Area Truck Driving School Paramount CA

How to Select the Right Trucking School near Paramount California

tractor truck in Paramount CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Paramount CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Paramount residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on 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 CDL Should You Get?

Paramount CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Paramount CA, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses 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 driver 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief summaries of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 required to drive 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 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

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How to Research a Trucking School

Paramount CA truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Paramount CA trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are several additional points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Paramount 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 required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Paramount CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Paramount CA schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best 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 find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Paramount CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Paramount CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Paramount CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate 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 reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Paramount CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Paramount 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 reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.

Area Truck Driving School Paramount California

Paramount CA long haul truckSelecting the appropriate truck driving school is an important 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 shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered 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 Area Truck Driving School and wanting information on the topic Good Truck Driving Schools.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Paramount CA.

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    Paramount, California

    Paramount is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. According to the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 54,098, down from 55,266 at the 2000 census. Paramount is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area and is bordered by Compton and Lynwood to the west, South Gate and Downey to the north, Bellflower to the east and south, and Long Beach to the south.

    The city today known as Paramount was originally identified in 1781 by Mexican settlers of New Spain. It was organized under two old Spanish Ranchos; on the west, Rancho San Pedro, and on the east, Rancho Los Nietos (now portions of the cities of Santa Fe Springs and Whittier). These ranchos were established under the Spanish Empire and granted by King Carlos III in 1784. In 1834, Rancho Los Nietos was partitioned into five smaller ranchos including Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos, which both encompassed parts of Paramount.

    After the Mexican–American War California was ceded to the United States. The then-unincorporated community of Paramount was created in 1948 when the United States Postmaster General ordered the merger of the post offices of Hynes and Clearwater (Pitt 1997:381). The name was taken from Paramount Boulevard, the main north-to-south surface street extending through the city. The city officially incorporated January 30, 1957 following a successful "Save Paramount for Paramount" campaign to fight annexation by Long Beach, Bellflower, and South Gate.

     

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