How to Choose a Truck Driver School Temple Georgia
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Temple GA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Temple home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll obtain the proper training. 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 purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Temple GA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes 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 discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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. A few 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 certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Temple GA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Temple GA area are accredited due to the stringent 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 certain advantages. Interested 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate 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. Having said that, even the top Temple GA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Georgia licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
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 teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting 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 professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Temple GA schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers 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 successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit 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 ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Temple GA schools you are considering and find out 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 specific 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 refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Temple GA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Georgia, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Temple GA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor 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 fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Temple GA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Temple GA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near Temple GA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Temple Georgia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Temple is located in northeastern Carroll County at 33°44′9″N 85°1′38″W / 33.73583°N 85.02722°W / 33.73583; -85.02722 (33.735723, -85.027298). A very small portion of the city extends west into Haralson County. U.S. Route 78 passes just south of the center of town, leading east 6 miles (10 km) to Villa Rica and west 7 miles (11 km) to Bremen. Interstate 20 passes through the southernmost part of the town, with access from Exit 19, and leads east 38 miles (61 km) to Atlanta and west 48 miles (77 km) to Oxford, Alabama. Carrollton, the county seat, is 12 miles (19 km) south via Highway 113.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Temple has a total area of 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2), of which 6.8 square miles (17.6 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.38%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,383 people, 864 households, and 664 families residing in the city. The population density was 352.3 people per square mile (136.1/km²). There were 956 housing units at an average density of 141.3 per square mile (54.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.47% White, 13.72% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.80% of the population.
Pick the Best Trucking School Temple GA
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need 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 school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Temple GA.
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