How to Enroll in the Right CDL Driving School near Kennedy Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Kennedy AL. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Kennedy home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Kennedy AL, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver 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 highlight 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 short 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 more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 needed to operate 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 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 need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Kennedy AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Kennedy AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Kennedy AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Kennedy AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Kennedy AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment 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 rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Kennedy AL schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 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 considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Kennedy AL school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate 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 fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Kennedy AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Kennedy AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Cost Of CDL Training Kennedy Alabama
Picking the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Cost Of CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driving Schools. However, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several 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 truck driver in Kennedy AL.
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John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.
Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second child of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After the war, Kennedy represented the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior Senator from Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, he published his book entitled Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Biography. In the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president. At age 43, he became the second-youngest man to serve as president (after Theodore Roosevelt), the youngest man to be elected as U.S. president, as well as the only Roman Catholic to occupy that office. He was also the first president to have served in the U.S. Navy.
Kennedy's time in office was marked by high tensions with communist states in the Cold War. He increased the number of American military advisers in South Vietnam by a factor of 18 over President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In April 1961, he authorized a failed joint-CIA attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He subsequently rejected Operation Northwoods plans by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to orchestrate false flag attacks on American soil in order to gain public approval for a war against Cuba. However his administration continued to plan for an invasion of Cuba in the summer of 1962. In October 1962, U.S. spy planes discovered that Soviet missile bases had been deployed in Cuba; the resulting period of tensions, termed the Cuban Missile Crisis, nearly resulted in the breakout of a global thermonuclear conflict. Domestically, Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps and supported the civil rights movement, but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies.