How to Choose a Trucking School near Murrieta California
Best wishes on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Murrieta CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Murrieta residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally in California and within the USA, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Murrieta 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). Following are brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few 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 drive certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Murrieta CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. 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 equally or even more important. So below are several more things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many Murrieta CA truck driver schools are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly 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 Murrieta CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Murrieta CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the Murrieta CA school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with a few 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.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will furnish lots of 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good 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 Murrieta CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of Murrieta CA truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. 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 obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the Murrieta CA schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Murrieta CA school you select offers 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 teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession in Murrieta CA. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed in Murrieta CA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What compelled you to select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a trucker, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to trucking, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School Murrieta CA
Choosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new occupation 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 many options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate 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 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 company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Murrieta CA.
A Bit About Murrieta California
Murrieta is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States. The population of Murrieta was 103,466 at the 2010 census. Murrieta experienced a 133.7% population increase between 2000 and 2010, according to the most recent census, making Murrieta one of the fastest growing cities in the state. This population boom in 2010 surpassed the population of the historically larger and more commercial city of Temecula to the south for the first time since the incorporation of either city. Temecula and Murrieta together form the southwestern anchor of the Inland Empire region. The Murrieta-Temecula-Menifee Urban Area had a population of 441,546 at the 2010 Census. Largely residential in character, Murrieta is typically characterized as a commuter town, with many of its residents commuting to jobs in San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Temecula, and Camp Pendleton.
For most of its history Murrieta was not heavily populated. On July 17, 1873, Domingo Pujol, Francisco Sanjurjo, and Juan and Ezequiel Murrieta purchased the Rancho Pauba and Rancho Temecula Mexican land grants, comprising 52,000 acres (210 km2) in the area. Ezequiel returned to Spain and turned the land over to his younger brother, Juan Murrieta (1844–1936), who brought 7,000 sheep to the valley in 1873, using the meadows to feed his sheep. The partnership dissolved in 1876 and Ezequiel and Juan Murrieta retained 15,000 acres of the northern half of the Temecula Rancho. Ezequiel and Juan Murrieta granted a right-of-way, one-hundred-feet wide to the California Southern Railroad through the Temecula Rancho on April 28, 1882 so that the railroad could be constructed through the valley.
In 1884, the Temecula Land and Water Company purchased about 14,500 acres from Juan Murrieta and mapped a town site along the California Southern Railroad. Others discovered the valley after the construction of a depot in 1887 that connected Murrieta to the Southern California Railroad's transcontinental route. By 1890 some 800 people lived in Murrieta. Today much of the site (about 50 acres) is home to a Bible college and conference center, owned by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which has invested millions of dollars into restoring and rebuilding the old resort rooms. When the trains stopped in 1935, tourists – the lifeblood of the town – were much harder to come by. The boom that Murrieta had experienced due to the train and the hot springs gradually died, leaving Murrieta as a small country town.
Although US Route 395 did pass through Murrieta, it wasn't until Interstate 15 was built in the early 1980s that another boom began to take hold. By the late 1980s suburban neighborhoods were being constructed, and people began moving to the Murrieta area from cities and towns in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties as the population grew rapidly.
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