How to Decide on a Truck Driving School near Maywood California
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Maywood CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Maywood home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, a driver must attain 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 topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school near Maywood CA, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind 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 descriptions of 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 greater 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 CDL is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 might also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Maywood CA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Maywood CA truck driving schools are accredited because of the rigorous 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 obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Maywood CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Maywood CA schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the Maywood CA school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will furnish 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 operating a truck. While 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 she or he will become. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Maywood CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain Maywood CA trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the Maywood CA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Maywood CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession in Maywood CA. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out 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 placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed in Maywood CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Trucker?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask truck driving applicants is "What made you pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best CDL School Maywood CA
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about 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 enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Maywood CA.
A Bit About Maywood California
Maywood is a small city in southeast Los Angeles County, California. At 1.18 square miles (3.1 km2), Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in Los Angeles County. It is bordered by the cities of Bell on the south, Vernon on the north and west, Huntington Park on the southwest, and Commerce on the east. It is the most densely-populated city in California, and has the highest proportion of Latinos, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in the county.
As of July 1, 2010, Maywood became the first municipality in California to outsource all of its city services, dismantling its police department, laying off all city employees except for the city manager, city attorney and elected officials, and contracting with outside agencies for the provision of all municipal services. The population was 27,395 at the 2010 census.
The land on which Maywood now stands had been populated by Native American tribes for centuries. The area that would later become Maywood was deeded in 1781 by the Spanish monarchy to Spanish War veteran Manuel Nieto. When the settlement of Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles was recorded, it included the cow pasture (now Maywood) that eventually turned into a rancho.
In 1919, May Wood, a popular young woman who worked for the real estate corporation developing the 2,300 acres (930 hectares) ranch into home tracts, agreed to lend her name to the property. The development of Maywood later survived a bitter challenge to dissolve the prospective city in early 1924.
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