How to Choose the Right Truck Driver School near Rancho Cordova California
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Rancho Cordova CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Rancho Cordova home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question 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 CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Rancho Cordova CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject 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 kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 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 needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Rancho Cordova CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are some additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Rancho Cordova CA area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Rancho Cordova CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, 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 individual 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 insists 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 skillfully requires time. The majority of Rancho Cordova CA schools provide training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish lots 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. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs among schools, a good 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 Rancho Cordova CA schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with many different 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Rancho Cordova CA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in California, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Rancho Cordova CA school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads 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 few Rancho Cordova CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Rancho Cordova CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Truck Driving School Prices Rancho Cordova California
Picking the ideal truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving School Prices and wanting information on the topic How To Get A Class B License. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you may want 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 choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Rancho Cordova CA.
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Rancho Cordova, California
Rancho Cordova is a city in Sacramento County, California, United States which was incorporated in 2003. It is part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area. The population was 64,776 at the 2010 census. Rancho Cordova is the Sacramento area's largest employment sub-center, attracting over 50,000 commuters. The city is served by Sacramento Regional Transit's various bus lines and the Gold Line light rail line, though fewer than 0.1 percent of commuters to Rancho Cordova use the line according to the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (2010-2012). In 2010 Rancho Cordova was named as a winner of the All-America City Award.
Originally called Mayhew’s Crossing and Hangtown Crossing (c. 1855) during the Gold Rush era, the area was renamed Mayhew Station and Mills Station (c. 1900), respectively. The city itself was named for the Cordova Vineyard, which was located in the center of the Rancho Rio de los Americanos land grant. Other names of the town included Cordova Vineyards and Cordova Village, before it was officially named Rancho Cordova when a post office was established in the community in 1955.
In the Gold Rush era of mid 19th century California, certain Placer mining activities took place in the Rancho Cordova environs, some traces of which disturbance are extant. The elevation of the generally level terrain is approximately 118 feet (36 m) above mean sea level. Lone Star Gravel Company and other companies have historically extracted younger gravels at depths of 30 to 40 feet (12 m) without encountering groundwater, which is characteristically found at about 100 feet (30 m). Partially confined groundwater generally flows to the southwest.
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