Driving Truck School Ridgecrest CA

How to Decide on the Best Truck Driver School near Ridgecrest California

tractor truck in Ridgecrest CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Ridgecrest CA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Ridgecrest residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll receive the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Ridgecrest CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Ridgecrest CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are short descriptions for the two 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. Some 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 required to drive 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 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Ridgecrest CA truck driving schoolWhen you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Ridgecrest CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Ridgecrest CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For 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 clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked 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 best of Ridgecrest CA schools had to start from their opening 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 job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker 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 employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning 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 relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Ridgecrest CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Ridgecrest CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous 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. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Ridgecrest CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also 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 just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Ridgecrest CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Ridgecrest CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Ridgecrest CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.

Driving Truck School Ridgecrest California

Ridgecrest CA long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Driving Truck School and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving School Requirements.  However, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive 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 many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Ridgecrest CA.

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    Ridgecrest, California

    Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located along U.S. Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS, or China Lake). The population was 27,616 at the 2010 census, up from 24,927 at the 2000 census. It was incorporated as a city in 1963.

    Ridgecrest is surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately 82 miles (132 km) from the Lancaster/Palmdale area, 110 miles (177 km) from Bakersfield, and 120 miles (193 km) from San Bernardino, the three nearest major urban centers. Private air travel in and out of the city is provided through the Inyokern Airport. There are currently no scheduled commercial flights in or out of Ridgecrest.

    The settlement began as a farming community called Crumville in 1912,[10] honoring James and Robert Crum, local dairymen.[10] The first post office opened in 1941. By 1943, Ridgecrest had grown to 115 homes and 196 residents. NOTS (Naval Ordnance Test Station) was established in November 1943, providing a strong job base for the years to come.[10]

     

    Business Results 1 - 10 of 2

    Cram-McCall Machine Shop
    1 Reviews
    Phone:
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    Pearson's Recycling Center
    2 Reviews
    Phone:
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