How to Decide on the Best Trucking School near Braselton Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Braselton GA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Braselton residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn 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? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Braselton GA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 needed 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. Several 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 need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Braselton GA trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Braselton GA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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 get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Braselton GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Georgia licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Georgia and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Braselton GA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although 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 gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Braselton GA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Braselton GA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Georgia, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Braselton GA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Braselton GA employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Braselton GA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Getting Your CDL Braselton Georgia
Selecting the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Getting Your CDL and wanting information on the topic How To Obtain A Class B CDL. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Braselton GA.
Truck On in These Other Georgia Locations
Braselton is a town in Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, and Jackson counties in the U.S. state of Georgia, approximately 53 miles (85 km) northeast of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 7,511, and in 2015 the estimated population was 9,476.
The Gwinnett and Barrow County portions of Braselton are part of the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Hall County portion is part of both the Atlanta and Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The remaining Jackson County portion of Braselton is not part of any core based statistical area.
The first permanent settlement at Braselton was made in 1884. The town is named after Harrison Braselton, a poor dirt farmer who married Susan Hosch, the daughter of a rich plantation owner. Braselton built a home on 786 acres (318 ha) of land he purchased north of the Hosch Plantation. The land he purchased was later called Braselton. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Braselton as a town in 1916.
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