Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Fort Davis AL

How to Find a Truck Driver School near Fort Davis Alabama

Fort Davis AL truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Fort Davis AL. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper 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 prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Fort Davis home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal 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 target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

long haul tractor trailer in Fort Davis ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Fort Davis AL, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive 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 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School

Questions to ask Fort Davis AL truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Fort Davis AL trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Fort Davis AL area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common 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 standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Fort Davis AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn 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 have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Fort Davis AL schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will furnish plenty of 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Fort Davis AL schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with numerous 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 restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Fort Davis 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 permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Fort Davis AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Fort Davis AL employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Fort Davis 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Fort Davis AL?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Fort Davis Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Al Davis

Allen Davis (July 4, 1929 – October 8, 2011) was an American football coach and executive. He was the principal owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) for 39 years, from 1972 until his death in 2011. Prior to becoming the principal owner of the Raiders, he served as the team's head coach from 1963 to 1965 and part owner from 1966 to 1971, assuming both positions while the Raiders were part of the American Football League (AFL). He also served as the commissioner of the AFL in 1966.

Known for his motto "Just win, baby",[1] the Raiders became one of the NFL's most successful and popular teams under Davis' management. Although the franchise would enter a period of decline in his final years, the Raiders would enjoy many successes during the 1970s and 1980s, and won three Super Bowl titles. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

Davis was active in civil rights, refusing to allow the Raiders to play in any city where black and white players had to stay in separate hotels. He was the first NFL owner to hire an African American head coach and a female chief executive. He was also the second NFL owner to hire a Latino head coach (Tom Flores). He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.

Pick the Ideal Trucking School Fort Davis AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Fort Davis ALSelecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession 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 a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving 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 choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Fort Davis AL.

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