Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Jack AL

How to Select a Trucking School near Jack Alabama

Jack AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Jack AL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Jack residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Jack ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Jack AL, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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). Following are short descriptions for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 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. Several 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Evaluate a Trucking School

Questions to ask Jack AL truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Jack AL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Jack AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Jack AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Alabama licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Jack AL schools offer 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 Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with 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.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Jack AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Jack AL schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, ask 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 of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Jack AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. 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 obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Jack AL employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Jack AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Jack AL?

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

Al Jacks

Albert Anderson "Jumbo" Jacks (born c. 1935) is a retired American professor and college football coach. He played as a quarterback at Penn State University from 1956 to 1958. Jacks spent 19 years as the head football coach at Clarion State College from 1963 to 1981. He very briefly held the same position at Williams College. Jacks is the winningest Clarion football coach by winning percentage. He was also an associate professor of health and physical education at Clarion from 1963 to 1996.

Jacks attended Peabody High School in Pittsburgh.[1] He went to college at Pennsylvania State University, where he played on the football team as a quarterback from 1956 to 1958 under head coach Rip Engle.[2] He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in health and education from Penn State.[3]

Clarion State College (now Clarion University of Pennsylvania) hired Jacks as its head coach for the 1964 season. He led the team to a 10–0 record in 1966 and won the Pennsylvania state championship. Jacks later credited that season with increasing the program's credibility in recruiting circles.[1] While coaching at Clarion, Jacks took courses at Penn State, the University of Michigan, and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.[1]

Select the Ideal CDL School Jack AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Jack ALPicking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Jack AL.

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