How to Decide on the Right CDL Driving School near Kenyon Rhode Island
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Kenyon RI. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, 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 means to ensure you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn 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 remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Kenyon RI, an operator needs to obtain 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. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and 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). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 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 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. 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Kenyon RI truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are several additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Kenyon RI area are accredited due to the stringent 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 meet 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 business. A poorly rated 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 top Kenyon RI schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Rhode Island licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Rhode Island and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Kenyon RI schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide lots of 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 methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 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 ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some 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 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 freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Kenyon RI schools you are looking at are independent or captive 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 truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available 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 competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Rhode Island testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Kenyon RI school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Kenyon RI employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Kenyon RI area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier 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.
Truck Driver School Near Me Kenyon RI
Choosing the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driver School Near Me. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want 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 choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Kenyon RI.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Rhode Island Locations