CDL Training Cost Novato CA

How to Pick the Best Truck Driving School near Novato California

tractor truck in Novato CA Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Novato CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Novato residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll receive the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective 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 remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

Novato CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Novato CA, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will address 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 descriptions for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 needed to drive 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, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Novato CA truck driving schoolWhen you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Novato CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Novato CA area are accredited due to the demanding 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 obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Novato CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. 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 attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Novato CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s imperative 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 prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, 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 regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Novato CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Novato CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other 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 Flexible? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Novato CA school you select provides 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 teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio 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 low job placement rate or not many Novato CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Novato CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.

CDL Training Cost Novato California

Novato CA long haul truckChoosing the appropriate trucking school is a critical 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 if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training Cost and wanting information on the topic School For CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must receive the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might want to look into 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 enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Novato CA.

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    Novato, California

    Novato (/nəˈvɑːtoʊ/ nə-VAH-toh) is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of San Rafael[9] and about 30 miles (48 km) north of San Francisco on U.S. 101. Novato has been called one of the best places to live in the U.S.[10]

    In 1839, the Mexican government granted the 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint Novatus at his baptism.[12] Subsequently, four additional land grants were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olompali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at 56,621 acres (229.1 km2), awarded to Pablo de la Guerra and John B.R. Cooper in 1844.[13] Novato, along with the rest of California, became part of the United States on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought 15,000 acres (61 km2) in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards.

    The original town was located around Novato Creek at what is now South Novato Boulevard. A railroad was built in 1879, connecting Novato to Sonoma County and San Rafael. The area around the train depot became known as New Town, and forms the edge of what today is Old Town Novato. The current depot was built in 1917, but closed in 1959, and is largely derelict. The depot consisted of two buildings: a warehouse and a station. The warehouse burned twice in the intervening years. Behind the rail station/warehouse complex was a grain and feed mill complex. The mill complex, along with the warehouse portion of the rail station, was torn down in late 2007 to make way for public parking and a Whole Foods/high-density housing development, while the derelict station is still standing.

     

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