How to Choose a Truck Driver School near Cabazon California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Cabazon CA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Cabazon home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to ensure you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, 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 objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 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 select a truck driving school near Cabazon CA, 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries for 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. 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 Commercial Drivers License 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. A few 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 require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Cabazon CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Cabazon CA trucking schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense 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 several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Cabazon 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 relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Cabazon CA schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the Cabazon CA school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish sufficient 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Cabazon CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain Cabazon CA truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous 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 surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the Cabazon CA schools you are considering 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 also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Cabazon CA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Cabazon CA. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Cabazon CA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Tractor Trailer Operator?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask truck driving candidates is "What made you decide on trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to trucking, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Best CDL School Cabazon CA
Choosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds 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 select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Cabazon CA.
A Bit About Cabazon California
Cabazon is a census-designated place (CDP) in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 2,535 during the 2010 Census. The area is a popular tourist and traveler stop, mainly due to the Morongo Casino & Resorts, and the luxury shopping Desert Hills Premium Outlet.
Cabazon was initially established as an unincorporated settlement in the 1870s after the Southern Pacific Railroad built a railroad station. The station was originally named Jacinto, but was renamed Cabezone after a nearby Indian rancheria. Cabezone was a chief of the Cahuilla Indians so named for his large head. A worker's camp named Hall's Siding which included a hotel and dance hall was established but eventually abandoned after the railroad relocated. In 1884 a new town was laid out by the Scottish-owned Cabazon Land and Water Company which established a fruit farm. Some lots were sold, but were later repurchased, and the land stayed intact until it was bought by a developer in 1910. The developer established a school and a post office but there were few residents.
Cabazon was incorporated as a city on November 1, 1955. The main advantage of incorporating at the time was that under California law, incorporated cities could host cardrooms while unincorporated areas could not. Over the next 16 years, the city struggled with scandal, political instability, and stalled growth, as cardroom operators vied with other landowners and residents for control of the city government. In its first seven years alone, the city went through 18 police chiefs and 21 City Council members. A key dispute was between residents who desired to see Cabazon developed into a lush resort city like Palm Springs to the east, versus cardroom owners who desired to keep Cabazon's population small so that the city government's operating expenses (and hence their taxes) would remain low and not impinge on their profits. At one point the city was able to raise as much as $19,000 per year by turning then-U.S. Route 60 down Main Street into a speed trap. That revenue stream vanished when Interstate 10 was finished in California circa 1964 and US Route 60 was decommissioned. The final blow was when a cardroom initiated an unsuccessful legal challenge to the City Council's attempt to raise the license fee charged to cardrooms. This infuriated landowners and residents who did not work at or otherwise benefit from the city's cardrooms. They then sought to shut down the city so that the cardrooms would also be forced to shut down. On September 14, 1971, the city's electorate voted in a special election 192 to 131 in favor of disincorporation. The election results were upheld by the state courts, and the city government disincorporated in 1972. Discussions about reincorporating the area have been reported intermittently during the 2000s.
Cabazon is located at 33°54′33″N 116°45′59″W / 33.90917°N 116.76639°W / 33.90917; -116.76639 (33.909086 -116.766373). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.9 square miles (13 km2). 4.9 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.025 square miles (0.065 km2) of it is water. The total area is 0.52% water.
More Cities of Interest in California