How to Select a Truck Driver School Bucks Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Bucks AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Bucks residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll get the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow 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 address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Bucks AL, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address 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 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. Some 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 required to operate 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. 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
When you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Bucks AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Bucks AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace 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. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Bucks AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good 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 instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Bucks AL schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods 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 vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Bucks AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free 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 receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Bucks AL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Bucks AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Bucks AL employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Bucks AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask 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.
Attending Truck Driving School near Bucks AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Bucks Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Asma al-Assad (Arabic: أسماء الأسد, Levantine pronunciation: [ʔasˈmaːʔ elˈʔasad]; née Akhras, Arabic: أسماء فواز الأخرس: [ˈʔasma fawˈwaːz elˈʔaxras]; born 11 August 1975) is the First Lady of Syria. Born and raised in London to Syrian parents, she is married to the 19th and current President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
Assad graduated from King's College London in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in computer science and French literature. She had a career in investment banking and was set to begin an MBA at Harvard University when she married Bashar al-Assad in December 2000. She quit her investment banking job following the wedding and remained in Syria, where their three children were born. As First Lady she played a major role in implementing governmental organisations involved with social and economic development throughout the country as part of a reform initiative under Bashar's governance which was halted due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War.
As a result of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Assad is subject to economic sanctions relating to high-level Syrian government officials, making it illegal in the European Union (EU) to provide her with certain material assistance, for her to obtain certain products, and curtailing her ability to travel within the EU, excluding the United Kingdom where she is a citizen.
Choose the Ideal Truck Driving School Bucks AL
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new profession 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 several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might 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 select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Bucks AL.
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