How to Find the Best CDL Driving School near Hardaway Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Hardaway AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Hardaway home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Hardaway AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 needed to drive 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. Some 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 may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
When you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Hardaway AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few more things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Hardaway AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Hardaway AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Hardaway AL schools offer 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 Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Hardaway AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive 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 rather than having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Hardaway AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Hardaway AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Hardaway AL employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Hardaway AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Getting Your CDL Hardaway Alabama
Picking the right trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Getting Your CDL and wanting information on the topic How To Obtain A Class B CDL. However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Hardaway AL.
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Tim Hardaway Jr.
Timothy Duane Hardaway Jr. (born March 16, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Michigan Wolverines and declared for the NBA draft after his junior season for the national runner-up 2012–13 team. Hardaway was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. He has had two stints with the Knicks and has also played for the Atlanta Hawks. He is the son of former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway.
As a freshman during the 2010–11 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, he earned four Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week awards, including three in the final four weeks during which he averaged over 20 points a game to help the 2010–11 team to climb up to fourth in the 2010–11 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season standings. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection and a unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman team selection following the season. He established the Michigan freshman record for single-season three-point shots made. He was a 2011 Collegeinsider.com Freshmen All-America selection and participated as a member of Team USA in the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. As a sophomore for the 2011–12 team, he earned the 2011–12 All-Big Ten 3rd team recognition. He earned 2012–13 All-Big Ten (1st team: coaches and 2nd team: media) recognition.
Hardaway, who is the son of Yolanda and former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, was born in Alameda, California, while his father was a member of the Golden State Warriors. He spent his first year at Palmer Trinity School before transferring to Miami Palmetto High School. As a freshman, he played high school football for a year before focusing on basketball. As he focused on basketball, he had a tumultuous relationship with his father, who acted like a second coach, and was overlooked by most college basketball programs. Michigan was the first school to contact him, communicating by mail during his second year. During his junior year, Michigan head coach John Beilein invited him on an unofficial visit to watch Michigan play No. 4 Duke on December 6 to see unranked Michigan pull an upset. The 81–73 victory was an important win for the program. Following his junior season, Hardaway began training with Ed Downs, with whom he would work every summer until he became an NBA draftee. In the summer before his senior season, he attended Beilein's Elite Camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan, receiving an offer that he accepted. At the time, Hardaway was unranked in the Rivals.com Top-150 and his only other offers were from Minnesota and Kansas State. He was a first team All-City selection in 2009 and 2010 after being a third team selection in 2008. During his 2009–10 senior season, he averaged 31.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists. In the Florida state championships against Pine Crest School, he posted 42 points against Brandon Knight who had 36.ESPN rated him as the 93rd best player and 28th best shooting guard in the class of 2010.Scout.com rated him as the 36th best shooting guard in his class. He was not top-ranked by Rivals.com. Hardaway has played summer Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for both the South Florida Heat and Chicago's Mac Irvin Fire, where he teamed with 7-foot (2.13 m) Meyers Leonard and McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond.