How to Select a Truck Driving School White House Tennessee
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near White House TN. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your White House residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and White House TN, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver 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 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). Following are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the White House TN trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the White House TN area are accredited due to the demanding 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 standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked 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 White House TN schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Tennessee licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Tennessee and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next 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 getting the individual instruction 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 frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most White House TN schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good 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 White House TN schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with 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. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the White House TN schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Tennessee, ask 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 other schools for test times at Tennessee testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the White House TN school you choose offers 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few White House TN employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other White House TN area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Attending Truck Driving School near White House TN?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the White House Tennessee area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
White House, Tennessee
White House is a city in Robertson and Sumner counties in the United States state of Tennessee. The population was 7,220 at the 2000 census. It is approximately twenty-two miles north of downtown Nashville. According to the city website a special census was conducted in 2008 that placed the city population at 9,891 residents, with 3,587 households within the city limits. The population was 10,255 at the 2010 census which showed growth of 3,000 people from 2000 to 2010. The 2013 population was 10,752.
The area that is now White House was purchased around 1828 by Richard Stone Wilks, a settler from Virginia. A trail running from Kentucky to Nashville, originally created by Native Americans, cut through the area. This trail was originally known as the Louisville & Nashville Turnpike during the mid-19th century. In 1928, the trail was renamed US Highway 31W.
In the mid-19th century, the Carter, Thomas, and Hough Stagecoach Company traveled the L&N Turnpike carrying passengers. A typical stop along the way was a white, two-story house built by Richard Wilks in 1829. The house was a popular stop for lodging, food, and changing out horses. President Andrew Jackson was even heard to have stayed here during his travels between his home and the White House. During this time, houses were rarely painted white, particularly in this underdeveloped area. The stage coach drivers began to call this stop and the surrounding area White House.
Choose the Right Truck Driving School White House TN
Picking the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even 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 choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in White House TN.
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