How to Find the Right CDL Driving School near Little Compton Rhode Island
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Little Compton RI. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Little Compton home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Little Compton RI, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate 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 CDL is required to operate 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 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 might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Little Compton RI trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Little Compton RI area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Little Compton RI schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Rhode Island licensing authority to verify 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 Rhode Island and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Little Compton RI schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative 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 prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method 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 quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, 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 actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies 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. Get in touch with the Little Compton RI schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Little Compton RI schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Rhode Island, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Rhode Island testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Little Compton RI school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Little Compton RI employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Little Compton RI area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Little Compton RI?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Little Compton Rhode Island area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Little Compton, Rhode Island
Little Compton was originally inhabited by the Sakonnet Indians. The name has been interpreted in a variety of ways including "where the water pours forth". The first Colonial settlers in Little Compton were from Duxbury, Massachusetts in the Plymouth Colony, which granted them their charter. They divided the land into lots of standard sizes and began settling there. Among these 32 original proprietors was Colonel Benjamin Church, who was well known for his role in the late 17th-century conflicts with surrounding Indian tribes, notably the Narragansetts and Wampanoags. In 1675, Church built his homestead in Little Compton, just prior to King Philip's War. Today, a plaque on the side of West Main Road gives the location of his original homestead.
In 1682, Sakonnet was incorporated by the Plymouth Colony and renamed Little Compton, probably in reference to Cullompton, Devon, England. By 1747, Little Compton secured its own royal decree and was annexed to Newport County as a part of Rhode Island along with Tiverton and Bristol. All probate and land records prior to 1746 can be found in Taunton and New Bedford, Massachusetts because Little Compton was once part of the Plymouth Colony.
Sites of historic interest in Little Compton include the Wilbor House, built in 1692 by Samuel Wilbore and now the home of the Little Compton Historical Society. The entire town commons is also on the National Register of Historic Places. There are about 57 historic cemeteries in the town. Benjamin Church and his family are buried in the Little Compton Commons cemetery, as is Elizabeth Pabodie, the eldest daughter of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame. The stones in the cemetery reflect a style of carving similar to that found both in Newport and in Boston during the same time period.
Truck School Near Me Little Compton RI
Picking the right truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck School Near Me. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Little Compton RI.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Rhode Island Locations