Best Truck Driving School Rancho Palos Verdes CA

How to Choose the Best Trucker School near Rancho Palos Verdes California

tractor truck in Rancho Palos Verdes CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Rancho Palos Verdes CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Rancho Palos Verdes residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, 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 objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Rancho Palos Verdes CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Rancho Palos Verdes CA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. Several 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 needed to operate 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. 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Rancho Palos Verdes CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Rancho Palos Verdes CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Rancho Palos Verdes CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Rancho Palos Verdes 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 concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms 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 verify 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 instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover 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 receiving the personal 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Rancho Palos Verdes CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As previously 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 crucial that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish lots 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Rancho Palos Verdes CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide 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 less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Rancho Palos Verdes CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Rancho Palos Verdes CA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Rancho Palos Verdes CA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Rancho Palos Verdes 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 least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Best Truck Driving School Rancho Palos Verdes California

Rancho Palos Verdes CA long haul truckSelecting the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best Truck Driving School and wanting information on the topic CDL School Cost.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Rancho Palos Verdes CA.

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    Rancho Palos Verdes, California

    Rancho Palos Verdes (also known by the abbreviation RPV) is a city in Los Angeles County, California atop the Palos Verdes Hills and bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A suburb of Los Angeles, it is known for expensive homes amidst large tracts of open space with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Palos Verdes is translated as "Ranch of Green Sticks", probably referring to the willows in the northeastern part of Bixby Slough (now known as Machado Lake) shown on earlier maps.

    The history of Rancho Palos Verdes dates back to the Tongva or Gabrielino Indians, who inhabited the site before the Age of Discovery. Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was credited as the first European to navigate the California Coast in 1542, which included the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes. Rancho de los Palos Verdes was established by a Mexican land grant given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to Jose Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepulveda.

    The city's most notable geographic features are the Palos Verdes Hills and cliffs, with grand vistas of the Pacific Ocean and of Santa Catalina Island. The city incorporated on September 7, 1973. The population was 41,643 at the 2010 census.

     

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