How to Find the Right Trucker School near Three Bridges New Jersey
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Three Bridges NJ. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Three Bridges home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Three Bridges NJ, a driver needs to obtain 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 subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 operators may be able to drive 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 more 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 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Three Bridges NJ trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Three Bridges NJ area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Three Bridges NJ schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the New Jersey licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Jersey and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following 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 personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Three Bridges NJ schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving 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 necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Three Bridges NJ schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Three Bridges NJ schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in New Jersey, find out 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 Jersey testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Three Bridges NJ school you choose offers 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 commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to 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 obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Three Bridges NJ employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Three Bridges NJ area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Three Bridges NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Three Bridges New Jersey area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Three Bridges, New Jersey
Three Bridges is an unincorporated community located within Readington Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States, on the South Branch Raritan River. It is named for the three original bridges which crossed the river.
Farmers John Vlerebone and Harriet Foster Cline were original land owners in the area of Three Bridges. They eventually sold some land to the Central Railroad of New Jersey for its South Branch Line which passed on to the Black River and Western Railroad. Vlerebone and Kline subdivided their land along Old York Road after 1864.
In 1875 the Lehigh Valley Railroad built the New Jersey extension of its main line through Three Bridges using its Easton and Amboy Railroad subsidiary where it still runs today now owned by Norfolk Southern Railway. Numerous lines for shipping produce and a number of daily passenger lines stopped in the village in its heyday. With the loss of the passenger lines, a large number of commercial businesses are gone, but there are still several restaurants and a branch of the Hunterdon County Library System.
Truck Driving Programs Three Bridges NJ
Selecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Programs. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need 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 select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Three Bridges NJ.
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