Category Archives: Vermont

Cost Of CDL Training West Townshend VT

How to Select the Right Truck Driver School near West Townshend Vermont

long haul tractor trailer in West Townshend VTCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near West Townshend VT. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good pay 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 want to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your West Townshend home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick 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 review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

tanker truck in West Townshend VTTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and West Townshend VT, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver 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 discuss 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). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

How to Assess a CDL School

Questions to ask West Townshend VT truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the process of researching the West Townshend VT trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, 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 variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the West Townshend VT area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top West Townshend VT schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Vermont licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Vermont and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of West Townshend VT schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors 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 an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the West Townshend VT schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the West Townshend VT schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Vermont, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Vermont testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the West Townshend VT school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few West Townshend VT employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other West Townshend VT area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near West Townshend VT?

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

Townshend, Vermont

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.8 square miles (110.8 km2), of which 42.7 square miles (110.6 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (0.14%) is water. The West River flows through the town.[4]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,149 people, 469 households, and 319 families residing in the town. The population density was 26.9 people per square mile (10.4/km2). There were 668 housing units at an average density of 15.6 per square mile (6.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.82% White, 0.26% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.78% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.

There were 469 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84.

Cost Of CDL Training West Townshend VT

West Townshend VT long haul truckPicking the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Cost Of CDL Training.  However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL 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 get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in West Townshend VT.

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