Truck Driver License Class Redding CA

How to Choose the Best Trucker Classes near Redding California

tractor truck in Redding CA Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Redding CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Redding residence. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

Redding CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Redding CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more 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 operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 may also need endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School

Redding CA truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Redding CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are some additional factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Redding CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Redding CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure 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 instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Redding CA schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driving school will furnish 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 operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Redding CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Redding CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer 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 Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Redding CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor 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 needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Redding CA employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Redding CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating 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.

Truck Driver License Class Redding California

Redding CA long haul truckPicking the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driver License Class and wanting information on the topic CDL Driver Training.  However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money 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 select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Redding CA.

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    Redding, California

    Redding is a city in and the county seat of Shasta County, California, United States, in the northern part of the state. It lies along the Sacramento River, 162 miles (261 kilometers) north of Sacramento, and 120 miles (190 km) south of California's northern border, shared with the state of Oregon. Interstate 5 bisects the entire city, from the south to north before it approaches Shasta Lake, which is located 15 miles (24 km) to the north. The 2010 population was 89,861.[5][6] Redding is the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region, and it is the sixth-largest city in the Sacramento Valley, behind Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Vacaville and Chico.

    During the gold rush, the area that now comprises Redding was called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin Bernard Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad so that it could build a northern terminus there. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built a town in the same area, which they named Redding in honor of Benjamin Redding. In 1874 there was a dispute over the name by local legislators and it was changed for a time to Reading, in order to honor Pierson B. Reading, who founded the community of Shasta, but the name was officially changed back to Redding by 1880. It has been called Redding ever since.[7]

    Although Europeans had been to California as early as 1542, when Juan Cabrillo sailed to what is now the San Diego Bay, the indigenous Indians were probably the only inhabitants of far Northern California region until Russian fur trappers came through the area in 1815.

     

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