How to Pick a Truck Driving School near North Kingstown Rhode Island
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near North Kingstown RI. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your North Kingstown home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain 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 qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Rhode Island and within the USA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near North Kingstown RI, we will focus on Class A and Class 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). Below are short summaries for the two 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 more 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 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 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the North Kingstown RI truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many North Kingstown RI trucking schools are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top North Kingstown RI schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Rhode Island licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Rhode Island and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover 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 obtaining the individual instruction 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of North Kingstown RI schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained 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 professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the North Kingstown RI school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the North Kingstown RI schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some North Kingstown RI truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best 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.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Rhode Island, ask if the North Kingstown RI schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Rhode Island testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the North Kingstown RI school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. 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 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 obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession in North Kingstown RI. Confirm that the schools you are considering 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 firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed in North Kingstown RI.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Trucker?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Truck Driver School North Kingstown RI
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds 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 choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter 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 North Kingstown RI.
A Bit About North Kingstown Rhode Island
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
North Kingstown is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States, and is part of the Providence metropolitan area. According to the 2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the population in 2015 was 22,358. North Kingstown is home to the birthplace of the famous American portraitist Gilbert Stuart who was born in the village of Saunderstown. Within the town is Quonset Point, location of the former Naval Air Station Quonset Point, known for the invention of the Quonset hut, as well as the neighborhood of Davisville, location of the former Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center.
The town of Kings Towne was founded in 1674, by the colonial government, and included the present day towns of North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Exeter, and Narragansett. In 1722, Kings Towne was split into two parts, North Kingstown and South Kingstown, with North Kingstown, having the earliest settlements, retaining the 1674 establishment date. In 1742 the town of Exeter was taken from the western part of North Kingstown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.3 square miles (151 km2). 43.6 square miles (113 km2) of it is land and 14.8 square miles (38 km2) of it (25.28%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,326 people, 10,154 households, and 7,310 families residing in the town. The population density was 603.9 people per square mile (233.2/km²). There were 10,743 housing units at an average density of 246.4 per square mile (95.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.71% White, 0.97% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.
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