How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Munford Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Munford AL. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Munford home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in Alabama and within the United States, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Munford AL, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief summaries for the 2 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 greater 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 required to drive 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. 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 require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Munford AL truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Munford AL truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical 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. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Munford AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history 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 additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Alabama licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, 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 personal 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 claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Munford AL schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors 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 be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the Munford AL school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish lots 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 tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Munford AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain Munford AL truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Alabama, ask if the Munford AL schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Munford AL school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Munford AL. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid 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 must be completed in Munford AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a trucker, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School Munford AL
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance 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 vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Munford AL.
A Bit About Munford Alabama
Xavier Munford (born June 1, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA), on a two-way contract with the Wisconsin Herd of the NBA G League. He played two seasons of college basketball for the University of Rhode Island.
Munford attended Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. As a senior in 2009–10, he helped the Grey Bees to a 26–1 record and the No. 2 national ranking, while averaging 12 points per game.
As a freshman at Miami Dade College in 2010–11, Munford averaged 17.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 games. He was subsequently named the FCSAA's Newcomer of the Year and was a First Team All-NJCAA Region 8 selection.
In 2011, Munford transferred to Iowa Western Community College, where as a sophomore in 2011–12, he averaged 16.6 points per game for the Reivers, leading the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC). He helped guide Iowa Western to a 24–9 record en route to the NJCAA Region 11 finals, and was a 2011–12 NJCAA Division I All-American selection.
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