How to Find a Trucking School near Ider Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Ider AL. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to think about before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Ider home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll get the right education. 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 target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Ider AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver 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 distinguishes 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 for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 greater 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 need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
Once you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Ider AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Ider AL area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Ider AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. 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 obtaining the personalized attention 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 relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Ider AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of 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. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Ider 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 specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous 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 have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Ider AL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 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 considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Ider AL school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Ider AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Ider AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Ider AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Ider Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Ider is located at 34°42′14″N 85°40′26″W / 34.70389°N 85.67389°W / 34.70389; -85.67389 (34.703941, -85.673983). The town is situated atop Sand Mountain, a few miles west of the Alabama-Georgia state line. Alabama State Route 75 and Alabama State Route 117 intersect in Ider.
As of the 2010 census Ider had a population of 723. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 93.2% non-Hispanic white, 0.6% black or African American, 4.0% Native American, 0.1% some other race, 2.1% from two or more races and 0.1% Hispanic or Latino or any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 664 people, 282 households, and 192 families residing in the town. The population density was 122.2 people per square mile (47.2/km²). There were 310 housing units at an average density of 57.1 per square mile (22.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.39% White, 0.00% Black, 1.20% Native American, 0.45% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Best Truck Driver School Ider AL
Picking the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation 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 many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Ider AL.
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