CDL Course Guntersville AL

How to Find the Best CDL Driving Classes near Guntersville Alabama

tractor truck in Guntersville AL Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Guntersville AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Guntersville residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make sure you’ll receive the right training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Guntersville AL long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Guntersville AL, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify 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 highlight Class A and Class 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 brief 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 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 CDL is needed to drive 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. Some 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 may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Guntersville AL truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Guntersville AL trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Guntersville AL area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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 know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Guntersville AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent 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 authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Guntersville AL schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking 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 necessary 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 be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Guntersville AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous 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 have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Guntersville AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed 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 from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Guntersville AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor 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 must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating 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 companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Guntersville AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Guntersville 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 need to be completed.

CDL Course Guntersville Alabama

Guntersville AL long haul truckPicking the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Course and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving Course.  However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving 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 associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Guntersville AL.

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    Guntersville, Alabama

    Guntersville (previously known as Gunter's Ferry and later Gunter's Landing) is a city and the county seat of Marshall County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 8,197. Guntersville is located in a HUBZone as identified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.4 square miles (109.9 km2), of which 25.4 square miles (65.8 km2) is land and 17.0 square miles (44.1 km2), or 40.14%, is water.[5]

    Guntersville is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River on Lake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam (built by the Tennessee Valley Authority). Geologically, the lake occupies a southern extension of Sequatchie Valley, which continues south as Browns Valley.

     

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