How to Choose the Right Truck Driving Classes near Glendale California
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Glendale CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in 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 undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Glendale residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Glendale CA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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. 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 drive certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Glendale 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 emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Glendale CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked 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 Glendale CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Glendale CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors 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 an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to 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 satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard 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 Glendale CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility 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 many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Glendale CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Glendale CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage 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 low job placement rate or not many Glendale CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Glendale 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 evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Student Truck Driver Glendale California
Selecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Student Truck Driver and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver Schools Near Me. However, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker 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 obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Glendale CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,167, making it the third-largest city in Los Angeles County and the 23rd-largest city in California. It is located about 8 mi (13 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.
Glendale lies in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley, bisected by the Verdugo Mountains, and is a suburb in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The city is bordered to the northwest by the Sun Valley and Tujunga neighborhoods of Los Angeles; to the northeast by La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated area of La Crescenta; to the west by Burbank and Griffith Park; to the east by Eagle Rock and Pasadena; to the south by the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles; and to the southeast by Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Golden State, Ventura, Glendale, and Foothill freeways run through the city.
In 1798, José María Verdugo, a corporal in the Spanish army from Baja California, received the Rancho San Rafael from Governor Diego de Borica, formalizing his possession and use of land on which he had been grazing livestock and farming since 1784. Rancho San Rafael was a Spanish concession, of which 25 were made in California. Unlike the later Mexican land grants, the concessions were similar to grazing permits, with the title remaining with the Spanish crown.
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