How to Enroll in the Best CDL Training School near Samantha Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Samantha AL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Samantha home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills 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 decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Samantha AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver 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). Below are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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. Several 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 need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Samantha AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Samantha AL area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver 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. However, even the best of Samantha AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Samantha AL schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important 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 criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Samantha AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Samantha AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Samantha AL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Samantha AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Samantha AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Commercial Driver Training Samantha Alabama
Picking the right truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Commercial Driver Training and wanting information on the topic Best Truck Driving School. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Samantha AL.
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Samantha Louise Lewthwaite (/ˈluːθweɪt/; born 5 December 1983), also known as Sherafiyah Lewthwaite or the White Widow, is a British woman who is one of the Western world's most wanted terrorism suspects. Lewthwaite, the widow of 7/7 London terrorist bomber Germaine Lindsay, is accused of causing the deaths of more than 400 people. She is a fugitive from justice in Kenya, where she was wanted on charges of possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony and is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice requesting her arrest with a view to extradition.
Lewthwaite was an alleged member of the Somalia-based radical Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab. She was accused of orchestrating grenade attacks at non-Muslim places of worship, and is believed to have been behind an attack on those watching football in a bar in Mombasa during Euro 2012. In September 2013, there was speculation over her possible involvement in the Westgate shopping mall attack, although other reports cast doubt on this, or said her role had been exaggerated. She was dubbed the "White Widow" by the news media, a play on words referencing her race, the death of her first husband and the practice of referring to Chechen female suicide bombers as "black widows".
Lewthwaite was born to parents Andrew and Elizabeth Christine (née Allen) Lewthwaite in Banbridge, County Down in 1983. Her father is a former British Army soldier who served in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and had met her mother while he was stationed in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Following her birth the family lived for a short period in Northern Ireland, where her father worked as a lorry driver, before settling in Aylesbury, England. She attended Elmhurst middle school and The Grange secondary school in Aylesbury. She studied for a politics and religion degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, but dropped out.