How to Find a CDL Driving School near East Irvine California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near East Irvine CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your East Irvine residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the USA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near East Irvine CA, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 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 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
After you have determined which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the East Irvine CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many East Irvine CA trucking schools are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of East Irvine CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider 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 supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the next 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 look out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of East Irvine CA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the East Irvine CA school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement 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 differs between schools, a reasonable 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 East Irvine CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of East Irvine CA truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with many different 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 have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the East Irvine CA schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the East Irvine CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new career in East Irvine CA. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in East Irvine CA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Trucker?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask truck driving applicants is "What made you pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Best Trucking School East Irvine CA
Choosing the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local 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 proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to consider 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 select an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in East Irvine CA.
A Bit About East Irvine California
Irvine (/ˈɜːrvaɪn/ UR-vyn) is a master-planned city in Orange County, California, United States. The Irvine Company started developing the area in the 1960s and the city was formally incorporated on December 28, 1971. The 66-square-mile (170 km2) city had a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census; in 2016 the city's population was 258,386.
A number of corporations, particularly in the technology and semiconductor sectors, have their national or international headquarters in Irvine. Irvine is also home to several higher education institutions including the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California (USC), and campuses of California State University Fullerton (CSUF), University of La Verne, and Pepperdine University.
The Gabrieleño indigenous group inhabited Irvine about 2,000 years ago. Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish explorer, came to the area in 1769, which led to the establishment of forts, missions and cattle herds. The King of Spain parceled out land for missions and private use.
After Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexican government secularized the missions and assumed control of the lands. It began distributing the land to Mexican citizens who applied for grants. Three large Spanish/Mexican grants made up the land that later became the Irvine Ranch: Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Rancho San Joaquin and Rancho Lomas de Santiago.
More Cities of Interest in California