Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Munford AL

How to Find a CDL Training School near Munford Alabama

Munford AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Munford AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Munford home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?

long haul tractor trailer in Munford ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Munford AL, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 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 more 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 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Questions to ask Munford AL truck driving schoolsWhen you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Munford AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Munford AL area are accredited due to the demanding 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 several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking 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. On the other hand, even the best of Munford 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 track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Alabama licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Munford AL schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good 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 real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Munford AL schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different 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 work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Munford AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Munford AL school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Munford AL employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Munford AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance 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 Munford AL?

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

Munford, Alabama

Munford is a town in Talladega County, Alabama, United States.[3] At the 2010 census the population was 1,292.[4] It is the location of what has been called the last battle of the Civil War east of the Mississippi, the Battle of Munford on April 23, 1865, being one week after the Battle of Columbus (April 16, 1865) in Georgia.

Munford was initially incorporated in 1873.[5] At some point in the 1880s, it either disincorporated or lost its charter. In 2000, Munford was classified as a census-designated place (CDP), and in 2002 formally incorporated again.[6]

As of the census of 2010 there were 1,292 people, 492 households, and 355 families residing in the town. The population density was 587.3 people per square mile (226.7/km²). There were 554 housing units at an average density of 251.8 per square mile (97.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.4% White, 15.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% some other race, and 1.3% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[10]

Select the Best Truck Driving School Munford AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Munford ALChoosing the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation 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 available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Munford AL.

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