How to Pick the Best Truck Driver School near Lone Pine California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Lone Pine CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Lone Pine residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address 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 Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Lone Pine CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 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. A few 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 may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Lone Pine CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are some additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Lone Pine CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Lone Pine CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt 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 hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving 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 insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Lone Pine CA schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. 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 crucial that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will furnish sufficient 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Lone Pine CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Lone Pine CA schools you are considering 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 driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Lone Pine CA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Lone Pine CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Lone Pine CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.
CDL Training Requirements Lone Pine California
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training Requirements and wanting information on the topic Truck School Near Me. However, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Lone Pine CA.
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Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Lone Pine is located 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Independence, at an elevation of 3727 feet (1136 m). The population was 2,035 at the 2010 census, up from 1,655 at the 2000 census. The town is located in the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills. From possible choices of urban, rural, and frontier, the Census Bureau identifies this area as "frontier". The local hospital, Southern Inyo Hospital, offers standby emergency services. On March 26, 1872, the very large Lone Pine earthquake destroyed most of the town and killed 27 of its 250 to 300 residents.
The Paiute people inhabited the Owens Valley area from prehistoric times. These early inhabitants are known to have established trading routes which extended to the Pacific Central Coast, delivering materials originating in the Owens Valley to such tribes as the Chumash.
In 1864, a geological survey team from California discovered Mt. Whitney and named the peak after the team's leader, Josiah Whitney. One member of the survey team, Clarence King, made two unsuccessful attempts at climbing the mountain. Returning in 1871, he summited what was then believed to be Mt. Whitney, but turned out to be Mt. Langley. Two years later, he returned and summited Mt. Whitney on September 19, 1873, only one month after the actual first ascent was made by three residents of Lone Pine: Charles Begole, J J. Lucas, and Albert H. Johnson. They reportedly reached the summit at noon on August 18, 1873, starting from Kern Canyon, where they had gone for a fishing trip.