Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Sterrett AL

How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Sterrett Alabama

Sterrett AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Sterrett AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Sterrett residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to make certain you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick 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 discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Sterrett ALTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Sterrett AL, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed 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 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 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 drivers may be qualified to operate with Class B licenses are:

  • Tractor Trailers
  • Dump Trucks
  • Cement Mixers
  • Large Buses
  • Class C Vehicles

Both Class A and Class B CDLs might also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

How to Research a Trucking School

Questions to ask Sterrett AL truck driving schoolsAfter you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Sterrett AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Sterrett AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost 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 several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Sterrett AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good 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 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 receiving the personal 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 teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Sterrett AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Sterrett AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Sterrett AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Sterrett AL school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure 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, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Sterrett AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Sterrett AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Sterrett AL?

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

Cliff Sterrett

Born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where his father was a druggist, Cliff Sterrett was of Scandinavian ancestry. His mother died when he was two; Cliff and his younger brother Paul were then raised by a maiden aunt, Sallie Johnson, in Alexandria, Minnesota after their father moved to Seattle.[1]

With a letter of introduction from a local Episcopal clergyman, the 18-year-old Sterrett moved to New York, where he enrolled in the Chase Art School for two years of study. He signed on at the New York Herald in 1904 as a staff art assistant and submitted cartoons to the New York Telegram, embarking on his first comic strips: Ventriloquial Vag, Merry Ha-Ha, When a Man's Married, Before and After and For This We Have Daughters. Leaving the Telegram, he drew illustrations for The New York Times.

At the New York Evening Journal he launched Polly and Her Pals (originally called Positive Polly) in 1912. By the mid-1920s, Sterrett had turned the daily strip over to others (notably Paul Fung and Vernon Greene) in order to concentrate on the Sunday strip.[2] Sterrett also created the Sunday topper strips Dot and Dash and Belles and Wedding Belles.

Choose the Ideal Truck Driving School Sterrett AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Sterrett ALPicking the right trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Sterrett AL.

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