How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Mount Olive Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Mount Olive AL. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Mount Olive residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Mount Olive AL, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply 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 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 brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Mount Olive AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Mount Olive AL area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated 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 top Mount Olive AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Mount Olive AL schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, 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. Although driving time varies among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Mount Olive AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Mount Olive AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third 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 considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Mount Olive AL school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular 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 attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio 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 poor job placement rate or few Mount Olive AL employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Mount Olive AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Mount Olive AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Mount Olive Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet (Hebrew: הַר הַזֵּיתִים, Har ha-Zeitim; Arabic: جبل الزيتون, الطور, Jabal al-Zaytun, Al-Tur) is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the ancient Judean kingdom. The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries. Several key events in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Acts of the Apostles it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the mount has been a site of Christian worship since ancient times and is today a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants.
The Mount of Olives is one of three peaks of a mountain ridge which runs for 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) just east of the Old City across the Kidron Valley, in this area called the Valley of Josaphat. The peak to its north is Mount Scopus, at 826 metres (2,710 feet), while the peak to its south is the Mount of Corruption, at 747 m (2,451 ft). The highest point on the Mount of Olives is At-Tur, at 818 m (2,684 ft). The ridge acts as a watershed, and its eastern side is the beginning of the Judean Desert.
The ridge is formed of oceanic sedimentary rock from the Late Cretaceous and contains a soft chalk and a hard flint. While the chalk is easily quarried, it is not a suitable strength for construction and features many man-made burial caves
Select the Ideal Trucking School Mount Olive AL
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to consider 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 enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Mount Olive AL.
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