The transportation of goods around the country is a time-honored profession, and truck drivers are the people who carry out this task.
Driving an 18-wheeler takes professional training, so if you’re looking to make a career on the road, read on to find the best schools in New Hampshire.
Data on Trucking Schools in New Hampshire
- Total Schools: 2
- Number of Undergraduate Programs: 2
- Number of Graduate Programs: 2
- Average Tuition Cost: $5,000
- Average Loan Amount: 100% (dependent on financial means test)
- Average Classroom Size: 1 instructor to 3 students (driving)
- Average Length of Program: 7-12 weeks
How Do I Get My CDL in NH?
Getting a CDL in New Hampshire requires these steps. This assumes that the applicant has a valid driver's license and is 18 years of age.
- Apply for a CLP (commercial learner's permit) at any DMV office with:
- CLP application form
- Medical certificate
- Applicable fee
2. Attend a CDL driving school to gain the necessary knowledge and experience.
3. Follow the process to get your CDL:
- You’ll have to pass a CDL general knowledge test.
- You’ll have to pass a skills test (inspection and primary vehicle control). In this, you’ll be asked to show the examiner what inspection is required to ensure the vehicle is safe for the road. You’ll also be asked to drive forward, backward, and maneuver it within a confined space.
- You’ll need to pass the road test. You’ll take the vehicle out into traffic and follow a route according to the examiner's instructions.
- If you pass these tests, you’ll get a Class A or B license, depending on the type of vehicle in which you trained. To drive hazardous materials, busses, tankers, double or triple trailers, or any other specialized trucks, you’ll have to undergo additional tests to gain this type of accreditation to your license.
CDL Variations Available in New Hampshire
There are several variations of the CDL available in New Hampshire. These include:
- Class A
- Combination vehicle with gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs or greater with a towed vehicle of 10,000 lbs or greater.
- Includes truck and trailer combination, tractor-trailer busses, tankers, flatbeds, and livestock transporters.
2. Class B
- Single vehicle with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs or greater or any vehicle towing another vehicle of up to 10,000 lbs.
- Includes straight and segmented busses, dump, straight, and box trucks. These can tow small trailers.
3. Class C
- This license indicates an extension to an A or B license And includes the following endorsements:
i. H for hazardous materials. This endorsement needs a fingerprint check and an FBI criminal history report.
ii. N for tanker driver
iii. P for passenger transport
iv. S for driving a school bus
v. T for driving a truck towing double or triple trailers
In addition to the endorsements, 13 restrictions can apply to these licenses. Some examples of these are:
- B for a driver who must wear corrective lenses
- E for a driver who may only drive a truck with an automatic transmission
- G for a driver who may only operate during daylight hours
- K for drivers under 21, as they can’t transport goods over a state boundary
- L for drivers who can’t operate a truck with air brakes (this is applied when the applicant fails this section of the test or takes the test in a vehicle that doesn’t have air brakes)
- Z for drivers who must have an Alcohol Interlock Device fitted to the truck.
Review of the Best Trucking Driving Schools in New Hampshire
There are two well-known and recommended schools in New Hampshire that offer training for a CDL.
- Location: Concord, New Hampshire
- Website: http://cdsofnh.com/
- Average Tuition Cost: $8,250 (full-time A license)
- Average Class Size: 10
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) from Veterans Affairs and Title IV
- Financial Aid: NHworks WIA, Massachusetts Unemployment, Veteran's Administration GI Bill, FEMA, TRADE ACT
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 1:4
The Commercial Driving School is located in Concorde and has an excellent record of training truck drivers.
The school is known for its flexible tuition hours, which is essential for those trying to change careers but who can’t give up a full-time job to train for something new.
The instructors' quality was rated very highly, as was the quality of the instruction manuals and documentation handed out to the students. The ratio of students to instructors was low, ensuring each student receives dedicated time with an instructor. Instructors are certified to teach in New Hampshire.
Students consistently praised the time spent behind the wheel and the instructors' patience and dedication while students are driving. The training stressed safety, load preparation, and pre-start inspections, along with driving skills.
This school encourages a positive learning environment with skilled tutors, and while it doesn’t actively find jobs for students, it does have positive relationships with many transport companies.
This company holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Commercial Driving School has trucks of different sizes used for their tuition. As the school permits the student to take their official test in the vehicles belonging to the school, this ensures that the student undertakes the test in a vehicle with which they’re comfortable.
Students enjoy at least 80 hours in the truck (56 in the yard undergoing the skills training and 24 hours of one-on-one training). They also spend a minimum of 38 hours actually driving the truck on the road. The school averages a pass rate of 94%.
Commercial Driving School will pass on any job leads that come their way. Their relationship with trucking companies in the area is good.
Certifications and Endorsements Offered
Commercial Driving school offers a range of programs for truckers to upgrade their certification. They also provide a refreshment course for drivers that have been out of the business for a while. In addition to CDL licenses, the school also offers driving instruction for motor cars so a student could go from a complete novice behind a steering wheel to a licensed truck driver with this school.
Courses include CDL Class A, CDL Class A Manual, CDL Class B, CDL Tanker Endorsement, CDL Refresher, CDL Prep Course, CDL Upgrade from B to A.
- Location: Littleton, New Hampshire
- Website: www.wmcc.edu
- Average Tuition Cost: $4,950 (full-time A license)
- Average Class Size: 10
- Licensing Credentials and Accreditations: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Association of Equipment Distributors (AED)
- Financial Aid: Normal aid through the college. Unemployed people may apply via the New Hampshire Employment Security program
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 1:3
This college offers a 12-week course that takes students from having no experience with a truck to gaining a CDL A license.
Students review the course in a positive light, with encouraging tutors and good quality training materials.
The ratio of students to tutors is excellent, and each student has plenty of time behind the wheel of a truck. With a low proportion of students to instructors, students get personalized time to ensure any problem areas are soon smoothed out. This also gives the students time to ask questions related to their own personal circumstances.
The training provides a firm foundation for a commercial driver's career and emphasizes the administration aspects as well as safety, loading, pre-start inspection, and driver health while on the road.
Assistance with finding employment is standard with this Community College.
The college has vehicles to suit the courses offered, and all students can use the college vehicles to undertake their tests.
Students get 290 hours in the truck on average, of which around 80 hours is spent behind the wheel on the road. The school averages a pass rate of 98%.
Students enjoy both one-on-one and one instructor to three student classes. This gives the students plenty of time to clear up any problems they may have.
White Mountains Community College will pass on any job leads that come their way. Their relationship with trucking companies in the area is good.
Certifications and Endorsements Offered
White Mountains Community College offers CDL Class A & B, Hazardous Transport, and Tanker driver training. The school also offers upgrade courses for existing CDL licenses and refresher courses for those that have been out of the business for a while.
What to Consider When Choosing a Trucking School in NH
As with choosing any educational institution, there are several factors to consider when selecting a school to help you acquire a commercial driving license.
Quality of Training
This should be one of the significant considerations. Talk to the instructors and try to talk to previous students to assess the quality of the school's training. Speak to the trucking companies in the area and ask them if they’d employ a student from the school. If the answer is an emphatic yes, you can be sure the training is up to scratch.
Also, assess the quality of the equipment on offer for training. Is this the type of vehicle the student will drive in the future? If not, look elsewhere as there’s no point training on old trucks that bear little resemblance to modern vehicles.
Look carefully at the student to instructor ratio. If the instructor is walking from one yard to another trying to watch several students simultaneously, look for training elsewhere. This scenario allows the student to build bad habits that no one catches as the instructors are spread too thin.
Driving Time During Training
Another essential consideration is how much time does the student actually get sitting behind the wheel of a truck on the asphalt? Classroom training is valuable for the academic requirements, but nothing will teach a student faster or better than actually driving a rig on the road. If the student only gets a few hours in the truck, look elsewhere.
Cost of Training
This is naturally a consideration for any student. Cost should be compared and if one school is very much cheaper than another, determine why. It could be a new school, hoping to attract students.
A competent school close to your home is a bonus for any student, but it’s worth looking at schools a little further away if the local schools aren’t going to provide reasonable tuition. This should be one of the last factors that you consider when looking for a good driving school.
Why Start a Trucking Career in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire is an excellent place to start a trucking career. Since 2015, there has been a steady demand for the services of competent, qualified truck drivers.
This state has excellent training facilities that’ll ensure you get a firm grounding in driving a truck and will train you to the point that you can take your CDL test.
Living and Working in NH
New Hampshire enjoys a high standard of living and boasts one of the US's lowest taxation rates. New Hampshire is one of the safest states in the US, with low levels of both violent and property crime. This benefits the truck driver as an employee as well as the owner-driver of a truck.
New Hampshire is located on the eastern seaboard of the US and is close to Boston. This gives the fledgling truck driver many job opportunities in this metropolitan city but the benefit of living with the low taxes of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire's Economy
A statistic that should please all truck drivers is that 92% of New Hampshire communities depend on trucks for their goods.
Another impressive statistic is that trucks move 98% of New Hampshire's manufactured tonnage.
This means that there are always jobs available for qualified, skilled truck drivers within the state.
Truck Driving Salary and Job Outlook in New Hampshire
Salaries for truck drivers in New Hampshire fall approximately in the middle range for all US states. The states that pay the most are Alaska, Nevada, and New York. The first two are due to the weather conditions truck drivers must face for large parts of the year, and New York has an astronomically high cost-of-living.
Like any profession, drivers with little or no experience are unlikely to be paid a high salary as they represent a risk to the company employing them. Experience and incident-free miles behind the steering wheel determine the rate of pay for most truckers that aren’t self-employed.
Over the road, or long-distance drivers, tend to be paid at the higher end of the market due to these drivers' working conditions.
Many companies also offer a range of benefits such as share options, 401(k) assistance, medical insurance, and paid time off.
The average salary for a truck driver in New Hampshire is $44,350 per annum, with the bottom 20% earning $32,890 and the top 20% earning $60,690.
Per Annum (Beginning At)
- Top Level or Master Drivers: $60,690
- Senior Truck Drivers: $50,840
- Mid-Level Truck Drivers: $44,350
- Junior Truck Drivers: $37,690
- Starting Level Truck Drivers: $32,890
Per Hour (Beginning At)
New Hampshire is an excellent place to start your trucking career, as two excellent truck driving schools train you to pass your CDL. The salaries for truckers in this state fall within the middle range of wages across the US, and it’s a popular and safe residential option. This state's economy relies heavily on road transport to supply rural and small towns, so there’s likely to be a constant source of jobs in the state.
People Also Ask
People have many questions about truck driving in New Hampshire, and we answer a few of the more common questions below.
How Long is Trucking School in NH?
Full-time CDL - B License is 3 - 6 weeks
Full-time CDL - A License is 7 - 12 weeks
How Much Does it Cost to Get Your CDL in New Hampshire?
CDL B license (training full time) - $4,800
CDL A License (training full time) - $8,250
Do You Have to Go to Truck Driving School to Get Your CDL in New Hampshire?
Going to Truck Driving School will ensure that you have the best opportunity to pass your CDL; however, there’s no law insisting on formal education before attempting a competency test for the license.
Can You Get Financial Aid for Truck Driving School in NH?
Yes, several entities can provide financial assistance to students. The driving school you wish to attend can give you a list of bodies to apply for financial aid.