Become a Truck Driver | Truck Driving Schools Muscadine AL

How to Decide on a CDL Driving School near Muscadine Alabama

Muscadine AL truck driving school campusCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Muscadine AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Muscadine home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal 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 eventually need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

long haul tractor trailer in Muscadine ALTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Muscadine AL, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions for the 2 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. 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

How to Research a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Muscadine AL truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Muscadine AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are some additional points 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 driver schools in the Muscadine AL area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, 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 several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. 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 Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Muscadine AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. 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 Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Muscadine AL schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods 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 a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide plenty 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary 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. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Muscadine AL schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from certain truck driving 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 offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Muscadine AL schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Muscadine 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 willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Muscadine AL employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Muscadine AL area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.

Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Muscadine AL?

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

Muck Sticky

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Muck Sticky comes from a long line of musicians. His great-grandparents founded one of the first gospel bluegrass quartets in 1929 known as The Wayfaring Strangers, and both of his grandfathers were well known musicians. One was Gene Lowery of The Dixie Four who often recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, and sang backing vocals for artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich.

Between the ages of 16-23, Muck was employed in many different fields including carpentry, restaurant service, bricklaying, water park lifeguard, and ice cream truck driver. In the year 2000, with the money he earned from his manual laborer job at a local convention service company, he bought an 8-track recorder and began creating his first album. In January 2001, he gave his first live performance at a “Battle of the Bands” concert in his hometown Memphis, TN. Since Muck recorded all of his music alone, he decided to attach wigs, hats, sunglasses, and instruments to 6-foot tall floor lamps and call them his “band”. To this day he frequently brings them on stage during his shows, but the show has grown to include his mother, sister, best friends, and his fans.

Sticky was featured on the MTV series $5 Cover, which centers around the careers of singers from the Memphis, TN area. The show is produced by Craig Brewer, director and writer of the 2005 movie, Hustle & Flow.[1]

Pick the Best Truck Driving School Muscadine AL

tractor trailer hauling construction materials in Muscadine ALPicking the right trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation 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 several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to think about 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 truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Muscadine AL.

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