How to Choose the Best CDL Training School near Downieville California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Downieville CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Downieville home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective 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 goal in mind, just how do you choose 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Downieville CA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 drive 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. 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 drive certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Downieville CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more points that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Downieville CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Downieville CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, 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 individual attention 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 professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Downieville CA schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide ample 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Downieville CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. 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 refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Downieville CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Downieville CA school you choose 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 dedicate 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 fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Downieville CA employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Downieville 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 reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Schools For Truck Driving Downieville California
Picking the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Schools For Truck Driving and wanting information on the topic How Can I Get My CDL License. But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several 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 Downieville CA.
Truck On in These Other California Locations
Downieville is a census-designated place in and the county seat of Sierra County, California, United States. Downieville is on the North Fork of the Yuba River, at an elevation of 2,966 feet (904 m). The 2010 United States census reported Downieville's population was 282.
Downieville was founded in late 1849 during the California Gold Rush, in the Northern Mines area. It was first known as "The Forks" for its geographical location at the confluence of the Downie River and North Fork of the Yuba River.
It was soon renamed after Major William Downie (1820-1893), the town's founder. Downie was a Scotsman who had led an expedition of nine miners, seven of them African American men, up the North Fork of the Yuba River in the Autumn of 1849. At the present site of the town they struck rich gold, built a log cabin, and settled in to wait out the winter. By 1850, Downieville already had 15 hotels, 4 bakeries, 4 butcher shops, and numerous saloons.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 5