Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Hollins AL

How to Pick a CDL Training School near Hollins Alabama

Hollins AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Hollins AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Hollins residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations 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 cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Hollins ALTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Hollins 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. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Evaluate a CDL School

Questions to ask Hollins AL truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Hollins AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Hollins AL area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Hollins AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction 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 claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Hollins AL schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide lots 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark 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 Hollins AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular 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 many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit 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 some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Hollins AL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Hollins AL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Hollins AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Hollins 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 reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Hollins AL?

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

Crosscut Saw (song)

"Crosscut Saw", or "Cross Cut Saw Blues" as it was first called, is a dirty blues song "that must have belonged to the general repertoire of the Delta blues".[1] The song was first released in 1941 by Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan and has since been interpreted by many blues artists. "Crosscut Saw" became an early R&B chart hit for Albert King,[2] "who made it one of the necessary pieces of modern blues".[1]

Tommy McClennan's "Cross Cut Saw Blues" is a Delta-style blues, which McClennan sings and plays acoustic guitar with an unknown player providing imitation bass[3] accompaniment. The lyrics are rife with double-entendre:

The song follows the classic twelve-bar blues progression, contrary to Big Bill Broonzy's characterization of McClennan's timing as "change from E to A to B when you feel like changing. Any time will do. Just close your eyes."[4]

Pick the Best CDL School Hollins AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Hollins ALChoosing the ideal trucking school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape 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. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Hollins AL.

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