How to Find the Right CDL Training School near Perdue Hill Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Perdue Hill AL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Perdue Hill residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Perdue Hill AL, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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 select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Perdue Hill AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. 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, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Perdue Hill AL area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess 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 be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Perdue Hill AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk 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 higher, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Perdue Hill AL schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great 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 driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Perdue Hill AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations 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. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Perdue Hill AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering 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 locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Perdue Hill AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Perdue Hill AL employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Perdue Hill AL area technical or vocational 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 a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Perdue Hill AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Perdue Hill Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Jon B. Perdue
Jon B. Perdue is an American counterterrorism author and analyst. He is a special assistant at the Department of the Treasury for the Trump administration. He is also an inventor who appears on season one of the CNBC reality docu-series Make Me a Millionaire Inventor. He has worked for educational and security-related think tanks in Washington, DC and Latin America, and has lectured on asymmetric warfare and strategic communication. He has written for national security publications and has published articles in Investor's Business Daily, The Washington Times, Fox News,The Miami Herald, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has given testimony on national and international security issues before members of the U.S. congress and to members of the European Parliament.
Perdue grew up in Thomaston, Georgia, and graduated from the University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College), a senior military college in Dahlonega, Georgia, with a degree in finance, and served in the Georgia Army National Guard.
Perdue worked for several years as a business consultant, later becoming the vice president of business development for Infectech, a Pennsylvania-based biotech company, until it was acquired by Nutrapharma in October 2003. Following the Nutrapharma acquisition, Perdue moved to Latin America to start a company importing ambulances and medical equipment and setting up medical clinics for underserved patients in partnership with the non-profit Salud sin Fronteras (Healthcare Without Borders). After selling the medical import business in 2004, he began working with non-profit education-focused think tanks in Latin America and the U.S. In 2008, he moved to Washington, DC to become the founding director of the Institute for Leadership in the Americas, a Latin America-focused educational program of The Fund for American Studies.
How To Obtain A Class A CDL Perdue Hill AL
Choosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to launching 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Obtain A Class A CDL. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want 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 select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Perdue Hill AL.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Alabama Locations