How to Select a Truck Driving School near Yorba Linda California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Yorba Linda CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Yorba Linda home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to make certain you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you decide on 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Yorba Linda CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 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. 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, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
After you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Yorba Linda CA truck driving 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 must not be your only considerations. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Yorba Linda CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 Business? One clue to help determine 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 stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Yorba Linda CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Yorba Linda CA schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, 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 essential training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time can vary between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Yorba Linda CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Yorba Linda CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the schools you are looking at 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 views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Yorba Linda CA school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Yorba Linda CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Yorba Linda CA area 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 get through the options and forms that must be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Yorba Linda CA?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Yorba Linda California area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Yorba Linda, California
Yorba Linda ("Beautiful Yorba", in English) is a suburban city in Orange County, California, approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The city's most notable resident was President Richard Nixon. A National Historic Landmark where he was born, is within the city along with the presidential library and museum in his honor. It is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area according to the US Census. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 64,234.
In 1834, Jose Antonio Yorba's most successful son, Bernardo Yorba (after whom the city would later be named), was granted the 13,328-acre (53.94 km2) Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana by Mexican governor José Figueroa. Most of this original land was retained after the Mexican–American War in 1848 by descendants of the Yorba family. A portion of the city's land is still owned and developed by descendants of Samuel Kraemer, who acquired it through his marriage to Angelina Yorba, the great-granddaughter of Bernardo Yorba. The site of the Bernardo Yorba Hacienda, referred to as the Don Bernardo Yorba Ranch House Site, is listed as a California Historical Landmark.
Near that same site sits the second oldest private cemetery in the county, the historic Yorba Cemetery. The land was given to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Bernardo Yorba in 1858 since Orange County was not established out of Los Angeles County as a separate county until 1889. The cemetery closed in 1939 and was subsequently vandalized; however, in the 1960s, the Orange County Board of Supervisors took possession of the property to repair the damage, and tours are now available one day per month.
Select the Best CDL School Yorba Linda CA
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Yorba Linda CA.
More Trucking Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 551