How to Select the Best CDL Driving School near Bolingbroke Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Bolingbroke GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Bolingbroke home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose 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 ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Bolingbroke GA, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving 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 short explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 more 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Bolingbroke GA truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Bolingbroke GA area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated 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. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Bolingbroke GA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Georgia licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Georgia and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Bolingbroke GA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Bolingbroke GA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships 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 giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Bolingbroke GA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Georgia, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Bolingbroke GA school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Bolingbroke GA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Bolingbroke GA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
How To Get A Class B CDL Bolingbroke Georgia
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get A Class B CDL and wanting information on the topic How To Get A Class A CDL License. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Bolingbroke GA.
Truck On in These Other Georgia Locations
Bolingbroke, founded in 1867, is an unincorporated community in Monroe County, Georgia, United States. It lies just north of Macon, between Interstates 475 and 75. The community is part of the Macon Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The community was named after Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751), English philosopher and politician.Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town in 1912. Bolingbroke was dissolved as a municipality in 1995.
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