How To Become A Trucker Soledad CA

How to Pick the Right CDL Training School near Soledad California

tractor truck in Soledad CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Soledad CA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Soledad residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal 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 target in mind, just how do you decide on 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

Soledad CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Soledad CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 required to drive 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Research a CDL School

Soledad CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the process of evaluating the Soledad CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are a few more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Soledad CA area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace 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 know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Soledad CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Soledad CA schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Soledad CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified 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 maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Soledad CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Soledad CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out 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 not many Soledad CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Soledad CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

How To Become A Trucker Soledad California

Soledad CA long haul truckPicking the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession 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 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 How To Become A Trucker and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving Schools.  However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucking 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 decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Soledad CA.

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    Soledad, California

    Soledad is a city in Monterey County, California, United States.[6] Soledad is located 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Salinas,[9] at an elevation of 190 feet (58 m).[6] The population was 25,738 at the 2010 census.

    The town is located near the Spanish mission, Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (the mission of Our Lady of Solitude), founded October 9, 1791 by Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, the 13th of 21 missions in California. The town's name comes from the mission.

    Soledad is seated at the heart of one of the most economically productive and technologically advanced agricultural regions in the world; hence, the Salinas Valley name, "Salad Bowl of the World". Agricultural companies working out of this region include: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Tanimura & Antle Fresh Foods, Taylor Farms, D'Arrigo Brothers Inc and Mann Packing Inc.

     

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