Becoming A Truck Driver Mountain Pass CA

How to Decide on the Best Trucker Classes near Mountain Pass California

tractor truck in Mountain Pass CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Mountain Pass CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Mountain Pass residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest 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 Should You Get?

Mountain Pass CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Mountain Pass CA, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 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 CDL is needed 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. 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Assess a Trucking School

Mountain Pass CA truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Mountain Pass CA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Mountain Pass CA area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Mountain Pass CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized 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 professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Mountain Pass CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish plenty of 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Mountain Pass CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different 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 giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Mountain Pass CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted 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 competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Mountain Pass CA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote 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 obligations.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Mountain Pass CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Mountain Pass 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 reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Becoming A Truck Driver Mountain Pass California

Mountain Pass CA long haul truckSelecting the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local 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 offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Becoming A Truck Driver and wanting information on the topic How To Get CDL Class A.  However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider 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 trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Mountain Pass CA.

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    Mountain Pass, California

    Mountain Pass is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It is situated on Interstate 15 in the southeast mountainous desert region of the state approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the Nevada border at an elevation of 4,730 feet (1,440 m) - the highest point along I-15 between California and Nevada. It has a population of 30.[1][2]

    The most prominent feature of the town, and its reason for existence, is the Mountain Pass rare earth mine, an open pit mine for rare-earth elements. The mine and its associated processing facilities are owned by MP Mine Operations LLC, which purchased the assets out of bankruptcy on July 10, 2017.

     

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