CDL Truck Driver Schools near Death Valley CA 92328

How to Choose a CDL Training School near Death Valley California

Death Valley CA CDL truck driving schoolBest wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Death Valley CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Death Valley residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest 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?

tractor trailer in Death Valley CAIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Death Valley CA, we will focus on Class A and 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). Below are brief explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 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. Several 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 may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

How to Research a Trucking School

Death Valley CA tractor truckWhen you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Death Valley CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So below are several more points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many Death Valley CA truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots 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 training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Death Valley CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Death Valley CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the Death Valley CA school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard 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 Death Valley CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of Death Valley CA truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular 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 having associations 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 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 some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the 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 permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the Death Valley CA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing 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 Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Death Valley CA school you enroll in provides 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 prepared to commit 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 accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career in Death Valley CA. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Death Valley CA.

Why Did You Desire to Become a Tractor Trailer Operator?

When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What made you decide on trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a truck driver, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to trucking, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.

Pick the Right Truck Driving School Death Valley CA

tanker truck driving in {Death Valley CASelecting the right trucking school is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in 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 choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Death Valley CA.

A Bit About Death Valley California

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, it occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts in the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area.[4] It is the hottest, driest and lowest of the national parks in the United States.[5] The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times.

A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European-Americans that became stuck in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994.[2]

The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old.[6] Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.

In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association.[7]

 

 

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