CDL B Training Palm Desert CA

How to Choose the Best Truck Driving Classes near Palm Desert California

tractor truck in Palm Desert CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Palm Desert CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Palm Desert residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Palm Desert CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Palm Desert CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 more 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 may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Palm Desert CA truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Palm Desert CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Palm Desert CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver 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. Having said that, even the best of Palm Desert CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker 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 experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Palm Desert CA schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Palm Desert CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive 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 many different 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 giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Palm Desert CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed 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 battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Palm Desert CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Palm Desert CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Palm Desert CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out 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.

CDL B Training Palm Desert California

Palm Desert CA long haul truckSelecting the ideal truck driving school is an essential 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 mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 CDL B Training and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver Education.  However, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Palm Desert CA.

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    Palm Desert, California

    Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles (194 km) northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s,[citation needed] beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.

    The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life.[citation needed]

    The first residential development occurred in 1943 in connection with an Army maintenance camp in the area. That site was later developed into "El Paseo", an upscale shopping district not unlike Rodeo Drive. In 1948, the Palm Desert Corporation began to develop real estate, and in 1951 the area was given its present name.

     

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