How to Choose the Right Trucking School near Waldoboro Maine
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Waldoboro ME. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Waldoboro residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Waldoboro ME, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight 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 descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Waldoboro ME truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are some more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Waldoboro ME area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Waldoboro ME schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Maine licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Maine and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Waldoboro ME schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of 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 vital that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Waldoboro ME schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to 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 restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Waldoboro ME schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Maine, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Maine testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Waldoboro ME school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out 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 placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Waldoboro ME employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Waldoboro ME area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Waldoboro ME?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Waldoboro Maine area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Waldoboro is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 5,075 at the 2010 census. Waldoboro was incorporated in 1773 and developed a reputation as a ship building and port facility from the banks of the Medomak River. The town’s strong agricultural and fishing legacy continues today, with recently renewed enthusiasm for traditional natural fiber production, cheesemaking, farm brewing, fermentation, soapmaking, and other lost agrarian arts. Waldoboro is becoming a popular destination with miles of scenic river frontage, a thriving arts community, and historical interest in its past as a German settlement.
In 1629 the area that would become Waldoboro was granted to John Beauchamp of London and Thomas Leverett of Boston, England and was known as the Muscongus Patent. The patent lay dormant until 1719 when Leverett’s great-grandson, John Leverett, President of Harvard College, revived the ancient claim and formed the Lincolnshire Proprietors, also known as the Ten Proprietors, so named for the ten shares distributed, one to each member. General Samuel Waldo of Boston acquired a controlling interest in the patent in 1729 and it henceforward become known as the Waldo Patent.
First called Broad Bay, the village was settled between 1733 and 1740, but suffered a devastating attack as part of the Northeast Coast Campaign (1746) by Native Americans allied with New France during King George's War. Houses were burned and inhabitants killed or carried away as captives. Survivors fled to the nearby settlements of St. George or Pemaquid. Peace returned with the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
How To Get A CDL Waldoboro ME
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get A CDL. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want 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 trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Waldoboro ME.
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