How to Pick the Best Truck Driving Classes near Linden Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Linden AL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Linden residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Linden AL, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 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 specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Linden AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Linden AL area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving 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 top Linden AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction 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 professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Linden AL schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will furnish sufficient 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark 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 Linden AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Linden AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer 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 available in Alabama, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Linden AL school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance 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 firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Linden AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Linden 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 evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Best CDL Training Linden Alabama
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 Best CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Schools For Truck Drivers. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many 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 truck driver in Linden AL.
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Settled prior to 1818, the community was first known as Screamersville, since the cry of wild animals could still be heard during the night. It became the county seat in 1819 and was then known as the Town of Marengo. This was changed to Hohenlinden in 1823, to honor the county's earliest European settlers, French Bonapartist refugees to the Vine and Olive Colony. The name commemorated the battle in 1800 at Hohenlinden, Bavaria, where the French defeated the armis of both Austria and Bavaria. The spelling was later shorten to just to Linden.
Linden is located at 32°18′4″N 87°47′34″W / 32.30111°N 87.79278°W / 32.30111; -87.79278 (32.301154, −87.792650). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.83%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,424 people, 938 households, and 662 families residing in the city. The population density was 675.6 people per square mile (260.7/km²). There were 1,084 housing units at an average density of 302.1 per square mile (116.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.43% White, 46.20% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.33% Asian, and 0.87% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.