How to Find a Trucking School near Sewanee Tennessee
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Sewanee TN. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Sewanee home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on 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 commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Tennessee and within the USA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near Sewanee TN, 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Sewanee TN truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Sewanee TN truck driver schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 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 operation. A poorly ranked 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 Sewanee TN schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Tennessee licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Tennessee and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention 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 drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Sewanee TN schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the Sewanee TN school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, 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 replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Sewanee TN schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some Sewanee TN truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Tennessee, find out if the Sewanee TN schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Tennessee testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Sewanee TN school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty 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 holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career in Sewanee TN. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed in Sewanee TN.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to choose trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a trucker, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driving School Sewanee TN
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local 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. Most importantly, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Sewanee TN.
A Bit About Sewanee Tennessee
Sewanee: The University of the South
Sewanee: The University of the South, also known as Sewanee, is a private, residential, coeducational liberal arts college located in Sewanee, Tennessee, United States. It is owned by 28 southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church, and its School of Theology is an official seminary of the church. The university's School of Letters offers graduate degrees in American Literature and Creative Writing. The campus (officially called "The Domain" or, affectionately, "The Mountain") consists of 13,000 acres (53 km2) of scenic mountain property atop the Cumberland Plateau, with the developed portion occupying about 1,000 acres (4.0 km2).
The school was ranked 45th in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report list of liberal arts colleges. In 2016, Forbes ranked it 94th on its list of Top Colleges in the United States. Sewanee is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South.
On July 4, 1857, delegates from ten dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—were led up Monteagle Mountain by Bishop Leonidas Polk for the founding of their denominational college for the region. The goal was to create a Southern university free of Northern influences. As one of its founders, Bishop James Otey of Tennessee, put it: the new university will "materially aid the South to resist and repel a fanatical domination which seeks to rule over us."John Armfield, at one time co-owner of Franklin and Armfield, "the largest and most prosperous slave trading enterprise in the entire country," was by far the most influential in bankrolling the new university. His purchase of the site where the university continues to exist today and his promise of $25,000 per annum far exceeded any other donations and was considered a "princely offer" by a Nashville newspaper. Today, Sewanee admits students from all backgrounds and downplays the role of this slave trader in the University's founding.
The six-ton marble cornerstone, laid on October 10, 1860, and consecrated by Bishop Polk, was blown up in 1863 by Union soldiers; many of the pieces were collected and kept as keepsakes by the soldiers. A few were donated back to the university, and a large fragment was eventually installed in a wall of All Saints' Chapel. Several figures later prominent in the Confederacy, notably Bishop-General Leonidas Polk, Bishop Stephen Elliott, Jr., and Bishop James Hervey Otey, were significant founders of the university. Generals Edmund Kirby Smith, Josiah Gorgas and Francis A. Shoup were prominent in the university's postbellum revival and continuance.
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