How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Trenton Georgia
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Trenton GA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Trenton home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective 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 objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Georgia and within the USA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver 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 near Trenton GA, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 greater 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 operators may be qualified to drive 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Trenton GA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are several more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Trenton GA trucking schools are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Trenton GA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have 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 assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Georgia licensing authority 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 instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Trenton GA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the Trenton GA school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide lots of 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Trenton GA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of Trenton GA trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations 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 giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent 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 truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Georgia, find out if the Trenton GA schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Georgia testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Trenton GA school you choose 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 commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career in Trenton GA. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed in Trenton GA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a truck driver, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Trucking School Trenton GA
Choosing the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital 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 cash or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Trenton GA.
A Bit About Trenton Georgia
Trenton is a city in Dade County, Georgia, United States. Founded in the 1830s, the area was originally known as Salem. In 1839 Salem was designated the seat of the newly formed Dade County. It was renamed Trenton in 1841. The population was 2,301 at the 2010 census. It is the only incorporated municipality in the county, and as such it serves as the county seat. Trenton is part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
This was historically part of Cherokee people territory before Georgia and the United States forced them to cede lands and, under Indian Removal Act, relocate to Indian Territory in the 1830s. The area was developed largely for subsistence farming.
The noted Southern humorist George Washington Harris (1814–1869) is buried in the Brock Cemetery in Trenton. Although he was considered one of the seminal writers of Southern humor and greatly influenced the literary works of Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor, his grave was not officially identified and marked with a monument until 2008.
Trenton is located at 34°52′32″N 85°30′31″W / 34.87556°N 85.50861°W / 34.87556; -85.50861 (34.875609, −85.508644).
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