Tag Archives: CDL Driving Schools Fultondale AL 35068

CDL Truck Driver Schools near Fultondale AL 35068

How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Fultondale Alabama

Fultondale AL CDL truck driving schoolCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Fultondale AL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Fultondale residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

tractor trailer in Fultondale ALIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally in Alabama and within the USA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Fultondale AL, we will focus on Class A and 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 explanations for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 CDL is needed 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. A few 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Fultondale AL tractor truckOnce you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Fultondale AL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Fultondale AL trucking schools are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered 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 lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed 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 Fultondale AL schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Alabama licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Fultondale AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the Fultondale AL school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Fultondale AL schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some Fultondale AL trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver 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 best way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the Fultondale AL schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Fultondale AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote 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 fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new profession in Fultondale AL. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Fultondale AL.

Why Did You Desire to Be a Trucker?

When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask truck driving candidates is "What made you select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a truck driver, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.

Choose the Best Truck Driver School Fultondale AL

tanker truck driving in {Fultondale ALChoosing the right trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Fultondale AL.

A Bit About Fultondale Alabama

Fultondale, Alabama

This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview"). This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some cases simply "old US 31."[6]

Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 square miles (32 km2), all land. Fultondale is located along one of the many ridgelines that comprise the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The area has been thoroughly mined for coal and other minerals in the past 100 years. The city is served by two major north/south highways, Interstate 65 and US Highway 31. The new Interstate 22 encroaches on the city's western edge and on June 20, 2016, the interchange with I-65 just south of Fultondale opened. I-22 will provide direct interstate access to Memphis, Tennessee. Upon completion of Interstate 22, Fultondale will become the fourth Alabama city (after Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile) to be directly served by more than one two-digit interstate highway (I-65 & I-22). The only east/west thoroughfare of note is Walkers Chapel Road (west of US 31) and New Castle Road (east of US 31). Rail lines run north/south along the city's eastern edge from Boyles Yard in Tarrant to points north and east. Air travel is available from nearby Birmingham International Airport.

{{US Census population |1950= 1304 |1960= 2001 |1970= 5163 |1980= 621, 2,722 households, and 1,927 families residing in the city. The population density was 538.3 people per square mile (207.9/km²). There were 2,871 housing units at an average density of 234.3 per square mile (90.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.60% White, 5.34% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 1.00% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. 1.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

 

 

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