How to Choose the Right Truck Driving Classes near Orleans California
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Orleans CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Orleans residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge 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 decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Orleans CA, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three 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 select a truck driving 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 required 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. Several 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 operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Orleans CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are some more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Orleans CA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Orleans CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out 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, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
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 discuss more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Orleans CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time can vary between 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 Orleans CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Orleans CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Orleans CA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Orleans CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Orleans CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Tractor Trailer School Orleans California
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Tractor Trailer School and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving Training Programs. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Orleans CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
USS New Orleans (CA-32)
USS New Orleans (CL/CA-32) was the lead New Orleans-class cruiser in service with the United States Navy. The New Orleans-class cruisers were the last U.S. cruisers built to the specifications and standards of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Such ships, with a limit of 10,000 long tons (10,160 t) standard displacement and 8-inch (203-millimetre) calibre main guns may be referred to as "treaty cruisers." Originally classified a light cruiser, because of her thin armor, she was reclassified, soon after being laid down, a heavy cruiser, because of her 8-inch guns. The term "heavy cruiser" was not defined until the London Naval Treaty in 1930.
New Orleans keel was laid on 14 March 1931, at the New York Navy Yard, commonly known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The ship was launched on 12 April 1933, sponsored by Cora S. Jahncke, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and daughter of Ernest L. Jahncke, a civil engineer and president of the Jahncke Shipbuilding Co. in New Orleans. Jahncke had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the administration of President Herbert Hoover, returning to private life in March 1933 with the inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. New Orleans was commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 15 February 1934, with Captain Allen B. Reed as the first commander. Attending the commissioning ceremonies were Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, Jr., Commandant of the New York Naval Yard and former Assistant Navy Secretary Jahncke. Among New Orleans' junior officer plankowners in 1934, were Jahncke's son, Ensign E.L. Jahncke, Jr. and Ensign T.H. Moorer, who as Admiral Thomas H. Moorer was Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1967–1970 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970–1974.
New Orleans was lead ship in her class of seven heavy cruisers that collectively saw extensive service in all major engagements in the Pacific theater during World War II. New Orleans-class cruisers earned more than sixty battle stars during World War II. New Orleans herself received 17 battle stars, placing her among the top four highest decorated ships of World War II, along with two of her sister ships, San Francisco and Minneapolis.