How to Choose the Right CDL Driving School near Taneytown Maryland
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Taneytown MD. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Taneytown residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable 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? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Taneytown MD, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Taneytown MD truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are several more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Taneytown MD area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given 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 program is certified (the program, 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 clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Taneytown MD schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Maryland licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Maryland and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. 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 look out for any school that claims it can train 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. The majority of Taneytown MD schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out 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 happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide ample 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement 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 among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Taneytown MD schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Taneytown MD 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 permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Maryland, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Maryland testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Taneytown MD school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. 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 Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Taneytown MD employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Taneytown MD area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Taneytown MD?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Taneytown Maryland area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Taneytown (/ˈtɔːnitaʊn/ TAW-nee-town) is a town in Carroll County, Maryland, United States. The population was 6,728 at the 2010 census. Taneytown was founded in 1754. Of the town, George Washington once wrote, "Tan-nee town is but a small place with only the Street through wch.(sic) the road passes, built on. The buildings are principally of wood." Taneytown has a history museum that displays the history of the town for visitors and citizens to see. The Bullfrog Road Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,728 people, 2,434 households, and 1,813 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,213.2 inhabitants per square mile (854.5/km2). There were 2,554 housing units at an average density of 840.1 per square mile (324.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.3% White, 4.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 2,434 households of which 40.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.5% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.14.
How To Get Class A CDL Taneytown MD
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered 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 How To Get Class A CDL. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want 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 CDL 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 decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Taneytown MD.
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