How to Choose a Trucking School near Gordon Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Gordon AL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Gordon home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest 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 Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Gordon AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver 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 focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with 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 Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 CDL is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Gordon AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Gordon AL area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 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 Gordon AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Gordon AL schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Gordon AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement 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 associations with numerous 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Gordon AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Gordon AL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared 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 obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Gordon AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Gordon AL area 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 get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Gordon AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Gordon Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Alan Gordon (born June 22, 1953) is an American comic book creator primarily known as an inker and writer. He is best known for his 1990s work on DC Comics' Legion of Super Heroes and the Justice League of America, Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, and Image Comics' creator-owned WildStar.
Gordon's career began in the mid-1970s as penciler and inker of the story "A Christmas Carol", starring Michael T. Gilbert's funny-animal detective the Wraith, in Quack #6 (Dec. 1977), from the early independent comics publisher Star Reach. The following year, Gordon began freelance inking for Marvel Comics, working with pencilers Bob Budiansky and Steve Leialoha, respectively, on a backup story each in Captain America #220-221 (April–May 1978). He was the regular inker on Spider-Woman, with penciler Carmine Infantino from #7-16 (Oct. 1978 - July 1979), and worked as well on at least one issue each of The Avengers, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, Marvel Premiere, Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-in-One, Master of Kung Fu, Power Man and Iron Fist, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Thor Annual and "What If..." through 1982.
In 1982, Gordon left Marvel for DC Comics to ink writer-penciler-co-creator Scott Shaw and fill-in penciler Stan Goldberg on the funny-animal superhero series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. In 1983, Gordon did a year-and-a-half run at the independent Eclipse Comics, inking Will Meugniot on Will and Mark Evanier's The DNAgents, as well as inking Rick Hoberg for the company's spin-off series Surge and its anthology Eclipse Monthly.
Select the Right Trucking School Gordon AL
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking 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 choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Gordon AL.
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