Get My CDL Simi Valley CA

How to Choose the Best Trucker Classes near Simi Valley California

tractor truck in Simi Valley CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Simi Valley CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Simi Valley residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable 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 balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Simi Valley CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Simi Valley CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving 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 two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 required to operate 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Simi Valley CA truck driving schoolOnce you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Simi Valley CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Simi Valley CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Simi Valley CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. 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 provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting 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 comparatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Simi Valley CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few 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.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Simi Valley CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular 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 instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Simi Valley CA schools you are contemplating 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 grads. If onsite testing is allowed in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Simi Valley CA school you enroll in provides 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 instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Simi Valley CA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Simi Valley 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be completed.

Get My CDL Simi Valley California

Simi Valley CA long haul truckSelecting the right truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Get My CDL and wanting information on the topic Truck School Cost.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might want 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 enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Simi Valley CA.

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    Simi Valley, California

    The city of Simi Valley (from the Chumash word, Shimiyi),[9][10][11] in the eponymous valley, is in the southeast corner of Ventura County, California, United States, 40 miles (64 km) from downtown Los Angeles, making it part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city sits next to Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and Los Angeles. The city's 2014 population has been estimated at 126,871,[12] up from 111,351 in 2000. The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley, and northeast of the Conejo Valley. It is largely a commuter bedroom community, feeding the cities in the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley to the east, and cities in Ventura County to the west.

    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried in 2004, is in Simi Valley. Simi Valley has been ranked twice as the 18th most conservative city in the United States; once by The Bay Area Center for Voting Research[13] and also by GovPro.com.[14] The Reagan Library has hosted Republican primary debates, last in 2012,[15] and the first primary debates in 2016.[16] A study done by the University of Vermont ranked Simi Valley as the fifth-happiest city in the United States.[17] According to crime statistics by the FBI in 2013, Simi Valley is the seventh-safest city in the U.S. with a population of 100,000 or more.[18][19] The U.S. Census Bureau of 2012 reported a median household income of $87,894, which is higher than the California median of $70,231 and the national average of $62,527.[20][21]

    Simi Valley was once inhabited by the Chumash people, who also settled much of the region from the Salinas Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains, with their presence dating back 10,000–12,000 years.[23][24][25] Around 5,000 years ago these tribes began processing acorns, and harvesting local marshland plants. Roughly 2,000 years later, as hunting and fishing techniques improved, the population increased significantly.[24] Shortly after this sharp increase a precious stone money system arose, increasing the viability of the region by offsetting fluctuations in available resources relating to climate changes.[26] The native people who inhabited Simi Valley spoke an interior dialect of the Chumash language, called Ventureño.

     

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