How to Decide on the Right CDL Driving School near Anderson California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Anderson CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Anderson home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge 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 pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Anderson CA, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following 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 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 CDL is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Anderson CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Anderson CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Anderson CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Anderson CA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors 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 quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Anderson CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver 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 provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Anderson CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver 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 advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Anderson CA school you choose provides 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 teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Anderson CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Anderson CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Anderson CA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Anderson California area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Railroad activity came to the area in 1872. Anderson is named after Elias Anderson, who owned the largest land grant in the vicinity. The city's Anderson River Park sits on part of the original land grant owned by Anderson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.6 square miles (17 km2), of which 6.4 square miles (17 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (3.74%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Anderson had a population of 9,932. The population density was 1,500.3 people per square mile (579.3/km²). The racial makeup of Anderson was 8,273 (83.3%) White, 70 (0.7%) African American, 426 (4.3%) Native American, 256 (2.6%) Asian, 17 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 353 (3.6%) from other races, and 537 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,070 persons (10.8%).
Get CDL License Anderson CA
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an essential 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 forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 Get CDL License. But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash 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 choose an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Anderson CA.
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