How to Decide on a Truck Driver School near Mc Kittrick California
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Mc Kittrick CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Mc Kittrick residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Mc Kittrick CA, we will highlight 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). Following are short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 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. 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 certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Mc Kittrick CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are a few additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Mc Kittrick CA trucking schools 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 a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Mc Kittrick CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, 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 look out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Mc Kittrick CA schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good 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. Although 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 stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the Mc Kittrick CA school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to some 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.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Mc Kittrick CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some Mc Kittrick CA trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the Mc Kittrick CA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Mc Kittrick CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Mc Kittrick CA. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other technical or vocational 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 a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Mc Kittrick CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Tractor Trailer Operator?When prepping to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional truck driver and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Best CDL School Mc Kittrick CA
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to consider 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 school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Mc Kittrick CA.
A Bit About Mc Kittrick California
McKittrick is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kern County, California, United States. McKittrick is located 14 miles (23 km) northwest of Taft, at an elevation of 1,056 feet (322 m). The population was 115 at the 2010 census, down from 160 at the 2000 census.
The town is in the center of a large oil-producing region in western Kern County. Along State Route 33 to the south of the town is the Midway-Sunset Oil Field, the second-largest oil field in the contiguous United States; within the town itself, as well as to the west is the McKittrick Field; to the northwest is the huge Cymric Field; and along Highway 33 beyond Cymric is the large South Belridge Oil Field, run by Aera Energy LLC. East of McKittrick is Occidental Petroleum's Elk Hills Field, formerly the U.S. Naval Petroleum Reserve.
The McKittrick Tar Pits, which are similar to the more famous La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, contain an assemblage of bones of ice age mammals. They are a series of surface seeps from the underlying McKittrick Oil Field.
The 2010 United States Census reported that McKittrick had a population of 115. The population density was 43.9 people per square mile (17.0/km²). The racial makeup of McKittrick was 101 (87.8%) White, 1 (0.9%) African American, 1 (0.9%) Native American, 0 (0.0%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 7 (6.1%) from other races, and 5 (4.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9 persons (7.8%).
More Cities of Interest in California