How to Decide on the Right Trucking Classes near Millbrook Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Millbrook AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Millbrook home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Millbrook AL, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 short descriptions 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 might also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Millbrook AL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Millbrook AL area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense 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. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Millbrook AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms 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 authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for 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. The majority of Millbrook AL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep 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 criteria, and perhaps the best 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 level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide plenty 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 driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Millbrook AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Millbrook AL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Millbrook AL school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager 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 grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Millbrook AL employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Millbrook AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Training For CDL Millbrook Alabama
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Training For CDL and wanting information on the topic Getting A CDL. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might 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 affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Millbrook AL.
Truck On in These Other Alabama Locations
The area's first permanent home "Ellerslie" was completed in 1818 by Georgia Congressman, and Revolutionary War Veteran Bolling Hall. The area's second permanent home "Thornfield" was started the following year, and completed in 1820 by pioneer Archibald McKeithen. Both homes still stand, and are private residences.
After its initial settlement, Robinson Springs was known as an early summer resort for wealthy families of Montgomery, and the vicinity. The Robinson Springs United Methodist Church was formed in 1828. The settlers quickly grew out of the log structure, and decided to build a permanent structure. The present church was completed in 1848. The parsonage was sold soon after completion (due to the lack of a steady minister) to noted Alabama historian Albert J. Pickett. It still stands two doors down from the church. In 1852, Robinson Springs played host to Alabama's first state fair.
Shadrack Mims, Autauga's early historian, describes Robinson Springs (circa 1850) as "a spot selected by Todd Robinson as a retreat from the river; and much good sense did he show in such selection - for, if the whole South was searched over, a more healthy spot, in my opinion, could not be found. It is altogether rural in its appearance, the forest growth being untouched, only for garden spots. As to water, it cannot be excelled any where for coolness, clearness, and pleasantness, and the abundance of it. The building situations are beautiful. Upon the whole, it is just the place for a summer retreat; just the place for a school - healthy and high, and free from the temptations so common in villages and cities."
Business Results 1 - 10 of 1