Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Lisman AL

How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Lisman Alabama

Lisman AL truck driving school campusCongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Lisman AL. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Lisman home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to make sure you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow 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? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Lisman ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Lisman AL, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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). Following are short descriptions of the two 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 CDL is required to operate 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. 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

How to Evaluate a CDL School

Questions to ask Lisman AL truck driving schoolsOnce you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Lisman AL truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Lisman AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Lisman AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing 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 experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized attention 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 claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Lisman AL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several 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 advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will provide lots of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Lisman AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Lisman 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 allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving 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 convenient than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Lisman AL school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an 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 have it mastered. 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 obligations.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Lisman 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 Lisman AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Lisman AL?

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

Lisman, Alabama

Lisman is a town in Choctaw County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 539.[3] Lisman was named after a 19th-century railroad investor at the time of construction of the nearby rail line. The mayor of Lisman, Alabama is Jason Q.Ward.

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 653 people, 245 households, and 171 families residing in the town. The population density was 257.6 people per square mile (99.3/km²). There were 269 housing units at an average density of 106.1 per square mile (40.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.42% Black or African American, 7.20% White and 1.38% from two or more races. 0.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 245 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 24.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.28.

Choose the Right Truck Driver School Lisman AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Lisman ALSelecting the appropriate truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills 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 vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Lisman AL.

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