How to Select a Trucking School near Chancellor Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Chancellor AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Chancellor residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Chancellor AL, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive 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 operators may be able to drive 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 drive 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Chancellor AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Chancellor AL area are accredited due to the demanding 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 several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed 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 best of Chancellor AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss 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 instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Chancellor AL schools offer training programs that range 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 mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish lots 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Chancellor AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with 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. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Chancellor AL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Chancellor AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering 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 companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Chancellor AL employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Chancellor AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Chancellor AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Chancellor Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, commonly known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer,[a] or simply the Chancellor, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position.
The chancellor is responsible for all economic and financial matters, equivalent to the role of finance minister in other nations. The position is considered one of the four Great Offices of State, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the prime minister.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now always Second Lord of the Treasury as one of the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Treasurer. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was common for the prime minister also to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons; the last chancellor who was simultaneously prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer was Stanley Baldwin in 1923. Formerly, in cases when the chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench would act as Chancellor pro tempore. The last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman in 1834.
Choose the Ideal Trucking School Chancellor AL
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession 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 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 large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Chancellor AL.
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