CDL Truck Driver Schools near San Fernando CA 91340

How to Choose a Truck Driver School near San Fernando California

San Fernando CA CDL truck driving schoolCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near San Fernando CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your San Fernando residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

tractor trailer in San Fernando CATo operate commercial vehicles legally in California and within the USA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school near San Fernando CA, we will highlight Class A and Class 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 summaries for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.

How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

San Fernando CA tractor truckAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of researching the San Fernando CA truck driving schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several more factors that you should research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many San Fernando CA truck driving schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top San Fernando CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire instructors 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 greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially 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 be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of San Fernando CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to visit the San Fernando CA school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish 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 driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the San Fernando CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of San Fernando CA truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the San Fernando CA schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the San Fernando CA school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote 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 Provided? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to start your new career in San Fernando CA. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted in San Fernando CA.

Why Did You Want to Become a Truck Driver?

When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask truck driving candidates is "What compelled you to select trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a truck driver, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding truck driver and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.

Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School San Fernando CA

tanker truck driving in {San Fernando CAPicking the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills 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 critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even 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 associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in San Fernando CA.

A Bit About San Fernando California

San Fernando, California

The city was named for the nearby Mission San Fernando Rey de España (which in turn was named after St. Ferdinand), and was part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1874 Charles Maclay, San Fernando founder, bought 56,000 acres (227 km2) of the Rancho. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter of future Porter Ranch each received one-third of the total land. In 1885, Maclay founded the Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in his newly founded town of San Fernando.[8] After his death it became an affiliate and moved to the campus of the University of Southern California and then the Claremont School of Theology.

While most of the towns in the surrounding San Fernando Valley agreed to annexation by Los Angeles in the 1910s, eager to tap the bountiful water supply provided by the newly opened Los Angeles Aqueduct, San Fernando's abundant groundwater supplies allowed it to remain a separate city. Even as the San Fernando Valley transformed itself from an agricultural area to a suburban one in the decades after World War II, San Fernando retained its independence.

As with much of the San Fernando Valley east of the San Diego Freeway, the city of San Fernando has seen a significant demographic shift in recent years. Declining birth-rates and an aging population of middle-class Caucasians, who once dominated the area in the 1950s, has contributed to the movement into other parts of the San Fernando Valley. There has also been movement into the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys to the north. Latinos became the majority population (the largest percentage in the Greater Los Angeles area at 90 percent as of 2015). Since late 2004, the city has been going through a series of planning development projects, that can be defined as gentrification.[citation needed]

San Fernando is completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, with the districts of Sylmar to the north, Lake View Terrace to the east, Pacoima to the south, and Mission Hills to the west. It is served by the Golden State (Interstate 5), Foothill (Interstate 210), Ronald Reagan (State Route 118), and San Diego (Interstate 405) freeways.

 

 

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