their allegiance with the French during the French and Indian Wars.
In the eighteenth century, Massachusetts granted unappropriated land to veterans of Sir William Phipps' 1690 expedition against French-held Canada as compensation for services. Whole townships were granted to certain military companies and became known as "Canada" townships. Granted in 1736 by Governor Jonathan Belcher to soldiers from Rowley, Massachusetts, Rindge was first known as Rowley-Canada. But the Masonian proprietors were making competing claims to the area, and in 1740 commissioners of the Crown decided that the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire lay south of Rowley-Canada. Consequently, it was re-granted in 1749 by Governor Benning Wentworth as Monadnock No. 1, or South Monadnock. The town would be incorporated in 1768 by Governor John Wentworth as Rindge, in honor of Captain Daniel Rindge of Portsmouth, one of the original grant holders, and the one who represented New Hampshire's claim to the land before the king.
Pick the Right Trucking School Rindge NH
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving 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 no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Rindge NH.
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