How to Choose the Right Truck Driving School near Brookdale California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Brookdale CA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Brookdale residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal means to make certain you’ll receive the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address 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 drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Brookdale CA, an operator needs to get 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 topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief explanations 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Several 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 operate certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Research a CDL School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Brookdale CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are some more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Brookdale CA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Brookdale CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Brookdale CA schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of 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 stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide lots of 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 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 can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Brookdale CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Brookdale CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Brookdale CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Brookdale CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Brookdale CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Class B CDL School Brookdale California
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class B CDL School and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving School Prices. However, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucking 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 in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Brookdale CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Brookdale is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Cruz County, California. Brookdale sits at an elevation of 405 feet (123 m). It is located in the San Lorenzo Valley between Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond on Highway 9. The 2010 United States census reported Brookdale's population was 1,991.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Brookdale has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
The Brookdale Inn & Spa, formerly known as the Brookdale Lodge, is known for the stream running through its primary restaurant, the Brook Room. The original lodge was built in 1890 at the site of the Grover Lumber Mill by James Harvey Logan a botanist and Judge (also responsible for the cultivation of the Logan berry). Before Judge Logan's development, the area was known as Clear Creek and Brookville. The inn was built around the river after 1922 while it was owned by Dr. Camp. The lodge was purchased by a new owner in 2007 and the name was changed to Brookdale Inn and Spa. The lodge underwent many structural changes followed by neglect and eventual abandonment. The lodge appeared on the paranormal show Ghost Adventures in 2012. The property has once again been sold and is undergoing intensive renovations.
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