How to Select a Truck Driver School near Newman California
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Newman CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Newman residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the USA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school near Newman CA, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the two 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. Some 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 needed 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 may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Newman CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are some additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Newman CA trucking schools are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent 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. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Newman CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
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 discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving 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 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 skillfully requires time. The majority of Newman CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to visit the Newman CA school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, 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 operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time varies 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. Get in touch with the Newman CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of Newman CA truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified 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 affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask 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 several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the Newman CA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Newman CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career in Newman CA. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance 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 lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted in Newman CA.
Why Did You Want to Become a Truck Driver?When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to pick trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a trucker, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Trucking School Newman CA
Selecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must receive 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 may 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 enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Newman CA.
A Bit About Newman California
Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 – September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film director, producer, race car driver, IndyCar owner, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist. He won and was nominated for numerous awards, winning an Academy Award for his performance in the 1986 film The Color of Money, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy Award, and many others. Newman's other roles include the title characters in The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966) and Cool Hand Luke (1967), as well as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), The Sting (1973), and The Verdict (1982). He also voiced Doc Hudson in the first installment of Disney-Pixar's Cars, and received a posthumous credit for his voice recordings in Cars 3 (2017).
Despite being colorblind, Newman won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing, and his race teams won several championships in open-wheel IndyCar racing. He was a co-founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which he donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. As of January 2017, these donations have totaled over US$485 million. He was a co-founder of Safe Water Network, a nonprofit that develops sustainable drinking water solutions for those in need.
In 1988, Newman founded the SeriousFun Children's Network, a global family of summer camps and programs for children with serious illness which has served 290,076 children since its inception.
Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (née Fetzer, Fetzko, or Fetsko; Slovak: Terézia Fecková; died 1982) and Arthur Sigmund Newman (died 1950), who ran a sporting goods store.
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