How to Find a Truck Driver School near Lineville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Lineville AL. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Lineville residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally in Alabama and within the United States, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply 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 Lineville AL, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Lineville AL trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location 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 instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Lineville AL truck driver schools are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, 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 several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Lineville AL schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Alabama licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective 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 teachers in the next section. 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 receiving the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Lineville AL schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful 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. Assessing instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Lineville AL school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide sufficient 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Lineville AL schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of Lineville AL truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the Lineville AL schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Lineville AL school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Lineville AL. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are comparable 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 examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Lineville AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to choose trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a trucker, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to trucking, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Trucking School Lineville AL
Choosing the right truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even 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 choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Lineville AL.
A Bit About Lineville Alabama
Native Americans were the first to inhabit the area now known as Lineville. The Creek Indian War of 1813, however, resulted in their removal. The first white settlers in the area were William and Thomas Lundie. Their settlement became known as Lundie's Cross Roads after a trading post opened in the 1830s to serve pioneers and miners searching for gold. In 1856, Lundie's Cross Roads became known as County Line, probably for the Baptist Church, founded in 1848 and located on what was then the boundary line between Talladega and Randolph counties. Also in 1856, a post office was established in County Line, schools were consolidated and corn and cotton became cash crops.
The Town of (Crooked Creek) Lineville was built on what was at that time the dividing line between Talladega and Randolph Counties, hence the name, Lineville. John H. Ingram, Sr. of Lineville, Alabama furnishes the following early history: “Crooked Creek Baptist Church, later Lineville, was organized in 1839 and built one and one quarter miles west of the town of Lineville about 200 yards northwest of the home of Frank Pittard; and the first literary school of the community was nearby. Some years later the church was moved a short distance and a house was built on the left side of the public road near the residence of the late Thomas H. Harris. In about 1863 the church was moved into the town of Lineville and a house built just west of the present grammar school building; the name was changed to Lineville Baptist Church in 1881 and legally incorporated in 1912; the first Circuit Court that was held in the new County of Clay, was held in the Lineville Baptist Church in 1867, with John Henderson of Talladega, Alabama, as a judge. The present new brick building was built in 1915 and 1916, with the first service held on March 1st, 1916, with prayer and thanksgiving service conducted by J.H. Ingram, Sr., and C.N. James, pastor.”
One of the newest attractions in Clay County in the 1920s, was the chicken business. Millions of chickens and eggs and long chicken houses In or about 1921, Reverend Secelar Claxton Ray took one hundred, day-old chicks to the Clay County Fair and put them under an oil burning brooder and called attention to the advantage of using chickens on the farm to supplement the ‘all cotton’ cash crop. This was something new, but it did gradually got the attention of the local farmers. He was now fully in the poultry business, and named it Goodwill Poultry Farm and Hatchery. He bought houses then idle at the local graphite mines in Clay County and hired neighbors in their spare time and built the hatchery and chicken houses and an extra tenant house on the farm, southeast of Ashland, Alabama whose population of close to one thousand had grown considerably from two hundred in 1881.
The Civil War saw some 56 area men interred in the Old Lineville Cemetery. By the end of the war, Confederate money had become useless and the area suffered hardships. Clay County formed in 1866. The town's name was officially changed to Lineville in 1870 when it became the temporary seat of government for Clay County.
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