Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Glen Allen AL

How to Pick a Truck Driving School near Glen Allen Alabama

Glen Allen AL truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Glen Allen AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Glen Allen home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams 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 address in the remainder 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 Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Glen Allen ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Glen Allen AL, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss 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). Below are short summaries for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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 might also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Questions to ask Glen Allen AL truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Glen Allen AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole 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 several more things that you should research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Glen Allen AL area are accredited because of the stringent 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Glen Allen AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Glen Allen AL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish ample 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark 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 Glen Allen AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up 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 best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Glen Allen AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, ask 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 locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Glen Allen AL school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Glen Allen AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Glen Allen AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Glen Allen AL?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Glen Allen Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Glen Allen, Alabama

Glen Allen is a town located in Fayette and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The town incorporated in May 1959.[3] At the 2010 census the population was 510.[4] Glen Allen is positioned along the BNSF railway and is near Interstate 22, providing access to multiple expanding industries.

Glen Allen is located on the border of Fayette and Marion counties at 33°53′58″N 87°43′49″W / 33.89944°N 87.73028°W / 33.89944; -87.73028 (33.899470, -87.730388).[5] It is bordered to the west by the city of Winfield. Interstate 22 passes 5 miles (8 km) north of the town, with access from Exit 34.

As of the census[8] of 2010 there were 510 people, 377 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 82.2 people per square mile (31.7/km²). There were 215 housing units at an average density of 40.0 per square mile (15.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.03% White, 15.61% Black or African American, 0.68% Asian, 0.45% from other races, and 0.23% from two or more races. 1.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Select the Ideal Truck Driver School Glen Allen AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Glen Allen ALPicking the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Glen Allen AL.

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