How to Select the Right Truck Driver Classes near Seeley California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Seeley CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Seeley home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target 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 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 Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Seeley CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are brief descriptions of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive 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 more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Seeley CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are several more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Seeley CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Seeley CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker 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 teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk 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 obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Seeley CA schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. After all, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Seeley CA schools you are considering and ask 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 period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Seeley CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Seeley CA school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure 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, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Seeley CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Seeley CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
How To Be A Truck Driver Seeley California
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught 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 How To Be A Truck Driver and wanting information on the topic How To Obtain A Class A CDL. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Seeley CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Seeley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Imperial County, California. Seeley is located 7.5 miles (12 km) west of El Centro. The population was 1,823 at the 2010 census, up from 1,624 in 2000. It is part of the El Centro Metropolitan Area.
Seeley is one of the oldest established communities in Imperial County, tracing its history back to the early years of the 20th century. Originally established as a stage stop on the shores of the now dead "Blue Lake", Seeley was known originally as Silsbee.
NAF El Centro, the winter home of the Blue Angels, was built adjacent to Seeley in 1946. In 1964, Interstate 8 was run a mile south of Seeley, marking the lowest elevation on the Interstate Highway System at -52 feet.
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