How to Select a CDL Driving School near Woodmere New York
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Woodmere NY. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Woodmere home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. 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 goal in mind, just how do you select 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in New York and within the USA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school near Woodmere NY, we will address 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 brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a CDL School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Woodmere NY trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Woodmere NY truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving 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. Having said that, even the top Woodmere NY schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New York licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in New York and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher 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 concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Woodmere NY schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the Woodmere NY school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Woodmere NY schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some Woodmere NY trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in New York, ask if the Woodmere NY schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at New York testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Woodmere NY school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession in Woodmere NY. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted in Woodmere NY.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask truck driving prospects is "What compelled you to choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a trucker, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Trucking School Woodmere NY
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need 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 choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Woodmere NY.
A Bit About Woodmere New York
Woodmere, New York
Woodmere is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 17,121 at the 2010 census.
Woodmere is one of the Long Island communities known as the Five Towns, which is usually said to comprise the villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, the hamlets of Woodmere and Inwood, and "The Hewletts", which consist of the villages of Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor and Hewlett Neck and the hamlet of Hewlett, along with Woodsburgh. Woodmere is in the Town of Hempstead and is represented by Councilman Bruce Blakeman ( Republican 3rd District).
Part of the community is in the Hewlett-Woodmere School District (District 14), with the rest served by the Lawrence Public Schools (District 15).
The Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) Elementary School for grades 1-8 is a Jewish day school that moved in March 2017 from Long Beach to Woodmere. Their all-boys high school, known as the Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys (DRS), is also located in Woodmere.
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