Category Archives: South Carolina

Class A CDL Training State Park SC

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driving Classes near State Park South Carolina

tractor truck in State Park SC Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near State Park SC. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your State Park home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the right education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder 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?

State Park SC long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and State Park SC, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are short summaries for the two 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. 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

State Park SC truck driving schoolOnce you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the State Park SC trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the State Park SC 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 obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top State Park SC schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask 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 additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the South Carolina licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in South Carolina and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most State Park SC schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish lots of 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs 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 State Park SC schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with 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 restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the State Park SC schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in South Carolina, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at South Carolina testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the State Park SC school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many State Park SC employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other State Park SC 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.

Class A CDL Training State Park South Carolina

State Park SC long haul truckChoosing the right truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class A CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Getting A CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in State Park SC.

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    Devils Fork State Park

    Devils Fork State Park is in northwestern South Carolina on the eastern edge of the Sumter National Forest at the edge of 7,500-acre (3,035 ha) Lake Jocassee. It is located three miles (5 km) off SC 11, the Cherokee Scenic Highway, near tiny Salem, South Carolina.

    The park offers hiking, camping (including several paddle-in primitive sites), canoeing and kayaking. The park is well known for rainbow and brown trout, as well as largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, crappie, bream and catfish. The park has accommodations for scuba divers, including a walk-in ramp; thirty foot visibility is common, and due to the lake's recent creation, roads, houses, signs and other marks of human habitation can be seen on the lake bottom.

    The 622-acre (2.5 km2) park was created in 1990. The park has many small waterfalls that feed lake Jocassee, and is home to the Oconee Bell, a wildflower indigenous to North and South Carolina that grows throughout the park; more than 90 percent of the world population of these delicate white and pink flowers is found in the park.

     

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