Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Mc Intosh AL

How to Find a Truck Driving School near Mc Intosh Alabama

Mc Intosh AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Mc Intosh AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Mc Intosh home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge 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? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

long haul tractor trailer in Mc Intosh ALTo operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Mc Intosh AL, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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. 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 might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

How to Research a CDL School

Questions to ask Mc Intosh AL truck driving schoolsOnce you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Mc Intosh AL trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, including 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 should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Mc Intosh AL area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Mc Intosh 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 concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Mc Intosh AL schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Mc Intosh AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Mc Intosh AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Mc Intosh AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Mc Intosh AL employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Mc Intosh AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Mc Intosh AL?

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

Al McIntosh

Alan Cunningham McIntosh (October 7, 1905 – July 23, 1979) was editor of the Rock County Star-Herald of Luverne, Minnesota. He was president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 1949. The association now recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional service to the field of journalism with its Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award.

Ken Burns included several World War II-era excerpts from McIntosh's weekly column in his documentary "The War," which are voiced by actor Tom Hanks. In an interview on the radio show Fresh Air, Burns claimed that McIntosh could have pursued a more prestigious journalistic career but chose to take the reins of a small-town newspaper. Burns also opined in the same interview that McIntosh would be the most important discovery his team made in the creation of the documentary.

McIntosh was the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Donald M. McIntosh. His family lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, before moving to Sioux City, Iowa, where he graduated from Central High School in 1922. McIntosh then attended Morningside College in Sioux City for three years, before enrolling at the University of Nebraska where he received his degree in 1928.

Choose the Ideal CDL School Mc Intosh AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Mc Intosh ALPicking the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker 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 obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Mc Intosh AL.

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