How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Brooklyn Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Brooklyn AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to think about before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Brooklyn residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover 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 Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Brooklyn AL, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class 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 brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Brooklyn AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Brooklyn AL area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount 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 course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Brooklyn AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Brooklyn AL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide plenty 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Brooklyn AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Brooklyn AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Brooklyn AL school you select provides 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 teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed 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 attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Brooklyn AL employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Brooklyn AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Brooklyn AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Brooklyn Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Al Kifah Refugee Center
Al Kifah Refugee Center had clandestine links to forces fighting in Afghanistan dating to the late 1980s, when the fighters enjoyed American support in their struggle against the Soviet occupiers.[dead link] It is asserted[by whom?] that funds raised in the USA were covertly sent to Maktab al-Khidamat, an organization Osama bin Laden is said to have later transformed into al Qaeda.
Cooperative Research asserts that Ali Mohamed, an instructor at Fort Bragg offered military and demolition training through the center.[dead link] They assert El-Sayyid Nosair recruited students for this military training conducted through the center. They assert that some of those involved in bombing of the World Trade Center received training from Ali Mohamed through the center.
Among the causes the center raised funds for was Bosnian orphans.Newsweek reported that Aafia Siddiqui, who disappeared when she fell under suspicion of ties to terrorism, made large donations to the Al Kifah Refugee Center and Benevolence International.
Select the Right CDL School Brooklyn AL
Choosing the right trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Brooklyn AL.
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