How to Find the Best Truck Driving School near Bishop California
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Bishop CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Bishop residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Bishop CA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 operate 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. 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Bishop CA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Bishop CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Bishop CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. 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 receiving the individual 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 teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Bishop CA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will furnish 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 driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Bishop CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Bishop CA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Bishop CA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. 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 commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Bishop CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Bishop CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
CDL School Bishop California
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL School and wanting information on the topic Class A Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. 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 by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Bishop CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Bishop (formerly Bishop Creek) is a city in Inyo County, California, United States. Though Bishop is the only incorporated city and the largest populated place in Inyo County, the county seat is located in Independence. Bishop is located near the northern end of the Owens Valley, at an elevation of 4,150 feet (1,260 m). The town was named after Bishop Creek, flowing out of the Sierra Nevada; the creek was named after Samuel Addison Bishop, a settler in the Owens Valley. Located near numerous tourist attractions, Bishop is a major resort town; the town is a commercial and residential center, while many vacation destinations in the Sierra Nevada are located nearby.
The population of the city was 3,879 at the 2010 census, up from 3,575 at the 2000 census. The population of the built-up zone containing Bishop is much larger, however. More than 14,500 people live in a compact area that includes Bishop, West Bishop, Dixon Lane-Meadow Creek, and the Bishop Reservation. It is by far the largest settlement in Inyo County.
It is on U.S. Route 395, the main north-south artery through the Owens Valley, connecting the Inland Empire to Reno, Nevada. US 395 also connects Bishop to Los Angeles via State Route 14 through Palmdale. Bishop is the western terminus of U.S. Route 6. The Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony control land just west of the town. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) controls much of the upstream and surrounding area.