How to Select a CDL Training School near Rogersville Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Rogersville AL. Perhaps it has always been your goal 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 excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Rogersville residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams 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 address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Rogersville AL, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Rogersville AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several more points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Rogersville AL area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an 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 measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Rogersville AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check 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 experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Rogersville AL schools offer 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 stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Rogersville AL schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally 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 get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Rogersville AL schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Rogersville AL school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. 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 Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Rogersville AL employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Rogersville AL area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Rogersville AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Rogersville Alabama area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The town became an incorporated municipality on February 2, 1858. Originally known as "Rodgersville", it took its name from Andrew and Patience Rodgers of South Carolina who moved into the area and purchased 79.8 acres (323,000 m2) at a public land sale in Huntsville on May 3, 1818. Their land eventually became what is now the downtown business district. When the Rogersville Post Office was established on October 4, 1825 with Thomas Cunningham as the postmaster, the 'd' was dropped from the town's name and it has been known as Rogersville ever since.
The town became a popular trading center due in part to its location near the intersection of three early thoroughfares, U.S. 72, Snake Road and Lamb's Ferry Road. U.S. 72, which now connects Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee, was once part of an Indian trail from Ditto's Landing on the Tennessee River south of Huntsville and was used to bypass the Muscle Shoals river barrier. Snake Road leads out of Rogersville into neighboring Limestone County and provided passage from Florence to Athens by way of a shallow ford across Elk River. Lamb's Ferry Road was named for John Lamb who moved from Indian Creek in Giles County, Tennessee in 1816 to establish a ferry across the Tennessee River south of what would later become Rogersville. Lamb's Ferry became an important river port where boats from Knoxville and other points on the upper Tennessee River would unload supplies that were taken over land to areas around Pulaski, TN.
Rogersville is located at 34°49′24″N 87°17′8″W / 34.82333°N 87.28556°W / 34.82333; -87.28556 (34.823444, -87.285693). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.
Select the Ideal Trucking School Rogersville AL
Selecting the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must get the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to look into 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 enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Rogersville AL.
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