How to Pick the Best Trucking School near Evans Georgia
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Evans GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Evans home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective 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 rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Evans GA, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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 pick a truck driving 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). Below are short explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 greater 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Evans GA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Evans GA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, 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 a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Evans GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. 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 numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Georgia licensing authority 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 should be licensed in Georgia and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Evans GA schools offer training programs that run 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 mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few 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 truck driver school will provide 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Evans GA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Evans GA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Georgia, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Evans GA school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing 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 needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Make sure 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, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Evans GA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Evans GA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
CDL Driving School Near Me Evans Georgia
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold 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 CDL Driving School Near Me and wanting information on the topic CDL Truck School. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Evans GA.
Truck On in These Other Georgia Locations
Evans is a census-designated place (CDP) in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Augusta and is part of the Augusta metropolitan area. The population was 29,011 at the 2010 census, up from 17,727 at the 2000 census.
Evans, possibly named after Confederate General Clement A. Evans, is the de facto county seat of Columbia County, although Appling still holds the de jure designation. The Columbia County Government Center, the Government Complex Addition, and the Columbia County Courthouse Annex are all located in Evans.
Evans is located in eastern Columbia County, bordered to the northeast by the Savannah River, which forms the South Carolina state line. To the southeast is the town of Martinez. Downtown Augusta is 11 miles (18 km) to the southeast.
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