How to Find the Right Truck Driver School near Moss Landing California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Moss Landing CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Moss Landing home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal way to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Just remember, 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 purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Moss Landing CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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 explanations for 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 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Moss Landing CA trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Moss Landing CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost 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 a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Moss Landing CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. 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 good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Moss Landing CA schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important 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 intuitive 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 some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential 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. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Moss Landing CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Moss Landing CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Moss Landing CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend 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 Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Moss Landing CA employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Moss Landing CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Certified CDL Trucker Schools Moss Landing California
Selecting the right trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Certified CDL Trucker Schools and wanting information on the topic Area Truck Driving School. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to look into 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 choose an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Moss Landing CA.
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Moss Landing, California
Moss Landing (formerly, Moss) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Monterey County, California, United States. Moss Landing is located 15 miles (24 km) north-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of 10 feet (3 m). It is located on the shore of Monterey Bay, at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough, and at the head of the submarine Monterey Canyon.
The earliest culture that left evidence of the Moss Landing Elkhorn Slough area was that of the Ohlone Indians. Evidence from archaeological digs show that they may have lived here as long ago as 4,000 years. The Spanish took the landscape from the Ohlone Indians when they began settling missions in the 1700s and ran cattle over the hills of the surrounding area. The Americans arrived in the mid-1800s and farmers turned the area into cropland.
Moss Landing was originally called Moss. The Moss post office opened in 1895, and changed its name to Moss Landing in 1917. It is named for Charles Moss, a Texas ship captain who with a partner built a wharf there. It became a busy whaling and fishing port and a location for fish processing plants and canneries. The Moss Landing Harbor District, established in the 1940s, dredged channels and built piers. Moss Landing Power Plant opened in 1950. The California State University system founded Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 1966 (it was relocated after the Loma Prieta Earthquake destroyed the facility in 1989), and in the mid-1990s the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was moved to Moss Landing from Pacific Grove. In the 1980s sanitary sewers were installed.
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