How to Select the Best Trucking Classes near Hurtsboro Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Hurtsboro AL. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Hurtsboro residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills 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 choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder 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 Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Hurtsboro AL, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify 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 focus on Class A and 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). Below are brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
When you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Hurtsboro AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Hurtsboro AL area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Hurtsboro AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Hurtsboro AL schools offer training courses 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 already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good 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 actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good 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 Hurtsboro AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Hurtsboro AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Hurtsboro AL school you select offers 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 teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Hurtsboro AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Hurtsboro AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Dump Truck Training Hurtsboro Alabama
Picking the ideal trucking school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge 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 Dump Truck Training and wanting information on the topic Trucking Schools. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to look into 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 choose an independent truck driving 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 choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Hurtsboro AL.
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Hurtsboro is a town in Russell County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 553, down from 592 in 2000. It was founded in 1857 as Hurtsville and named for Joel Hurt, Sr. (whose son, Joel Hurt, was an important developer of Atlanta, Georgia). A railroad spur from Columbus, Georgia was completed the next year. It was incorporated in 1872 and in 1883 the town name was changed to Hurtsboro.
As of the census of 2000, there were 592 people, 283 households, and 161 families residing in the town. The population density was 573.7 people per square mile (221.9/km²). There were 342 housing units at an average density of 331.5 per square mile (128.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.27% Black or African American, 29.39% White, and 0.34% from two or more races. 0.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 283 households out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.1% were married couples living together, 23.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.1% were non-families. 41.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.86.