How to Select the Right Trucking Classes near Pasadena California
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Pasadena CA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Pasadena residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address 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?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Pasadena CA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on 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). Following are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to operate 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 require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Pasadena CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier 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 variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are some more points 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 Pasadena CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Pasadena CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, 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 make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Pasadena CA schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher 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 teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide ample 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Pasadena CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Pasadena CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. 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 convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Pasadena CA school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Pasadena CA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Pasadena CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Tractor Trailer Driving School Pasadena California
Choosing the right truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 Tractor Trailer Driving School and wanting information on the topic CDL Classes. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Pasadena CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
The estimated population of Pasadena was 142,647 in 2017, making it the 183rd-largest city in the United States. Pasadena is the ninth-largest city in Los Angeles County. Pasadena was incorporated on June 19, 1886, becoming one of the first cities to be incorporated in what is now Los Angeles County, following the city of Los Angeles (April 4, 1850). It is one of the primary cultural centers of the San Gabriel Valley.
The city is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade. In addition, Pasadena is also home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including Caltech, Pasadena City College, Fuller Theological Seminary, ArtCenter College of Design, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Ambassador Auditorium, the Norton Simon Museum, and the USC Pacific Asia Museum.
The original inhabitants of Pasadena (a Chippewa word meaning "Crown of the Valley") and surrounding areas were members of the Native American Hahamog-na tribe, a branch of the Tongva Nation. They spoke the Tongva language (part of the Uto-Aztecan languages group) and had lived in the Los Angeles Basin for thousands of years.Tongva dwellings lined the Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County) in present day Pasadena and south to where it joins the Los Angeles River and along other natural waterways in the city.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 355