Truck School Driving Phelan CA

How to Select the Right Trucker School near Phelan California

tractor truck in Phelan CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Phelan CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what 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 various factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Phelan residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

Phelan CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Phelan CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify 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 address 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). Below are short descriptions for the 2 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 greater 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 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 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 need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Phelan CA truck driving schoolAfter you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Phelan CA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Phelan CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common 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. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Phelan CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. 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 attention 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Phelan CA schools offer 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 earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit 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 ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide ample 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Phelan CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Phelan CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Phelan CA school you select 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 dedicate 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 obligations.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Phelan CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Phelan CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.

Truck School Driving Phelan California

Phelan CA long haul truckChoosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught 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 Truck School Driving and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driver Schools.  But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. 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 trucker in Phelan CA.

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    Phelan, California

    Phelan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in San Bernardino County, California, in the Victor Valley of the Mojave Desert, north of the San Gabriel Mountains. The population was 14,304 in the 2010 census.

    Situated south of State Route 18 and northeast of State Route 138. the town is 30 miles (48 km) east of Palmdale and 18 miles (29 km) west of Victorville. The area around it is nearly flat desert country dotted with joshua trees and heavy brush.[2]

    Southwestern areas of Phelan are in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, reaching elevations of more than 4,900 feet above sea level. The California Aqueduct runs through the northern half of the town, eleven miles (18 km) from State Route 18 and ten miles (16 km) from Phelan Road. Covering more than 60 square miles, Phelan has an elevation that varies from 3,293 feet (1,004 m) to 4,910 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. The town center is at the corner of Phelan and Sheep Creek roads. Most businesses are situated in strip malls dotted along the sides of Phelan Road.[citation needed]

     

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