How to Choose the Right Trucking School near Clinchfield Georgia
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Clinchfield GA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Clinchfield residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Clinchfield GA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 may also require endorsements to drive 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 authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Clinchfield GA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Clinchfield GA area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Clinchfield GA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Georgia licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Georgia and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Clinchfield GA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. 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 ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs 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. Contact the Clinchfield GA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Clinchfield GA schools you are considering are independent or captive 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 students. If onsite testing is allowed in Georgia, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Clinchfield GA school you select 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 teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Clinchfield GA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Clinchfield GA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Weekend Truck Driving School Clinchfield Georgia
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Weekend Truck Driving School and wanting information on the topic CDL Truck Driving Schools. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Clinchfield GA.
Truck On in These Other Georgia Locations
The EMD SD45-2 is a 6-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD). EMD built 136 locomotives between 1972–1974, primarily for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). The SD45-2 was an improved version of the EMD SD45; the primary visual difference is the lack of flared radiators on the SD45-2.
Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the SD45-2 was an upgraded SD45. Like the SD45, the SD45-2 had an EMD 645E3 20-cylinder engine producing 3,600 horsepower (2,680 kW). The main spotting difference between an SD45 and an SD45-2 was the long hood and the rear radiator. On the SD45 the long hood is flared whereas on the SD45-2 it is vertical and the rear cooling fans are more spread out on the top of the rear of the long hood. This unit used the same frame as the EMD SD40-2 and EMD SD38-2. The largest owner of the SD45-2 was the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe with 90 units, the Clinchfield had 18 units, Seaboard Coast line had 15 units and Erie Lackawanna rostered 13 units.
A few cabless SD45-2Bs were built by Santa Fe from units undergoing remanufacturing. In all but one case (5510), the dynamic brakes were moved to the opposite end of the hood from the radiators; they were originally near the center of the hood. With no cab, these B-units are controlled from other locomotives.
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