Truck Driving CDL Training Pleasanton CA

How to Choose the Best Trucker School near Pleasanton California

tractor truck in Pleasanton CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Pleasanton CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Pleasanton residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?

Pleasanton CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Pleasanton CA, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 needed to operate 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. 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School

Pleasanton CA truck driving schoolAfter you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Pleasanton CA truck driver 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 considerations. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Pleasanton CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly 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 Pleasanton CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several 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 share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of 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 authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Pleasanton CA schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Pleasanton CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having relationships 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 giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Pleasanton CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. 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 contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Pleasanton CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Pleasanton CA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Pleasanton CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Truck Driving CDL Training Pleasanton California

Pleasanton CA long haul truckSelecting the ideal trucking school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance 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 vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving CDL Training and wanting information on the topic CDL Training Classes.  However, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Pleasanton CA.

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    Pleasanton, California

    Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau.[9][10] Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Oracle, Nordstrom and Macy's.[11] Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.

    Pleasanton was ranked number 4 in USA Today's list of "America's 50 best cities to live in" in 2014,[12] number 63 in Money's list of "The Best Places to Live" in 2010,[13] and was named one of "Americans' Top Hometown Spots" in the United States in 2009 by Forbes.[14] Pleasanton was named the third wealthiest city in terms of earnings in the United States by NerdWallet in 2013[15] and 2016.[16]

    Before the establishment of Pleasanton in the 1850s, an earlier settlement in the location was called Alisal. It was located on the lands of the Rancho Santa Rita[17] near the site of an Indian ranchera, around the Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, called El Alisal (The Sycamores),[18] one of the earliest houses built in the valley in 1844. It is still standing and serves as the centerpiece of the Alviso Adobe Community Park. Alisal, nicknamed "The Most Desperate Town in the West", was one of the settlements located along La Vereda del Monte that was a haunt and refuge of bandits and desperados in the era following the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Main Street shootouts were not uncommon.[citation needed] Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.[citation needed]

     

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