How to Choose a CDL Training School near Newville Alabama
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Newville AL. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Newville residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in Alabama and within the United States, a driver must obtain 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Newville AL, we will highlight 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). Following are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 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 CDL is required to drive 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 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Research a Trucking School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Newville AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Newville AL truck driver schools are accredited because of 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue 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 typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Newville AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is especially 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 time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Newville AL schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though 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 important that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the Newville AL school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Newville AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from some Newville AL truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, find out if the Newville AL schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Newville AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession in Newville AL. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted in Newville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Trucker?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask truck driving candidates is "What made you decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a trucking operator, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal CDL School Newville AL
Choosing the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want 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 school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Newville AL.
A Bit About Newville Alabama
Newville is a town in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 539, down from 553 in 2000.
James Madison Wells founded a village called "Wells" c. 1882. When the Abbeville Southern Railroad laid tracks through the town in 1893, its name was changed to "Wells Station". The post office was built in 1894. Wells Station incorporated as "Newville" in 1903.
The town of Newville became prosperous with merchants, banks, lodges, doctors, churches, Newville High School, Rosenwald High School, societies, a newspaper, a depot, sawmills, cotton gins, mule stables and all the elements required by a developing town. Newville's slow decline commenced after the Great Depression due to farm mechanization and loss of commerce.
James M. and Catherine Wells donated one-half acre of land in 1887 for the site of the church and cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of William Y. Kirkland who died April 10, 1891. The church paid W.M. Harris fifty dollars in 1901 for two and one-half acres of land for the cemetery. In 1947, burial spaces were sold for 25 center per square foot. Nancy Price gave the church one acre of land for the cemetery in 1958. There are over 700 marked and unmarked graves. The Newville Cemetery was listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2005.
More Cities of Interest in Alabama