School For CDL License Surfside CA

How to Select the Best Truck Driving School near Surfside California

tractor truck in Surfside CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Surfside CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Surfside home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Surfside CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Surfside CA, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify 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 focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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 CDL is required to drive 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. Several 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Surfside CA truck driving schoolOnce you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Surfside CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Surfside CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver 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. Having said that, even the top Surfside 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 relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with 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 must be licensed in California and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Surfside CA schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit 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 satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Surfside CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular 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 having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Surfside CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Surfside CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Surfside CA employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Surfside 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.

School For CDL License Surfside California

Surfside CA long haul truckChoosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new occupation 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 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 School For CDL License and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver Training Schools.  But first and foremost, you must get the proper 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 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 company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Surfside CA.

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    Surfside, California

    Surfside (or Surfside Colony) is a small gated community with three rows of houses, lettered A, B, and C. Surfside is part of the city of Seal Beach, California and is located on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway, southwest of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach between the station and the Huntington Beach community of Sunset Beach. It is also near the Huntington Beach community of Huntington Harbour. The southern entrance to the Surfside Colony is easy to spot by the water tower (which was built into a house) that can be seen from Pacific Coast Highway.

    The Surfside Colony is served by the Surfside Colony Community Services Tax District and the Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection Tax District. Lifeguard services are provided by the city of Seal Beach.[2]

    Surfside Colony was begun in 1929 as an oceanside resort community. It was incorporated with the state of California in 1930. There were originally plans to develop both sides of Pacific Coast Highway (with D and E rows of houses on the east side), but these plans never materialized. A tunnel, which still exists though it is inaccessible, was built under Pacific Coast Highway to facilitate easy transit back and forth.[3]

     

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