Truck Driving School Prices West Blocton AL

How to Pick the Right Truck Driver Classes near West Blocton Alabama

tractor truck in West Blocton AL Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near West Blocton AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive 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 examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your West Blocton home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest 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 Require?

West Blocton AL long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and West Blocton AL, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify 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 highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Research a Trucking School

West Blocton AL truck driving schoolAs soon as you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the West Blocton AL trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the West Blocton AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of West Blocton AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

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 discuss more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly 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. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most West Blocton AL schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good 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 prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, 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 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. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the West Blocton AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period 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 refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the West Blocton AL schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the West Blocton AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many West Blocton AL employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other West Blocton AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Truck Driving School Prices West Blocton Alabama

West Blocton AL long haul truckPicking the right trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving School Prices and wanting information on the topic How To Get A Class B License.  However, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in West Blocton AL.

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    West Blocton, Alabama

    West Blocton is a town in Bibb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,240.[3] The current mayor is Daniel Sims. On 7 November 2016, mere moments after his inauguration during a meeting with two absent council members, Sims announced the reappoints of all town officials except for the police chief. Jay Cromer, was named new chief at a specially called meeting of the city council in late 2016.[citation needed]

    West Blocton is located in northern Bibb County at 33°7′7″N 87°7′22″W / 33.11861°N 87.12278°W / 33.11861; -87.12278 (33.118733, -87.122875),[4] at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains.

    West Blocton Coke Ovens Park blends history with nature, providing a place to relax and learn about the history of the industrial era of Alabama and how the Coke Ovens supplied the steel of the South.

     

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