How to Pick the Right CDL Training School near Union Point Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Union Point GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Union Point home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance 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 drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Union Point GA, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 drivers may be qualified to operate with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Union Point GA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Union Point GA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Union Point GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Georgia licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Georgia and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Union Point GA schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified 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 a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some 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.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies between 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. Get in touch with the Union Point GA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Union Point GA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Georgia, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Union Point GA school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Union Point GA employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Union Point GA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Union Point GA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Union Point Georgia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Union Point, Georgia
Union Point is located in eastern Greene County at 33°36′59″N 83°4′26″W / 33.61639°N 83.07389°W / 33.61639; -83.07389 (33.616263, -83.073905).U.S. Route 278 passes through the city as Lamb Avenue, leading east 11 miles (18 km) to Crawfordville and west 7 miles (11 km) to Greensboro, the Greene County seat. Georgia State Route 77 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Lexington and south 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 at Siloam, and State Route 44 leads northeast 22 miles (35 km) to Washington.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,669 people, 651 households, and 421 families residing in the city. The population density was 811.4 people per square mile (312.8/km²). There were 744 housing units at an average density of 361.7 per square mile (139.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.47% White, 46.38% African American, 0.66% Asian, 0.84% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.
There were 651 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.08.
How To Get CDL Class A Union Point GA
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get CDL Class A. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Union Point GA.
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