How to Decide on the Right CDL Training School near Corona Del Mar California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Corona Del Mar CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Corona Del Mar home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Corona Del Mar CA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Corona Del Mar CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Corona Del Mar CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Corona Del Mar CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, 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 especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Corona Del Mar CA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously 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 a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates 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. Check with the Corona Del Mar CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with a wide range of 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Corona Del Mar CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Corona Del Mar CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. 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 obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Corona Del Mar CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Corona Del Mar CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
CDL Training And Job Placement Corona Del Mar California
Picking the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance 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. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training And Job Placement and wanting information on the topic CDL Course. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Corona Del Mar CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Corona del Mar, Newport Beach
Corona del Mar or CdM (Spanish for "Crown of the Sea") is a seaside neighborhood in the city of Newport Beach, California. It generally consists of all land on the seaward face of the San Joaquin Hills south of Avocado Avenue to the city limits, as well as the development of Irvine Terrace, just north of Avocado. Corona del Mar is known for its beaches, tidepools, cliffside views and village shops. Beaches in the area include Corona del Mar State Beach as well as Crystal Cove State Park south of Corona del Mar, accessible by paths winding down a steep hillside.
Settled early in the 20th century, the older area of Corona del Mar consists mostly of closely spaced, free-standing, detached single-family houses of varying architecture, concentrated along Pacific Coast Highway (also known as "PCH" or State Route 1). Newer developments in Harbor View Hills consist of California ranch style houses, many with expansive ocean views.
Corona del Mar has no locally administered municipal government, but receives all municipal level services from the City of Newport Beach, and has a representative to the Newport Beach City Council. It is unusual in that although it is a part of the incorporated city of Newport Beach, the post office accepts a mailing address of Corona del Mar for those residents living in the 92625 ZIP Code. Corona del Mar also has its own Chamber of Commerce.
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