The road to becoming a school bus services professional starts with the proper training. Rest assured that working full-time in student transportation services is a beyond rewarding job, but entering the career field on your own can prove difficult without practice and an experienced hand to show you the ropes.
It’s for this reason that many potential drivers seek out a guide to help them through the whole process. Moreover, to prepare for the exams, the Minnesota DVS strongly recommends drivers take a commercial driver’s licence training course, as per its official website.
However, opting for training opens up a whole new can of worms, as choosing a program can define your entire future career—talk about stress! Northstar Bus Lines, a Maple Grove school bus contractor, hopes to make the process a little less anxiety-producing by explaining what a proper CDL training program looks like below.
What Should Class B CDL Training Teach You?
In short, a class B CDL training course should lay the foundation for a fulfilling career in group transportation services. Proper training won’t just sit you in a room and explain how to become a school bus driver, but instead, it’ll give you practical skills you can use both to pass required examinations and to succeed in your future career.
What might those skills look like? In other words, what are the things a proper CDL course will cover in its curriculum?
● Actual behind-the-wheel training in a school bus. Passing a road test is a requirement to obtain your class B CDL, and it must be done in the vehicle you plan to drive or receive an endorsement for. However, quality training will go beyond simply teaching you how to put the bus’s stop sign out; it will cover everything from how to back properly to how to mind your blind spots, and it will do this in a hands-on way. Knowing proper theory is important, of course, but just as important is being able to put that theory into practice.
● How the law affects your school-bus-driving practices. While the memorization of legal information isn’t a skill, a proper class B CDL training program will provide you with a knowledge of the law as it applies to your future career in school bus services. For example, did you know that, under Minnesota law, a school bus driver cannot use their cell phone for communication under any circumstances, even if that cell phone is hands-free? While what specific questions will be on the official written test for your class B CDL is unknown, a quality training program will explain to you what you as a driver can and cannot do, which prepares preparing you fully for both the exam and your future career.
● How to work with child passengers. While many school bus drivers have worked with children in the past, a good training program never assumes. Moreover, dealing with a disagreeable child is a little more complicated when you’re simultaneously piloting a 20,000 lb. vehicle! Even though drivers with Commercial Learner’s Permits are not legally permitted to carry children, good CDL training will cover how to do so, explaining everything from proper safety protocol to the management of rowdy passengers. As with its legal training, it will explain these skills in the context of what you should and shouldn’t do to handle the situation; that is, it will put the knowledge in a skill-oriented context.
At the end of the day, good class B CDL training is practical as well as theoretical. It should be designed to give you knowledge, but also give you the manual skill-set and confidence to put that knowledge into practice.
Should Class B CDL Training be Paid?
Some school bus contractors (like us) pay potential drivers to train for their CDL exams and later drive for that company, while others do not. There are also entire courses permit-holders can take that promise to prepare them to pass their exams and, later, find a job.
We firmly believe that potential bus drivers get the most out of paid training that comes straight from a company. Here’s why:
● Other industries offer paid training. From EMT jobs to retail workers to scribes, paid training has gained a foothold in many other skill-based jobs. Why should the school bus industry be any different?
● You’ll get first-hand experience from seasoned professionals. While private training firms can offer this, it’s almost a guarantee if you learn from a school bus contractor like us.
● There will be less of a gap in your income. Not having a job is stressful. What’s even more stressful is having to pay for training for your next job while not having any income to cover it. With paid training, in contrast, you’ll be in a less tenuous financial position, and be better able to focus on the training itself.
Contact Northstar Bus Lines for Quality Paid School Bus Driver Training Today
When you train with Northstar, you won’t just get paid; you’ll also become a part of a supportive, welcoming, and dedicated crew that’s determined to make a difference in the lives of children everywhere. Contact our Maple Grove location at 763-425-2542 to get started.