How to Find the Right CDL Training School near Canoga Park California
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Canoga Park CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Canoga Park residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on 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 eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Canoga Park CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type 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 CDL is required 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 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Canoga Park CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some additional factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Canoga Park CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Canoga Park CA 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 track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Canoga Park CA schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s essential 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 qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives 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 Canoga Park CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to 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 refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Canoga Park CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Canoga Park CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit 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 accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Canoga Park CA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Canoga Park CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Best Trucking Schools Canoga Park California
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best Trucking Schools and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving School Near Me. However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Canoga Park CA.
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Canoga Park, Los Angeles
Canoga Park is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, United States. Its 60,000+ residents are considered to be "highly diverse" ethnically. Before the Mexican–American War, the district was part of a rancho, and after the American victory it was converted into wheat farms and then subdivided, with part of it named Owensmouth as a town founded in 1912. It joined Los Angeles in 1917 and was renamed Canoga Park on March 1, 1931, thanks to the efforts of local civic leader Mary Logan Orcutt.
The area of present-day Canoga Park was the homeland of Native Americans in the Tongva-Fernandeño and Chumash-Venturaño tribes, that lived in the Simi Hills and along to the tributaries of the Los Angeles River. They traded with the north Valley Tataviam-Fernandeño people. Native American civilizations inhabited the Valley for an estimated 8,000 years. Their culture left the Burro Flats Painted Cave nearby.
From 1797 to 1846 the area was part of Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando). After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain the 'future Canoga Park' land became part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1845, a land grant for the separate and historically rich Rancho El Escorpión was issued by Governor Pío Pico to three Chumash people, Odón Eusebia, his brother-in-law Urbano, and Urbano's son Mañuel. It was located in the area west of Fallbrook Avenue and later called Platt Ranch.
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