CDL Programs Harvest AL

How to Select the Best CDL Training Classes near Harvest Alabama

tractor truck in Harvest AL Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Harvest AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Harvest home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Harvest AL long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Harvest AL, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three 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 highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind 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 CDL 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive 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. 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 specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Research a Trucking School

Harvest AL truck driving schoolAs soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Harvest AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Harvest AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Harvest AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships 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 students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio 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 regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Harvest AL schools provide training programs that range from three 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 important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some 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 truck driver school will provide 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Harvest AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Harvest AL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. 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 locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Harvest AL school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Harvest AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Harvest 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 reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

CDL Programs Harvest Alabama

Harvest AL long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Programs and wanting information on the topic Accredited Truck Driving Schools.  But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking 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 obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Harvest AL.

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    Harvest, Alabama

    Harvest is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in the northwestern part of Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community is 5,281.

    In the late 1800's through early 1900's, Harvest saw growth and development due to extension of the Fayetteville, TN rail yard along the existing Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis (NC&StL) Railroad. In the early-mid 1900's Harvest was centered around the railroad, between Capshaw and Toney, presently known as Old Railroad Bed Rd. Many early settlers in the Harvest area were from the Fayetteville, TN. April 20, 1929, the NC&StL Railroad Company sold the property and roadbed running through Madison County to the County Highway Department with a quitclaim deed. Today, the roadbed is marked as a two-lane roadway that continues to serve as a vital link in the modern day-to-day transportation network, and carries the seemingly appropriate name “Old Railroad Bed Road”. Elder members of the Harvest community recall a significant Native American presence in the area, primarily along the railroad areas.

    On April 3, 1974, during the 1974 Super Outbreak, two F5 tornadoes struck the community within 30 minutes of each other. Most of Harvest, primarily along the Old Railroad Bed area, along with nearby communities such as Tanner, was destroyed. Fifty people were killed by the tornadoes.

     

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