How to Decide on a CDL Driving School near Kenyon Rhode Island
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Kenyon RI. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Kenyon residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Kenyon RI, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver 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 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 operate 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. A few of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Kenyon RI trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Kenyon RI area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed 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 Kenyon RI schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Rhode Island licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Rhode Island and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding 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 comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Kenyon RI schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish ample 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Kenyon RI schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly 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 receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Kenyon RI schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Rhode Island, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Rhode Island testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Kenyon RI school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Kenyon RI employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Kenyon RI area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Kenyon RI?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Kenyon Rhode Island area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Samuel Clarke Farm
The Samuel Clarke House, dating to c.1691, is one of the earliest surviving structures in the State of Rhode Island. It is the central building of the Samuel Clarke Farm, a 40-acre parcel in Kenyon, Rhode Island, within the Town of Richmond. The farm is bordered to the west by the Beaver River. This property was originally part of a larger parcel (one mile wide and five miles long) that was sold in 1662 by the Niantic Sachem Wanumachon. This historic land transaction is known as the Stanton Purchase. ]]
Joseph Clarke (1642-1727) purchased approximately 200 acres of the Stanton Purchase land the following year. By 1691 Joseph Clarke had transferred a parcel to his son, Samuel (1672-1769). Samuel Clarke built the original portion of the farmhouse on this land in about 1691. A large carved granite block in the keeping room fireplace, just below the original beehive bake oven, memorializes this date. The original farmhouse was modified and expanded in the 18th century. The gambrel-roofed house is constructed on the five room plan. Remarkably, the house retains its original exterior wide oak weatherboards - on the north side, early 18th-century window sash and frames, a massive granite central chimney with four fireplaces and nearly all of its original period interior architectural detail.The kitchen addition to the north was added sometime in the late 19th century.
Extant farm buildings include a red-painted 19th-century barn, a corn crib - on its original granite piers, carriage and wood sheds, an outhouse, a stone blacksmith’s shop and forge, a stone root cellar, and a one-room schoolhouse (built in 1812). A well-preserved Clarke Family cemetery is also located on the property.
Choose the Ideal CDL School Kenyon RI
Picking the right truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation 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 a number of options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash 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 trucker 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 obtain your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Kenyon RI.
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