CDL Classes Near Me Riverside CA

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Riverside California

tractor truck in Riverside CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Riverside CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Riverside residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Riverside CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Riverside CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and 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 brief explanations for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driving School

Riverside CA truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Riverside CA trucking schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are a few additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Riverside CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Riverside CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention 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 comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Riverside CA schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date 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 best method is to check out the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Riverside CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Riverside CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Riverside CA school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Riverside CA employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Riverside CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.

CDL Classes Near Me Riverside California

Riverside CA long haul truckChoosing the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Classes Near Me and wanting information on the topic CDL B Training.  But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Riverside CA.

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    Riverside, California

    Riverside is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. Riverside is the county seat of the eponymous county and named for its location beside the Santa Ana River.[10] It is the most populous city in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County, and is located about 55 miles (89 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. It is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Riverside is the 59th most populous city in the United States and 12th most populous city in California. As of the 2010 Census, Riverside had a population of 303,871.

    Riverside was founded in the early 1870s. It is the birthplace of the California citrus industry and home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.[11] It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery.

    The University of California, Riverside, is located in the northeastern part of the city. The university also hosts the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the last of the two original navel orange trees in California.[12]

     

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