How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Sanbornton New Hampshire
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Sanbornton NH. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Sanbornton residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Sanbornton NH, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 operate 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. Some 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 operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Sanbornton NH trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed 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 similarly if not more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Sanbornton NH area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Sanbornton NH schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Sanbornton NH schools offer training courses 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 Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. 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.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will furnish 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 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 training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Sanbornton NH schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Sanbornton NH schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in New Hampshire, ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 New Hampshire testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Sanbornton NH school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Sanbornton NH employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Sanbornton NH area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance 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 Sanbornton NH?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sanbornton New Hampshire area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sanbornton, New Hampshire
Located in the fork of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers, the town was first called Crotchtown. It was granted by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1748 to his friend John Sanborn of Hampton, along with 59 others from Hampton, Exeter and Stratham. Twelve of the grantees were named Sanborn, therefore the community was named Sanborntown. Among the other settlers were members of the Leavitt family, related to the Sanborns. But ongoing hostilities during the French and Indian War delayed permanent settlement until 1764. It would be incorporated by Governor John Wentworth in 1770. The town originally included Sanbornton Bridge, or Bridge Village, set off in 1869 as Tilton.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.8 square miles (128.9 km2), of which 47.6 sq mi (123.3 km2) is land and 2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2) is water, comprising 4.32% of the town. Bounded on the west by the Pemigewasset River and on the east by Winnisquam Lake, Sanbornton is largely drained by Salmon Brook, a tributary of the Pemigewasset. The highest point in town is the summit of Hersey Mountain, elevation 2,001 feet (610 m) above sea level, along the town's northwestern border.
The town is served by Interstate 93, New Hampshire Route 132, and New Hampshire Route 127. I-93 accesses the town via Exit 22 (NH 127) and leads north to Plymouth and south to Concord. NH 132 parallels I-93 as a local road, connecting Tilton to the south with New Hampton and Ashland to the north. NH 127 intersects NH 132 in the village of Gaza within Sanbornton and leads southwest to Franklin. U.S. Route 3 crosses a very small southeastern corner of Sanbornton at the village of Winnisquam, where the road crosses Winnisquam Lake.
CDL A Training Sanbornton NH
Choosing the right trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL A Training. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Sanbornton NH.
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