How to Choose the Right Trucker School near Danville Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Danville GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Danville home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Danville GA, a driver must 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. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 operate 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. 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Danville GA trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized 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 some additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Danville GA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided 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 an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Danville GA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, 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? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Georgia and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Danville GA schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, 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 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 real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Danville GA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Danville GA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking 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 battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Danville GA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Danville GA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Danville GA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Cost For CDL Training Danville Georgia
Choosing the right truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Cost For CDL Training and wanting information on the topic CDL Truck Driving School. However, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Danville GA.
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Danville was originally called "Hughes", and under the latter name had its start about 1891 when the railroad was extended to that point. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1905 as the "Town of Danville". The town was named for Daniel G. Hughes, father of U.S. Representative Dudley Mays Hughes.
As of the census of 2000, there were 373 people, 141 households, and 97 families residing in the town. The population density was 466.4 people per square mile (180.0/km²). There were 167 housing units at an average density of 208.8 per square mile (80.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 47.45% White, 51.21% African American, 0.80% Native American, and 0.54% from two or more races.
There were 141 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 23.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.28.