How to Pick a Trucking School near Dover Afb Delaware
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Dover Afb DE. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Dover Afb home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll get the right 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 goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Delaware and within the United States, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person 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 near Dover Afb DE, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief 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 more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 may also require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Dover Afb DE trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Dover Afb DE truck driver schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered 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 standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Dover Afb DE schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Delaware licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Delaware and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Dover Afb DE schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the Dover Afb DE school and talk to the instructors face to face. 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 ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, 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 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 she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Dover Afb DE schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some Dover Afb DE truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are contemplating 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 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Delaware, ask if the Dover Afb DE schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Delaware testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Dover Afb DE school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Dover Afb DE. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted in Dover Afb DE.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Trucker?When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Best Truck Driving School Dover Afb DE
Picking the right truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to consider 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 select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Dover Afb DE.
A Bit About Dover Afb Delaware
Dover Air Force Base
Dover Air Force Base or Dover AFB (IATA: DOV, ICAO: KDOV, FAA LID: DOV) is a United States Air Force base located 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of the city of Dover, Delaware.
Dover AFB is home to the 436th Airlift Wing (436 AW) of the Air Mobility Command (AMC), known as the "Eagle Wing", and the AMC-gained 512th Airlift Wing (512 AW) of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), referred to as the "Liberty Wing". It was previously the only base to solely operate the massive C-5 Galaxy and now operates both that aircraft plus the C-17 Globemaster III. The 436 AW has two active flying squadrons (the 3rd Airlift Squadron, which now operates the C-17 Globemaster III, and 9th Airlift Squadron), and the 512 AW has two Air Force Reserve flying squadrons (the 326th Airlift Squadron and the 709th Airlift Squadron).
Dover AFB is also the home for the largest military mortuary in the Department of Defense, and has been used for processing military personnel killed in both war and peacetime; the remains of those killed overseas are traditionally brought to Dover AFB before being transferred to family. The Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs has also been used to identify remains of civilians in certain exceptional circumstances: in 1978 for the victims of the Jonestown mass murder/suicide, in 1986 for identifying the remains of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and in 2003 for the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. It was also a major site for identifying the remains of military personnel killed in the 9/11 attacks. During the night of October 28, 2009, before making a decision on the committal of further troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama visited the base to receive the bodies of several American soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Two sections of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron warehouse collapsed on February 18, 2003, as a result of a record snow storm. No one was injured in the collapse that caused more than an estimated $1 million in damages. The damage covered two of the six cargo processing bays in the facility.
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