How To Choose A CDL Driving School Nipomo CA

How to Select the Best Truck Driving Classes near Nipomo California

tractor truck in Nipomo CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Nipomo CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Nipomo home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective 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 target in mind, just how do you select 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 commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Nipomo CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Nipomo CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss 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 for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. Some 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Nipomo CA truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Nipomo CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Nipomo CA area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Nipomo CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Nipomo CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although 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 current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide lots of 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important 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 between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Nipomo CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Nipomo CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other 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 Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Nipomo CA school you select 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 are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Nipomo CA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Nipomo CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.

How To Choose A CDL Driving School Nipomo California

Nipomo CA long haul truckPicking the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession 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 crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Choose A CDL Driving School and wanting information on the topic Semi Truck Driving School.  But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about 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 choose an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Nipomo CA.

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    Nipomo, California

    Nipomo (Obispeño: nipumuʔ, "Place of the big house" [1] or "Village" [2]) is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 12,626 at the 2000 census, and grew to 16,714 for the 2010 census.[4]

    This region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Nipomo has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[6]

    The 2010 United States Census[7] reported that Nipomo had a population of 16,714. The population density was 1,125.4 people per square mile (434.5/km²). The racial makeup of Nipomo was 12,281 (73.5%) White, 177 (1.1%) African American, 200 (1.2%) Native American, 421 (2.5%) Asian, 33 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 2,821 (16.9%) from other races, and 781 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,645 persons (39.8%).

     

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