How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Tyrone Georgia
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Tyrone GA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Tyrone residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge 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 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally in Georgia and within the USA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near Tyrone GA, 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 brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 needed to operate 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 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Tyrone GA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Tyrone GA truck driving schools are accredited due to the rigorous 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 required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, 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 evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Tyrone GA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple 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 stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Georgia licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Georgia and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction 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 time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Tyrone GA schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor 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. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the Tyrone GA school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Tyrone GA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some Tyrone GA truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified 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 maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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 choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Georgia, find out if the Tyrone GA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Georgia testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Tyrone 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 certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Tyrone GA. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other 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 aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted in Tyrone GA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a trucker, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Right CDL School Tyrone GA
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to consider 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 enroll in 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 get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Tyrone GA.
A Bit About Tyrone Georgia
Tyrone is located in the northwest corner of Fayette County at 33°28′25″N 84°35′28″W / 33.47361°N 84.59111°W / 33.47361; -84.59111 (33.473563, -84.591229). It is bordered to the south by Peachtree City and to the west by Coweta County, across Line Creek.
Georgia State Route 74, the Joel Cowan Parkway, passes through Tyrone, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 85 on the south side of Fairburn. Downtown Atlanta is 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Tyrone via SR 74 and I-85.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Tyrone has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.3 km2), of which 12.5 square miles (32.3 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 2.94%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,916 people, 1,374 households, and 1,158 families residing in the town. The population density was 309.6 people per square mile (119.5/km²). There were 1,425 housing units at an average density of 112.7 per square mile (43.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.38% White, 3.37% African American, 0.33% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.
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