How to Choose the Right CDL Training School near Thorofare New Jersey
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Thorofare NJ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Thorofare home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest 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?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Thorofare NJ, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 needed to drive 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 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 drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Thorofare NJ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Thorofare NJ area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent 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 get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Thorofare NJ schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the New Jersey licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Jersey and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Thorofare NJ schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several 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 crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few 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.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Thorofare NJ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations 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 choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Thorofare NJ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in New Jersey, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at New Jersey testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Thorofare NJ school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Thorofare NJ employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Thorofare NJ 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Thorofare NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Thorofare New Jersey area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Thorofare, New Jersey
Tractor Trailer Training School Thorofare NJ
Selecting the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Tractor Trailer Training School. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Thorofare NJ.
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