How to Decide on a CDL Training School near Moreno Valley California
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Moreno Valley CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Moreno Valley residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss 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 CDL Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally in California and within the United States, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Moreno Valley CA, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Moreno Valley CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Moreno Valley CA truck driver schools are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly 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 Moreno Valley CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Moreno Valley CA schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques 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 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. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the Moreno Valley CA school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide lots 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 driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Moreno Valley CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of Moreno Valley CA truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations 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 choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire 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 a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in California, ask if the Moreno Valley CA schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Moreno Valley CA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. 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 Provided? The moment you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession in Moreno Valley CA. Verify that the schools you are reviewing 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 placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed in Moreno Valley CA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to pick trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to trucking, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Trucking School Moreno Valley CA
Choosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Moreno Valley CA.
A Bit About Moreno Valley California
Moreno Valley, California
Moreno Valley is a city located in Riverside County, California, and is part of the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area. A relatively young city, its rapid growth from the late 1980s to the early 2000s made it the second-largest city in Riverside County by population, and one of the Inland Empire's population centers. As of the 2010 census, the population was 193,365. The city is closely tied to Riverside, California, the county seat and largest city in the county, which borders Moreno Valley directly to the west. Moreno Valley is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area.
The Moreno Valley area was first inhabited 2,300 years ago. There are at least 200 prehistoric archaeological locations within the city. The majority of the sites are milling stations - where chaparral seed was the dominant milling activity. Rock art, consisting of pictographs, and petroglyphs are present - though most of the petroglyphs in Moreno Valley consist of boulders with "cupules", or cup-shaped holes pecked into them.
Spanish scouts initially came across descendants of the Shoshone, and Luiseño tribes; although other groups, such as the Serrano and Cahuilla were in the area. The late prehistoric Luiseño and Cahuilla were semi-sedentary, meaning that they wintered in villages, then spread out in family groups during the spring and summer months to harvest seeds and acorns.
When California was admitted to the United States as a state in 1850, Americans began to move into the area. The Tucson-to-San Francisco route of John Butterfield's Overland Mail Company passed through it. Some farmers began to occupy the area, relying upon water from Frank E. Brown's Bear Valley Land and Water Company. Beginning in 1883, the company collected and pumped water from Bear Valley, California in the San Bernardino Mountains to the north. The area first acquired its current name, Moreno Valley, at this time, referring to Frank Brown (moreno is Spanish for "brown" or "brunet"). In 1899, the city of Redlands won a lawsuit in which the city claimed eminent domain over the Bear Valley water. The resulting loss of service forced most of the area's inhabitants to move.
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