How to Find a CDL Training School near Sumner Georgia
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Sumner GA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Sumner residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Sumner GA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify 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 focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the 2 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 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 CDL is required 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. 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Sumner GA truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are a few additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Sumner GA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Sumner GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Georgia licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Georgia and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. 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 obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Sumner GA schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students 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. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Sumner GA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Sumner GA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Georgia, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Georgia testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Sumner GA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Sumner GA employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Sumner GA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Sumner GA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Sumner Georgia area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Sumner is a town in Worth County, Georgia, United States. The population was 309 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Albany, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sumner High School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sumner was named for John Cary Sumner, fifth child of Joseph Chestnutt Sumner and Mahala Smith Sumner. He had 11 children with four wives: Rebecca Young, Mary Ann Monk, Polly Hobby, and Pennelyne Joiner.
As of the census of 2000, there were 309 people, 110 households, and 87 families residing in the town. The population density was 288.4 people per square mile (111.5/km²). There were 125 housing units at an average density of 116.7 per square mile (45.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.82% White, 14.89% African American, 0.97% Native American, and 0.32% from two or more races.
Pick the Best Truck Driver School Sumner GA
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new profession 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 critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Sumner GA.
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