How to Choose the Right Trucker Classes near New Brockton Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near New Brockton AL. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your New Brockton residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll receive the right education. Just remember, 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 goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance 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 Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and New Brockton AL, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and 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). Following are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate 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 required to operate 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. Several 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 might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the New Brockton AL trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the New Brockton AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of New Brockton AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. 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 provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most New Brockton AL schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. 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? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the New Brockton AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the New Brockton AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the New Brockton 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 certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend 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 fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask 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 lower job placement rate or not many New Brockton AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other New Brockton AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Truck Driver School Near Me New Brockton Alabama
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driver School Near Me and wanting information on the topic Cost Of Truck Driving School. However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in New Brockton AL.
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New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.