How to Decide on the Best CDL Driving School near Rogersville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Rogersville AL. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Rogersville home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Rogersville AL, a driver needs to attain 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short descriptions for the two 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 required 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. Some 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 need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Rogersville AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. 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 sole concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Rogersville AL area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Rogersville AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, 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 section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 claims 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 professionally takes time. The majority of Rogersville AL schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Rogersville AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Rogersville AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Rogersville AL school you enroll in 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Rogersville AL employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Rogersville AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. 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 submitted.
Best Truck Driving Schools Rogersville Alabama
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered 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 Best Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic How Can I Get A CDL License. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Rogersville AL.
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The town became an incorporated municipality on February 2, 1858. Originally known as "Rodgersville", it took its name from Andrew and Patience Rodgers of South Carolina who moved into the area and purchased 79.8 acres (323,000 m2) at a public land sale in Huntsville on May 3, 1818. Their land eventually became what is now the downtown business district. When the Rogersville Post Office was established on October 4, 1825 with Thomas Cunningham as the postmaster, the 'd' was dropped from the town's name and it has been known as Rogersville ever since.
The town became a popular trading center due in part to its location near the intersection of three early thoroughfares, U.S. 72, Snake Road and Lamb's Ferry Road. U.S. 72, which now connects Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee, was once part of an Indian trail from Ditto's Landing on the Tennessee River south of Huntsville and was used to bypass the Muscle Shoals river barrier. Snake Road leads out of Rogersville into neighboring Limestone County and provided passage from Florence to Athens by way of a shallow ford across Elk River. Lamb's Ferry Road was named for John Lamb who moved from Indian Creek in Giles County, Tennessee in 1816 to establish a ferry across the Tennessee River south of what would later become Rogersville. Lamb's Ferry became an important river port where boats from Knoxville and other points on the upper Tennessee River would unload supplies that were taken over land to areas around Pulaski, TN.
Rogersville is located at 34°49′24″N 87°17′8″W / 34.82333°N 87.28556°W / 34.82333; -87.28556 (34.823444, -87.285693). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.
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