How to Decide on a CDL Driving School near Tuckerton New Jersey
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Tuckerton NJ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Tuckerton residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations 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 address in the rest 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 Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally in New Jersey and within the United States, a driver 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. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Tuckerton NJ, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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. 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Tuckerton NJ truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several more factors 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 ? Not many Tuckerton NJ truck driver schools are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Tuckerton NJ schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the New Jersey licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in New Jersey and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is especially true concerning 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 period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Tuckerton NJ schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the Tuckerton NJ school and speak with 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 level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish ample 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Tuckerton NJ schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain Tuckerton NJ truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in New Jersey, ask if the Tuckerton NJ schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at New Jersey testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Tuckerton NJ school you choose 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 commit more time with you until you are proficient. 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession in Tuckerton NJ. 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, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted in Tuckerton NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Trucker?When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a truck driver, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Right Truck Driver School Tuckerton NJ
Choosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to consider 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 school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Tuckerton NJ.
A Bit About Tuckerton New Jersey
Tuckerton, New Jersey
Tuckerton is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, named for founder Ebenezer Tucker (1758–1845), and was a port of entry, but not the third Port of Entry in the United States, as is often described. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,347, reflecting a decline of 170 (−4.8%) from the 3,517 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 469 (+15.4%) from the 3,048 counted in the 1990 Census.
The borough is surrounded by Little Egg Harbor Township, but is politically independent. Because Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor share the same 08087 ZIP code and Little Egg Harbor has no true "downtown" area, many refer to Little Egg Harbor and surrounding suburbs as "Tuckerton".
The area that is now Tuckerton was settled in 1698. Some of the early settlers were Andrews, Falkinburgs, Shourds, Ongs, Willets and Osborns. Edward Andrews settled on the east side of the Pohatcong Creek; his brother, Mordecai Andrews settled on the west side of the same creek. Edward, tired of going to Mount Holly Township with his grain, constructed a cedar log grist mill on the site of a dam built by beavers at the mouth of what is known as Tuckerton Creek. He built the grist mill in 1704, and it still stands to this day.
Tuckerton became a Port of Entry of the United States, but not the third port as is commonly believed, with Ebenezer Tucker appointed Collector, his commission bearing the date March 21, 1791, signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It was six years later that Tuckerton became a post town with Reuben Tucker as its first postmaster.
More Cities of Interest in New Jersey