How to Pick the Right CDL Driving School near Auberry California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Auberry CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Auberry residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest 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?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Auberry CA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply 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 discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL is needed 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 need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Auberry CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Auberry CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked 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 Auberry CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Auberry CA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide 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 operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Auberry CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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. 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 remember to ask if the Auberry CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. 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 noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Auberry CA school you select offers 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage 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 lower job placement rate or not many Auberry CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Auberry CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance 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.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Auberry CA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Auberry California area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Auberry is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fresno County, California, United States. The population was 2,369 at the 2010 census, up from 2,053 at the 2000 census. Auberry is located on Little Sandy Creek 9.5 miles (15 km) west of Shaver Lake Heights, at an elevation of 2,018 feet (615 m).
The Auberry post office was established in 1884, and following moves in 1887 and 1888, it was located at its present site in 1906. The place is named for Al Yarborough and is spelled phonetically as his name was pronounced.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Auberry had a population of 2,369. The population density was 123.4 people per square mile (47.6/km²). The racial makeup of Auberry was 2,048 (86.4%) White, 10 (0.4%) African American, 105 (4.4%) Native American, 24 (1.0%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 68 (2.9%) from other races, and 112 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 309 persons (13.0%).
Area Truck Driving School Auberry CA
Choosing the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Area Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases 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 firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. 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 trucker in Auberry CA.
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