Category Archives: Wisconsin

Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Windsor WI

How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Windsor Wisconsin

Windsor WI truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Windsor WI. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Windsor home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll get the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Windsor WIIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Windsor WI, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply 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 address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 summaries for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 more 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 may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Questions to ask Windsor WI truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Windsor WI truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Windsor WI area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 training and curriculum will fulfill 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 negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Windsor WI schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Wisconsin licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Wisconsin and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Windsor WI schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s important that the teachers 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 a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide sufficient 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Windsor WI schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Windsor WI schools you are looking at 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 graduates. If onsite testing is available in Wisconsin, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Wisconsin testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Windsor WI school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Windsor WI employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Windsor WI 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 evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Windsor WI?

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

Windsor, Wisconsin

Windsor is a village and former town in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 5,286 at the 2000 census. The communities of Lake Windsor, Morrisonville, and Token Creek are located within the village. Windsor voted to incorporate as a village on November 3, 2015; prior to its incorporation, it was a town, and a portion of the town was a census-designated place.[4] Windsor is a part of the Census Bureau's Madison metropolitan statistical area.

A portion of the former town was part of a disputed annexation by the Village of DeForest. In July 2004 the village and town reached a settlement in which part of the disputed area would be annexed by the village and part would remain with the town. In addition, the town and village agreed to exchange other less populated land.

While visited in the late 1830s, the first settler to the town was William Lawrence, who came from the state of Vermont in 1841. He later served in the Civil War. James Morrison settled in the town in 1843 at what is now Morrisonville.[5]

Pick the Right Truck Driving School Windsor WI

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Windsor WIPicking the right truck driving school is an essential 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Windsor WI.

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