Category Archives: New Hampshire

Tractor Trailer School Swanzey NH

How to Decide on the Right Trucker School near Swanzey New Hampshire

long haul tractor trailer in Swanzey NHCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Swanzey NH. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Swanzey home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose 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 talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

tanker truck in Swanzey NHIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Swanzey NH, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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 CDL is needed to operate 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Research a Truck Driver School

Questions to ask Swanzey NH truck driving schoolsWhen you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Swanzey NH trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Swanzey NH area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided 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 quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively 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 Swanzey NH schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the New Hampshire licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Hampshire and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes 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 requires time. The majority of Swanzey NH schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified 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 advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. After all, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark 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 Swanzey NH schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified 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 associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects 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 Swanzey NH schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in New Hampshire, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at New Hampshire testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Swanzey NH school you select 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 instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Swanzey NH employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Swanzey NH area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining 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 Swanzey NH?

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

Swanzey, New Hampshire

Swanzey is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,230 at the 2010 census.[2] In addition to the town center, Swanzey includes the villages of East Swanzey, West Swanzey, North Swanzey, and Westport.

First granted in 1733 as Lower Ashuelot, Swanzey was one of the fort towns established by Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, which then claimed the territory. The town was the site of many battles during King George's War, and in 1747 was abandoned for three years. It was regranted to 62 proprietors on July 2, 1753 by Governor Benning Wentworth as Swanzey, most probably because some early settlers had a connection to Swansea in Wales.[3] Situated on the Ashuelot River and connected by the Ashuelot Railroad, West Swanzey developed as a textile mill town, and East Swanzey produced wooden buckets for generations. By 1859, the population was 2,106.[4]

The town features four covered bridges, and was the home of theatrical trouper Denman Thompson, who gained a national reputation by his portrayal of the Yankee farmer, "Joshua Whitcomb", star of his stage play The Old Homestead. Residents restage Thompson's melodrama every summer at a natural outdoor amphitheater called the Potash Bowl.[5]

Tractor Trailer School Swanzey NH

Swanzey NH long haul truckChoosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation 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 to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Tractor Trailer School.  But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need 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 enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Swanzey NH.

Keep On Trucking in These Other New Hampshire Locations

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  • CDL Class B Training Plaistow NH
  • Trucking School Milton Mills NH
  • How To Be A Truck Driver Sullivan NH
  • Truck Driving Training Programs Haverhill NH
  • How To Become Truck Driver Charlestown NH
  • CDL License School Rochester NH
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