How to Find the Right CDL Training Classes near Stevenson Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Stevenson AL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Stevenson residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose 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 discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Stevenson AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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 summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Stevenson AL trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Stevenson AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked 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 Stevenson AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask 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 maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement 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 considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. 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 instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Stevenson AL schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important 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 prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide ample 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary 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 fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Stevenson AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Stevenson AL schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Stevenson AL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Stevenson AL employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Stevenson AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
How To Get CDL Class A Stevenson Alabama
Choosing the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 How To Get CDL Class A and wanting information on the topic How To Get A CDL. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker 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 decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Stevenson AL.
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Stevenson Adonis (born 22 September 1977), best known as Adonis Stevenson, is a Haitian Canadian former professional boxer who competed from 2006 to 2018, and held the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal light-heavyweight titles between 2013 and 2018. Known for his fast hand speed and exceptional knockout power, Stevenson was considered one of boxing's hardest punchers during his prime. He successfully defended the WBC and lineal titles nine consecutive times until sustaining a life-threatening brain injury in his 2018 fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Stevenson's known name is an inversion of his family name and given name. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Stevenson moved to Montreal, Quebec with his family when he was seven. By 14 years old, he was living on the streets and soon fell into a violent gang which drew him into a criminal lifestyle. In his early twenties, after a criminal trial in 1998 in Quebec, Stevenson served 18 months of a four-year prison sentence for managing prostitutes, assault, and issuing threats. While in prison, he also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after putting a fellow inmate into a coma. After leaving prison in 2001, Stevenson vowed he would never return.
Stevenson became Quebec Middleweight champion in 2004, and best amateur fighter of the country in 2005–2006. He also grabbed the Canada national title in 2005 and 2006. Stevenson competed in the XVIII Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006 and won the silver medal losing to local Australian Jarrod Fletcher in the final. It was also the only medal a Canadian boxer received at the games.