Top Truck Driving Schools Playa Del Rey CA

How to Select the Right CDL Driving Classes near Playa Del Rey California

tractor truck in Playa Del Rey CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Playa Del Rey CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Playa Del Rey home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll get the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective 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 target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

Playa Del Rey CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Playa Del Rey CA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 short explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 CDL is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

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How to Research a Truck Driving School

Playa Del Rey CA truck driving schoolAfter you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Playa Del Rey CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few additional things that you need to 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 driver schools in the Playa Del Rey CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? 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 Playa Del Rey CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to verify 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 hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual 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 insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Playa Del Rey CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify 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 developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Playa Del Rey CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Playa Del Rey CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Playa Del Rey CA school you enroll in 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 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 responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Playa Del Rey CA employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Playa Del Rey CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Top Truck Driving Schools Playa Del Rey California

Playa Del Rey CA long haul truckChoosing the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Top Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving Schools.  However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Playa Del Rey CA.

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    Playa del Rey, Los Angeles

    Playa del Rey (Spanish for "Beach of the King" or "King's beach") is a beachside community in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California. It has a ZIP code of 90293 and area codes of 310 and 424. As of 2014, the Playa del Rey (zip 90293) population was 12,129 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 14.61 percent.[1]

    Playa del Rey is a coastal neighborhood and a district of City of Los Angeles. The rolling hills are the result of ancient, wind-blown, compacted sand dunes which rise up to 125 feet (38 m) above sea level, originally called and often referred to as The Del Rey Hills or "The Bluffs". These dunes run parallel to the coastline, from Playa del Rey, all the way south to Palos Verdes. The neighborhood has its own street grid.

    The community is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Marina del Rey and Ballona Creek[2] to the north, Ballona Wetlands and Playa Vista to the northeast, Westchester to the east, and Los Angeles International Airport and El Segundo to the south.

     

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