How to Pick the Best CDL Driving Classes near Mc Kenzie Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Mc Kenzie AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted 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 essential to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Mc Kenzie home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge 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 pick 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 commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Mc Kenzie AL, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions of the 2 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. 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 required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Mc Kenzie AL trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Mc Kenzie AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Mc Kenzie AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. 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 numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance 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 researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Mc Kenzie AL schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Mc Kenzie AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Mc Kenzie AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Mc Kenzie AL school you select provides 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 prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Mc Kenzie AL employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Mc Kenzie AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. 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 must be completed.
Class A CDL Classes Mc Kenzie Alabama
Choosing the right truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available 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 Class A CDL Classes and wanting information on the topic How To Get Class B License. However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, 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 part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Mc Kenzie AL.
Truck On in These Other Alabama Locations
Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan (born September 12, 1978), is an American actor, writer and director. He portrayed Ryan Atwood in the television series The O.C. and Ben Sherman in Southland. He appeared in the films Junebug and 88 Minutes. His first starring role in a feature film was in the 2008 indie release Johnny Got His Gun. Since 2014, McKenzie has been starring as James Gordon in the television series Gotham, for which he also wrote and directed episodes.
Schenkkan was born in Austin, Texas. He is of Dutch-Jewish, English, and Scottish descent. He is one of three boys born to Frances Victory Schenkkan, a poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan, an attorney. His middle name, McKenzie, is his paternal grandmother's maiden name. His grandfather, Robert F. Schenkkan, was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson on passing the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. He is a nephew of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, Jr.
For middle school, he attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School, where he was friends and flag football teammates with future Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. He attended Stephen F. Austin High School, playing wide receiver and defensive back for the school's football team. From 1997–2001, he attended the University of Virginia, his father and paternal grandfather's alma mater, where he majored in foreign affairs and economics. He uses his middle name as his stage name to avoid confusion with actor Ben Shenkman.