How to Enroll in the Right CDL Training Classes near Kent Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Kent AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Kent residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Kent AL, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply 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 focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Kent AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Kent AL area are accredited because of the stringent 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Kent AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction 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 relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Kent AL schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method 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 find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish plenty of 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Kent AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted 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 what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different 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 giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Kent AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Kent 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 prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
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. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate 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 poor job placement rate or not many Kent AL employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Kent AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
CDL A School Kent Alabama
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL A School and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driver Training. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Kent AL.
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Clark Joseph Kent is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, he debuted in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and serves as the civilian and secret identity of the superhero Superman.
Over the decades there has been considerable debate as to which personality the character identifies with most. From his first introduction in 1938 to the mid-1980s, "Clark Kent" was seen mostly as a disguise for Superman, enabling him to mix with ordinary people. This was the view in most comics and other media such as movie serials and TV (e.g., in Atom Man vs. Superman starring Kirk Alyn and The Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves) and radio. In 1986, during John Byrne's revamping of the character, Clark Kent became more emphasized. Different takes persist in the present, with the character typically depicted as being clumsy and mild-mannered.
As Superman's alter ego, the personality, concept, and name of Clark Kent have become ingrained in popular culture as well, becoming synonymous with secret identities and innocuous fronts for ulterior motives and activities. In 1992, Superman co-creator Joe Shuster told the Toronto Star that the name derived from 1930s cinematic leading men Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, but the persona from bespectacled silent film comic Harold Lloyd and himself. Another, perhaps more likely possibility, is that Jerry Siegel pulled from his own love of pulp heroes Doc Clark Savage and The Shadow alias Kent Allard. This idea was notably stated in the book Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Rise of the American Comic Book.
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