How to Enroll in the Best Truck Driving School near Bristol Georgia
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Bristol GA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Bristol home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your objective 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 target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Bristol GA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify 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 highlight 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). Following are short summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to operate 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. Some 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 might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Bristol GA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Bristol GA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively 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 Bristol GA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several 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 provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Georgia licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing 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 trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Bristol GA schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will provide ample 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between 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. Check with the Bristol GA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from certain truck driver 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 offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with a wide range of 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Bristol GA schools you are contemplating 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 permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed 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 other schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Bristol GA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Bristol GA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Bristol GA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Truck Driving Schools Cost Bristol Georgia
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Schools Cost and wanting information on the topic Training For CDL License. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Bristol GA.
Truck On in These Other Georgia Locations
Bristol is an unincorporated community in Pierce County, Georgia, United States. Bristol is located at the intersection of the concurrent Georgia State Route 15 and Georgia State Route 121, which runs north-south through Bristol, and Georgia State Route 32, which runs east-west. Bristol is 10 miles (16 km) north of Blackshear. Bristol is also known as Lightsey.
A variant name was "Lightsey". The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Bristol as a town in 1914. According to tradition, the present name is after Bristol, in England. Bristol's charter was dissolved in 1995.