How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Sunny Side Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Sunny Side GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Sunny Side residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Sunny Side GA, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 required to drive 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. 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Sunny Side GA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Sunny Side GA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, 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 assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Sunny Side GA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Georgia licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Georgia and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Sunny Side GA schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish plenty of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Sunny Side GA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Sunny Side GA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Georgia, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Sunny Side GA school you enroll in 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 teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at 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 placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Sunny Side GA employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Sunny Side GA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Sunny Side GA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sunny Side Georgia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sunny Side, Georgia
As of the census of 2000, there were 142 people, 53 households, and 36 families residing in the city. The population density was 701.3 people per square mile (274.1/km²). There were 56 housing units at an average density of 276.6 per square mile (108.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.18% White, and 2.82% from two or more races.
There were 53 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 121.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.
Pick the Best CDL School Sunny Side GA
Selecting the right truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Sunny Side GA.
More Trucking Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 68