Truck Driving Lessons Prather CA

How to Select the Right Trucking Classes near Prather California

tractor truck in Prather CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Prather CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Prather home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal 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 goal 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 discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Prather CA long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Prather CA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes 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 focus on Class A and Class 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 descriptions of 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 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 needed to drive 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. Some 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, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Evaluate a CDL School

Prather CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Prather CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed 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 or even more important. So following are several more points that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Prather CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Prather 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 share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Prather CA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few 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? Above all else, a good truck driver school will provide plenty of 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Prather CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Prather CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Prather CA school you enroll in offers 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 holding a job while going to 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 acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate 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 low job placement rate or few Prather CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Prather CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Truck Driving Lessons Prather California

Prather CA long haul truckChoosing the appropriate trucking school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Lessons and wanting information on the topic CDL School.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to consider 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 enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Prather CA.

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    Victor Prather

    Lieutenant Commander Victor Alonzo Prather Jr. (June 4, 1926 – May 4, 1961) was an American flight surgeon famous for taking part in "Project RAM", a government project to develop the space suit. On May 4, 1961, Prather drowned during the helicopter transfer after the landing of the Strato-Lab V balloon flight, which set an altitude record for manned balloon flight which stood until 2012.[1]

    Prather was born on June 4, 1926, in Lapeer, Michigan, to Victor Prather Sr. and Gladys May Furse. He attended Tufts College in 1943, and became part of the V-12 program stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii from 1943 to 1945. He returned to Tufts at the end of WWII and attended Tufts University School of Medicine, graduating there in 1952.[2]

    In 1954, Prather rejoined the United States Navy in the Navy Medical Corps. He was stationed in Pensacola and then transferred to San Diego, CA. While at San Diego, Prather completed courses in Aviation Medicine and qualifications in fixed wing and helicopter aircraft. He was stationed as a medical doctor aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La until 1957, when he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Air Station in Port Lyautey, Morocco as Flight Surgeon for VR-24. In 1959, Prather was reassigned to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

     

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