How to Find the Right Trucking School near Douglas Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Douglas AL. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Douglas home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Douglas AL, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and 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). Following are brief descriptions for 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Douglas AL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Douglas AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Douglas AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Douglas AL schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Douglas AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally 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 obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Douglas 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 driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Douglas AL school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate 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 low job placement rate or few Douglas AL employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Douglas AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
CDL Training Douglas Alabama
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Get CDL License. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Douglas AL.
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Douglas Joseph Shimshon Al-Bazi (or Doglas Yousef Al Bazi, born 1972 in Baghdad) is a Chaldean Catholic Church parish priest who has now been placed in Auckland, New Zealand, as the leader of the Chaldean Catholic congregation there.
Al-Bazi was vicar of the St. Elia (alt: Elias) Catholic Church, and the adjacent St. Elia Catholic School in the "working class" New Baghdad neighborhood of Baghdad. By 2010, the school had an 82 percent Muslim enrollment, as a result of the exodus of Christians from Iraq. In his autobiography, Norman Kember relates that Al-Bazi described his church as having been bombed ineffectively by unidentified anti-Christian elements and as a church where members of several denominations worshiped together. According to Zenit News Agency the church was attacked twice in the year before Father Douglas was kidnapped; the Father was shot during one of the attacks.
In November 2006 Father Douglas was kidnapped by an Islamist group. He was tortured and released nine days later. He suffered multiple injuries including two broken vertebrae from his spinal cord, and his face and knees were smashed using a hammer. He was released after the Chaldean Catholic Church paid $170,000 in ransom for the release of al-Bazi and Father Samy Al Raiys by their kidnappers.