How to Pick a CDL Driving School near Weogufka Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Weogufka AL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Weogufka residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams 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 cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Weogufka AL, an operator must get 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 topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Weogufka AL trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Weogufka AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common 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 get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will fulfill the very high benchmarks 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 poorly rated 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 top Weogufka AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention 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 insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Weogufka AL schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Weogufka AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships 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 work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Weogufka AL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Weogufka AL school you select provides 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 instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start 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, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Weogufka AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Weogufka AL area trade or technical 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 assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Weogufka AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Weogufka Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Meredith J. Eberhart, widely known by his nickname Nimblewill Nomad is an American perpetual hiker and has been the focus of various news stories. He was born in a village in the Ozarks with population of less than 400. As of January 2018, under an agreement reached between the Alabama Forestry Commission and The Alabama Trail hikers society, Nimblewill is the official care taker at the CCC camp atop Flagg Mountain in Weogufka, AL in Rural Coosa County which Is southern terminous of the Pihoti Trail. Eberhart has made great contributions in restoring the once dilapidated CCC site. The ultimate goal of this project is have the Appalachian Trail extended to Flagg Mountain. 
Choose the Ideal Truck Driving School Weogufka AL
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation 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 crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might 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 select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Weogufka AL.
More Trucking Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4