How to Pick a CDL Training School near Star Mississippi
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Star MS. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Star residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Mississippi and within the United States, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Star MS, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Star MS trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Star MS truck driver schools are accredited due to the stringent 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 obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Star MS schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out 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 additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Mississippi licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Mississippi and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal 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 claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Star MS schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the Star MS school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Star MS schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of Star MS trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive 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 rather than having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Mississippi, find out if the Star MS schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Mississippi testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Star MS school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession in Star MS. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Star MS.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Truck Driver?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask truck driving applicants is "What made you select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Trucking School Star MS
Picking the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance 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 available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Star MS.
A Bit About Star Mississippi
MS Star is a fast Ro-Pax ferry operated by the Estonian ferry company Tallink. She was built at Aker Finnyards Hietalahti shipyard, Helsinki, Finland and entered service on Tallink's Helsinki–Tallinn service on 12 April 2007.
Star was the first fast ferry capable of around-the-year service used on the Helsinki–Tallinn route. The ship's design is heavily based on that of MS SeaFrance Rodin, built by Aker Finnyards for SeaFrance in 2001. Originally it was reported the Star would have no passenger beds, but later specifications included beds for 520 passengers, meaning that the ship can offer short overnight cruises to Tallinn as well as a transportation service during the day. The green external livery of the ship is according to Tallink promotion material "meant to reflect the environmentally friendly aspects of the ship's design".
Star has three daily departures from both Helsinki and Tallinn, with one crossing taking two hours. In Tallink marketing, Star has often been referred to as "Tallink Star". The ship's planned original delivery date was 5 April 2007, but this was postponed until 12 April 2007, owing to problems with the main engines. Burger King is also located onboard since January 2016 
Media related to Star (ship, 2007) at Wikimedia Commons
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