How to Find a Truck Driver School near Adamsville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Adamsville AL. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent 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 assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Adamsville residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Alabama and within the United States, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes 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 Adamsville AL, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Adamsville AL truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional things 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 ? Not many Adamsville AL truck driver schools are accredited because of the stringent 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 standard, and that they will receive an ample amount 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver 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. Having said that, even the best of Adamsville AL schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Alabama licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
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 instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Adamsville AL schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the Adamsville AL school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few 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.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent 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 real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Adamsville AL schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of Adamsville AL truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Alabama, ask if the Adamsville AL schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Alabama testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Adamsville AL school you select 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 prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession in Adamsville AL. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Adamsville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask truck driving applicants is "What compelled you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a trucker, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding truck driver and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right CDL School Adamsville AL
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose 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 regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Adamsville AL.
A Bit About Adamsville Alabama
Adamsville is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama. It is north from the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove. It initially incorporated in 1901 (although the 1910 U.S. Census stated 1900), but disincorporated in 1915. It later reincorporated in 1953. According to the 2010 census, this town had a population of 4,522, down from its peak population of 4,965 in 2000.
At the 2000 census, there were 4,965 people, 1,930 households and 1,464 families residing in the town. The population density was 253.2 per square mile (97.8/km²). There were 2,042 housing units at an average density of 104.2 per square mile (40.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 75.79% White, 22.82% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,930 households of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.97.
23.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
More Cities of Interest in Alabama