Truck Driving Training Schools West Covina CA

How to Find the Best Truck Driver School near West Covina California

tractor truck in West Covina CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near West Covina CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your West Covina residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective 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 purpose in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

West Covina CA long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and West Covina CA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight 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). Following are short summaries for the two 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 greater 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 CDL is needed 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 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a CDL School

West Covina CA truck driving schoolOnce you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the West Covina CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional factors 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 West Covina CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided 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 caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of West Covina CA schools had to start from their opening 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 job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of West Covina CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s imperative 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 criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few 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.

Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will provide sufficient 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark 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 West Covina CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations 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 be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the West Covina CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the schools you are considering 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 centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the West Covina CA school you choose 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 devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at 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 companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many West Covina CA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other West Covina CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask 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.

Truck Driving Training Schools West Covina California

West Covina CA long haul truckPicking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Training Schools and wanting information on the topic Weekend Truck Driving School.  However, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in West Covina CA.

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    West Covina, California

    West Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, located 19 miles (31 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles in the eastern San Gabriel Valley and is part of Greater Los Angeles. The population for the city was 106,098 at the 2010 census.

    West Covina was incorporated as an independent city in 1923 to prevent the city of Covina from building a sewage farm in the area. Benjamin Franklin Maxson, Jr., (1897-1928) initiated the incorporation process and was the first mayor. Walnut groves and orange groves continued to flourish. The population in 1930 was 769 and blossomed to 1,549 in 1940. As a result of remarkable expansion during the post World War II building boom, West Covina became one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities between 1950 and 1960, with the population increasing 1,000 per cent from less than 5,000 to more than 50,000 citizens. The decades between 1960 and 2000 demonstrated steady growth, which slowed significantly by the time of the 2010 census.

    The City of West Covina began the second half of the 20th century with new developments and projects, mostly brought on by big business. The City Hall and police facility were built in 1969 as the first phase of an example of a Joint Powers Authority in the County of Los Angeles. The Civic Center Joint Powers Authority, consisting of the County of Los Angeles and the City of West Covina, also completed a three-level parking structure in the Civic Center complex. The Civic Center complex includes the Los Angeles County Regional Library and the Citrus Municipal Court building and the city offices.

     

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