How to Find the Right Truck Driver School near Sussex New Jersey
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Sussex NJ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Sussex home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address 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 Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Sussex NJ, an operator must attain 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 pick 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 summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 CDL is required 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. A few 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 specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Sussex NJ truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are some more things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Sussex NJ area are accredited due to the stringent 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will measure up to 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 negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Sussex NJ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the New Jersey licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in New Jersey and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Sussex NJ schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will furnish plenty of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Sussex NJ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Sussex NJ schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in New Jersey, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at New Jersey testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Sussex NJ school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit 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 Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Sussex NJ employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Sussex NJ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. 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 submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Sussex NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sussex New Jersey area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sussex, New Jersey
Sussex is a borough in Sussex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,130, reflecting a decline of 15 (-0.7%) from the 2,145 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 56 (-2.5%) from the 2,201 counted in the 1990 Census.
Sussex was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on October 14, 1891, as Deckertown, from portions of Wantage Township. The borough's original name was for settler Peter Decker. The borough was renamed Sussex on March 2, 1902. The county and borough are named for the historic county of Sussex in England.
A joint commission of residents of both Sussex and Wantage had recommended that the two communities should be consolidated to form what would be called the Township of Sussex-Wantage, which would operate within the Faulkner Act under the council-manager form of government, with a mayor and a six-member township council, and that voters in both municipalities should approve a referendum to be held on November 3, 2009. The committee noted that the two municipalities share common issues, schools, library and community services and that the artificial nature of the octagonal Sussex border often made it hard to distinguish between the two. The efforts at consolidation with surrounding Wantage Township ended in November 2009 after Wantage voters rejected the merger despite support from Sussex borough residents.
I Want To Be A Truck Driver Sussex NJ
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 I Want To Be A Truck Driver. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash 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 CDL 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 regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Sussex NJ.
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