How to Decide on the Right CDL Training School near Bangor California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Bangor CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about before making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Bangor residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Bangor CA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and 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). Below are brief explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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. A few 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 kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Bangor CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are several more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Bangor CA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Bangor CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Bangor CA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Bangor CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Bangor 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 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 reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Bangor CA school you choose 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 teacher should be willing to spend 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 obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Bangor CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Bangor CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Bangor CA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Bangor California area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Bangor (English: /ˈbæŋɡər/; Welsh: [ˈbaŋɡɔr]) is a city and community in Gwynedd northwest Wales. It is the oldest city in Wales, and one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. Historically in Caernarfonshire, it is a university city with a population of 18,808 at the 2011 census, including around 10,500 students at Bangor University. It is one of only six places classed as a city in Wales, although it is only the 25th-largest urban area by population. At the 2001 census, 46.6% of the non-student resident population spoke Welsh.
The origins of the city date back to the founding of a monastic establishment on the site of Bangor Cathedral by the Celtic saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. Bangor itself is an old Welsh word for a wattled enclosure, such as the one that originally surrounded the cathedral site. The present cathedral is a somewhat more recent building and has been extensively modified throughout the centuries.
While the building itself is not the oldest, and certainly not the biggest, the bishopric of Bangor is one of the oldest in the UK. Another claim to fame is that Bangor allegedly has the longest High Street in Wales and the United Kingdom.Friars School was founded as a free grammar school in 1557, and the University College of North Wales (later Bangor University) was founded in 1884.
Best CDL Schools Bangor CA
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best CDL Schools. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Bangor CA.
Keep On Trucking in These Other California Locations