Driving School Truck Portola Valley CA

How to Decide on the Right Trucker School near Portola Valley California

tractor truck in Portola Valley CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Portola Valley CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Portola Valley home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Portola Valley CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Portola Valley CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 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 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School

Portola Valley CA truck driving schoolWhen you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Portola Valley CA trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Portola Valley CA area are accredited due to 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 several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated 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 best of Portola Valley CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective 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 proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction 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 frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Portola Valley CA schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Portola Valley CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of 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 work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Portola Valley CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Portola Valley CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure 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, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Portola Valley CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Portola Valley CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Driving School Truck Portola Valley California

Portola Valley CA long haul truckChoosing the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Driving School Truck and wanting information on the topic How To Get A CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Portola Valley CA.

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    Portola Valley, California

    Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States, which was founded in 1964. It is the wealthiest town in America per the American Community Survey,[5] based on per-capita income for communities larger than 4,000. Home prices are also among the highest in the nation.[5]

    The Native Americans already present were Ohlone and specifically the group (or groups) known as Olpen or Guemelento but these were later moved to Mission Dolores and Mission Santa Clara de Asís which claimed the land and peoples.[7][8] The area's written history dates back to 1833, when a square league of land was given to Domingo Peralta and Máximo Martínez by Governor José Figueroa to form the Rancho Cañada del Corte de Madera.[9] In those days it was used for lumbering and cattle grazing. By the 1880s Andrew S. Hallidie, a wire rope manufacturer, had built his country home of Eagle Home Farm in what is now Portola Valley. He built a 7,341 foot long aerial tramway from his house to the top of Skyline in 1894 though it was removed after his death in 1900.[10][11]

    In 1886 the name Portola-Crespi Valley was bestowed on the area from the then community of Crystal Springs (now under Crystal Springs Reservoir to the then community of Searsville (in the area of the present day Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve); Crespi is for Juan Crespí, a Franiciscan friar with the Portola expedition.[9]

     

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