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Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Suwanee GA

How to Find a Truck Driving School near Suwanee Georgia

Suwanee GA truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Suwanee GA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Suwanee residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal means to guarantee you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Suwanee GATo operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Suwanee GA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class 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 of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 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. 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Research a Trucking School

Questions to ask Suwanee GA truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Suwanee GA trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Suwanee GA area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered 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 receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Suwanee GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Georgia licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Georgia and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover 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 higher, 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 insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Suwanee GA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several 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 vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish lots of 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good 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 Suwanee GA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous 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 flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Suwanee GA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Georgia, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Suwanee GA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Suwanee GA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Suwanee GA area trade or technical 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 assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Suwanee GA?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Suwanee Georgia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Suwanee, Georgia

Suwanee is a city in Gwinnett County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,355;[4] this had grown to an estimated 18,694 as of 2015.[5] Suwanee was the practicing home of the Atlanta Falcons football team from 1979 to 2001 and was voted among the Top 10 Best Places to Live by Money in 2007. In 2012, Suwanee was rated by Kiplinger as the third best place in America for raising families.[6] In 2013, Suwanee was identified as one of the nation's 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine and in 2018, Suwanee was rated #1 for places with the best public schools in Georgia by Niche.[7]

Suwanee, as did most towns in Georgia, started out as a Native American village. It was built on the Chattahoochee River, where societies flourished.[8] The city of Suwanee itself was established and officially recognized by the U.S. government in 1837 upon the erection of a post office. In 1871, the Georgia Air Line Railroad was built through Suwanee, and in 1880 the Rhodes House hotel was built to house passengers of the railroad.[8] This was instrumental in bringing people through the town and helped to generate trade and economic activity. In 1881, a fire burned down all of the buildings on Main Street except for one. From 1880 to 1920, the population saw almost no increase, shifting from 216 people to 241 over the course of 40 years.[8] As of 2015[update], the population of Suwanee was over 18,000[5]

Beginning in 1933 and ending in 1936, the now heavily traveled Buford Highway was constructed through Suwanee.[8] In 1960, Interstate 85 was built to extend to just south of Suwanee, where it ended at the time. Throughout the last 100 years, several primary education schools have opened in Suwanee, including North Gwinnett High School and Suwanee Elementary School. The first known date for Suwanee High School was 1880, when it was a one-room school house.[8] The first city hall was built in the early 1960s, and the second city hall was built in 1997. In 2005, Town Center was constructed and finished in 2009, at which time the city hall moved to it, where it currently resides.[8] In 2003, Suwanee was named a City of Excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association and Trend Magazine.[8] In 2017, Suwanee was recognized as a Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC[9]) certified at the bronze level for the city's commitment to environmental stewardship and their leadership in sustainability practices.

Pick the Best Truck Driver School Suwanee GA

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Suwanee GAPicking the ideal trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills 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 crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive 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 select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Suwanee GA.

More Trucking Locations in Georgia

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