Commercial Drivers License Classes North Highlands CA

How to Select the Best Truck Driving Classes near North Highlands California

tractor truck in North Highlands CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near North Highlands CA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors 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 North Highlands home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

North Highlands CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and North Highlands CA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes 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 highlight Class A and Class 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 short 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 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 CDL is required 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. Several of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive 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 need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

North Highlands CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the North Highlands CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the North Highlands CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top North Highlands CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction 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 professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of North Highlands CA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the North Highlands CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driver 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 associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the North Highlands CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of 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 schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the North Highlands CA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few North Highlands CA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other North Highlands CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Commercial Drivers License Classes North Highlands California

North Highlands CA long haul truckSelecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning 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 vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Commercial Drivers License Classes and wanting information on the topic Getting A Class A CDL.  However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want to look into 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 the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, 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 joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in North Highlands CA.

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    North Highlands, California

    North Highlands is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 42,694 at the 2010 census, down from 44,187 at the 2000 census.

    Wanting to create a safe, business supported community at the section of Highway 80 and Watt Avenue, the property owners voted to be assessed and support efforts in cleaning up and beautify the area, so that the locals and visitors will enjoy spending time in the area. Additional security within the PBID has reduced crime 25% since January 2016 (“About Us,” n.d.). The addition of Palladin security’s daily patrols and dedicated hours by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Off-Duty Program have illustrated the value of increased district monitoring. More details are located at www.80WattDistrict.com

    Until 2008, North Highlands was served by two school districts, Rio Linda Union School District which covered K-6 grades and Grant Joint Union High School District for grades 7-12. In 2008, the two districts merged, creating the Twin Rivers Unified School District. The local high school is Highlands High School, which is surrounded by quite a few elementary and charter schools. North Highlands is a low-income residential housing area with some commercial and industrial regions around the former McClellan Air Force Base, now a civilian business center and airport called McClellan Business Park. In 1995, McClellan Air Force Base was identified for closure as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) IV process.[5] North Highlands has a high crime rate for an area of its size, and a homicide rate four times the city itself. The main streets are Watt Avenue, Elkhorn Blvd, and Walerga road.

     

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