How to Find the Right CDL Driving School near Lineville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Lineville AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Lineville home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Lineville AL, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address 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 short summaries of the 2 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 more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 CDL is required 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. A few 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 might also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Lineville AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Lineville AL area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Lineville AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several 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 share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Lineville AL schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to 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.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish ample 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Lineville AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement 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 maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Lineville AL schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Lineville AL school you enroll in 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 teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Lineville AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Lineville AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Lineville AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Lineville Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Native Americans were the first to inhabit the area now known as Lineville. The Creek Indian War of 1813, however, resulted in their removal. The first white settlers in the area were William and Thomas Lundie. Their settlement became known as Lundie's Cross Roads after a trading post opened in the 1830s to serve pioneers and miners searching for gold. In 1856, Lundie's Cross Roads became known as County Line, probably for the Baptist Church, founded in 1848 and located on what was then the boundary line between Talladega and Randolph counties. Also in 1856, a post office was established in County Line, schools were consolidated and corn and cotton became cash crops.
The Town of (Crooked Creek) Lineville was built on what was at that time the dividing line between Talladega and Randolph Counties, hence the name, Lineville. John H. Ingram, Sr. of Lineville, Alabama furnishes the following early history: “Crooked Creek Baptist Church, later Lineville, was organized in 1839 and built one and one quarter miles west of the town of Lineville about 200 yards northwest of the home of Frank Pittard; and the first literary school of the community was nearby. Some years later the church was moved a short distance and a house was built on the left side of the public road near the residence of the late Thomas H. Harris. In about 1863 the church was moved into the town of Lineville and a house built just west of the present grammar school building; the name was changed to Lineville Baptist Church in 1881 and legally incorporated in 1912; the first Circuit Court that was held in the new County of Clay, was held in the Lineville Baptist Church in 1867, with John Henderson of Talladega, Alabama, as a judge. The present new brick building was built in 1915 and 1916, with the first service held on March 1st, 1916, with prayer and thanksgiving service conducted by J.H. Ingram, Sr., and C.N. James, pastor.”
One of the newest attractions in Clay County in the 1920s, was the chicken business. Millions of chickens and eggs and long chicken houses In or about 1921, Reverend Secelar Claxton Ray took one hundred, day-old chicks to the Clay County Fair and put them under an oil burning brooder and called attention to the advantage of using chickens on the farm to supplement the ‘all cotton’ cash crop. This was something new, but it did gradually got the attention of the local farmers. He was now fully in the poultry business, and named it Goodwill Poultry Farm and Hatchery. He bought houses then idle at the local graphite mines in Clay County and hired neighbors in their spare time and built the hatchery and chicken houses and an extra tenant house on the farm, southeast of Ashland, Alabama whose population of close to one thousand had grown considerably from two hundred in 1881.
Semi Truck Driving School Lineville AL
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape 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 Semi Truck Driving School. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm 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 joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Lineville AL.
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