How to Find the Right Trucker School near Bucks Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Bucks AL. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Bucks residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Bucks AL, an operator needs to 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. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions for 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. Several 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 operate 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 certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Bucks AL trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Bucks AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, 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 Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Bucks AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing department to confirm 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 discuss more about the instructors in the following section. 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 attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Bucks AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important 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 fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Bucks AL schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Bucks AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of 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 reviewing 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 facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Bucks AL school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Bucks AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Bucks AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Bucks AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Bucks Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter III (born May 23, 1956) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) manager. He has served as manager of the New York Yankees (1992–1995), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998–2000), Texas Rangers (2003–2006), and Baltimore Orioles (2010–2018). He also is a former professional Minor League Baseball player and television analyst for ESPN and the YES network. A three-time American League (AL) Manager of the Year, Showalter has earned a reputation for building baseball teams into postseason contenders in short periods of time. He helped the Yankees rise from the bottom half of the AL East to first place before a players' strike prematurely ended the 1994 campaign. Under his watch, the Diamondbacks made their first-ever playoff appearance in only the second year of the team's existence. He left both franchises just prior to seasons when they won the World Series. During his first minor league season with the Fort Lauderdale Yankees he picked up the nickname "Buck" from manager Ed Napoleon because of his tendency to sit around the clubhouse "buck naked."
Showalter, who was born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, on May 23, 1956, grew up in nearby Century. His father, William Nathaniel II, served 23 years as a teacher and principal at Century High School, from which the younger Showalter eventually graduated. Before becoming a teacher, his father had been a Little All-American fullback in 1940 at Milligan College, and had considered a career in the National Football League with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but chose to become a high school coach instead.
Showalter was known as "Nate," and had not acquired the nickname "Buck," prior to turning professional. Nate Showalter played baseball at Chipola Junior College (now Chipola College) in Marianna, Florida, in 1976. From there he transferred to Mississippi State University.
Trucking Schools Near Me Bucks AL
Selecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Trucking Schools Near Me. However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Bucks AL.
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