How to Find a CDL Training School near Union New Jersey
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Union NJ. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Union home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, 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 cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in New Jersey and within the United States, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school near Union NJ, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Union NJ truck driver schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Union NJ trucking schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, 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 know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Union NJ schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the New Jersey licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in New Jersey and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. 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 receiving the personal instruction 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 drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Union NJ schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the Union NJ school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish ample 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Union NJ schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from some Union NJ truck driver schools if you make a commitment 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 having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to obtain 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 CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in New Jersey, ask if the Union NJ schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at New Jersey testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Union NJ school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. 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 working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career in Union NJ. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? 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. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted in Union NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask truck driving candidates is "What compelled you to pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a trucking operator, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Truck Driving School Union NJ
Selecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to think about 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 choose an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Union NJ.
A Bit About Union New Jersey
Union Township, Union County, New Jersey
Union is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. In the 18th century, the area that is now Union was then called Connecticut Farms. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 56,642, the highest recorded in any decennial census, reflecting an increase of 2,237 (+4.1%) from the 54,405 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 4,381 (+8.8%) from the 50,024 counted in the 1990 Census.
Union Township was the site of the Battle of Connecticut Farms, one of the last battles between British and American forces during the American Revolutionary War. On June 6, 1780, British troops, led by Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen, boarded boats on Staten Island bound for Elizabeth, New Jersey. At midnight, 5,000 troops started to land. They expected the Continental Army to give little resistance, believing that they were tired of the war and were poorly fed and paid. They also expected the citizens of New Jersey to welcome them. They were wrong on both counts and were unable to make their way to and through the Hobart Gap.
Union Township was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 23, 1808, from portions of Elizabeth Township, while the area was still part of Essex County. It became part of the newly formed Union County on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township have been taken to form Linden Township (March 4, 1861), Roselle Park, (March 22, 1901), Kenilworth (May 13, 1907) and Hillside (April 3, 1913). In 1946, a group of residents pushed for the township's name to be changed to "Connecticut Farms", citing the potential benefits to area residents and businesses from the broad awareness of the historical significance of the name.
The Township of Union is located on the northern-central edge of Union County and is bordered by eight municipalities: Hillside to the east, Elizabeth to the southeast, Roselle Park and Kenilworth to the south and Springfield Township to the west. Northwest of the township lies Millburn, to the north lies Maplewood and to the northeast lies Irvington, all in Essex County.
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