Category Archives: Vermont

Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools South Strafford VT

How to Find a CDL Driving School near South Strafford Vermont

South Strafford VT truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near South Strafford VT. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your South Strafford residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in South Strafford VTTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and South Strafford VT, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify 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 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). Following are brief summaries of the two classes.

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

How to Research a Truck Driver School

Questions to ask South Strafford VT truck driving schoolsAfter you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the South Strafford VT truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the South Strafford VT area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue 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 top South Strafford VT schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Vermont licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Vermont and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of South Strafford VT schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor 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. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the South Strafford VT schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous 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 giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the South Strafford VT schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Vermont, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Vermont testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the South Strafford VT school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating 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 firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many South Strafford VT employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other South Strafford VT 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 examining have a financial aid 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 South Strafford VT?

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

Strafford, Vermont

Strafford is a town in Orange County, Vermont, United States. The population was 1,045 at the 2000 census. The town of Strafford was created on August 12, 1761 by way of a royal charter which King George III of England issued to Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. The town was named after the Earl of Strafford.[3] Its town house is one of the most famous in Vermont, sitting atop a hill in the historic town square.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.3 square miles (114.8 km2), of which 44.2 square miles (114.5 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.3 km2) (0.25%) is water. The West Branch of the Ompompanoosuc River flows through the town.[5]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,045 people, 420 households, and 296 families residing in the town. The population density was 23.6 people per square mile (9.1/km2). There were 542 housing units at an average density of 12.3 per square mile (4.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.47% White, 0.19% African American, 0.29% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

Pick the Right Truck Driving School South Strafford VT

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in South Strafford VTChoosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills 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 crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to look into 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in South Strafford VT.

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