CDL A School Piedmont CA

How to Decide on the Best Trucking Classes near Piedmont California

tractor truck in Piedmont CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Piedmont CA. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted 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 receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Piedmont home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you pick 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Piedmont CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Piedmont CA, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one 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 discuss Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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 explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed 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 CDL is required 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a Trucking School

Piedmont CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have decided which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Piedmont CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Piedmont CA area are accredited due to the demanding 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 required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Piedmont CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining 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 professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Piedmont CA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the instructors in person. 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 ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver 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. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Piedmont CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Piedmont CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available 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 contending with graduates of 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 Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Piedmont CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing 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 commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Piedmont CA employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Piedmont CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.

CDL A School Piedmont California

Piedmont CA long haul truckChoosing the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many 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 A School and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driver Training.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Piedmont CA.

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    Piedmont, California

    Piedmont is a small, mostly residential, semi-suburban city located in Alameda County, California, United States. Piedmont is completely surrounded by the city of Oakland. Its residential population was 10,667 at the 2010 census. The name comes after the region of Piedmont in Italy, and literally means foothill. Piedmont was incorporated in 1907, and was developed significantly in the 1920s and 1930s. The Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools.

    Residents originally sought incorporation in 1907. Two elections were held among the citizens of Piedmont in 1907, both of which narrowly upheld the decision for Piedmont to become a separate city, rather than become a neighborhood within the city of Oakland.

    According to the city's Web page, "In the Roaring Twenties, Piedmont was known as the 'City of Millionaires' because there were more millionaires per square mile than in any city in the United States."[10] Many of these millionaires built mansions that still stand, notably on Sea View Avenue and Sotelo Avenue/Glen Alpine Road in 'Alta' Piedmont. Piedmont became a charter city under the laws of the state of California on December 18, 1922. On February 27, 1923, voters adopted the charter, which can only be changed by another vote of the people.

     

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