Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Moulton AL

How to Find a Trucking School near Moulton Alabama

Moulton AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Moulton AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to consider before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Moulton residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Moulton ALTo operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Moulton AL, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and 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). Following are short explanations for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 needed to operate 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 require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Moulton AL truck driving schoolsOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Moulton AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several 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 Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Moulton AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated 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 Moulton AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Moulton AL schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, 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 laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will provide 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 driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Moulton AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, 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 choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Moulton 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 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Moulton AL school you enroll in offers 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 teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your CDL 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 assistance 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 placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Moulton AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Moulton AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Moulton AL?

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

Moulton, Alabama

Moulton is a city in Lawrence County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Although it incorporated in 1819,[4] along with its rival of Courtland, to compete for the honor of county seat, it did not first appear on the U.S. Census rolls until 1900. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,471, its record high. The city has been the county seat of Lawrence County since 1820. It has been the largest community in the county since the 1920 U.S. Census.[5]

By the time Alabama became a state in 1819, an inn had been erected at the site of what is now Moulton to serve migrants along the various early paths that passed through the area. Shortly after Alabama achieved statehood, both Moulton and Courtland (to the north) incorporated and competed for the county seat of Lawrence County. Governor Thomas Bibb awarded the seat to Moulton as the most centrally located of the two within the county.[6] The city is named for Lieutenant Michael Moulton, a soldier killed while fighting under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.[4]

Moulton is located at 34°28′56″N 87°17′8″W / 34.48222°N 87.28556°W / 34.48222; -87.28556 (34.482307, -87.285621).[7] The city is concentrated along Alabama State Route 33 southwest of Decatur. Alabama State Route 24 passes through the northern part of the city, and Alabama State Route 157 passes through its eastern section. The William B. Bankhead National Forest lies to the southwest of Moulton.

Select the Right Truck Driving School Moulton AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Moulton ALChoosing the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new profession 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 a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Moulton AL.

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