Training For Truck Drivers Redwood Estates CA

How to Enroll in the Right Trucking School near Redwood Estates California

tractor truck in Redwood Estates CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Redwood Estates CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Redwood Estates residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge 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 discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Redwood Estates CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Redwood Estates CA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations for 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 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Redwood Estates CA truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Redwood Estates CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several more things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Redwood Estates CA area are accredited due to the rigorous 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 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 get lots 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked 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 Redwood Estates CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality 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 department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Redwood Estates CA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important 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 standards, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Redwood Estates 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 trucking 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 maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Redwood Estates CA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Redwood Estates CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Redwood Estates CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Redwood Estates CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.

Training For Truck Drivers Redwood Estates California

Redwood Estates CA long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape 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 Training For Truck Drivers and wanting information on the topic A Class Driving School.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to look into 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 trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter 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 Redwood Estates CA.

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    Redwood Estates, California

    Redwood Estates is a rural unincorporated community along State Route 17 in the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains in Los Gatos, California, United States. The Census Bureau includes it in a census-designated place named Lexington Hills. It lies inside the confines of Santa Clara County. The area is about eight miles from downtown Los Gatos and nine miles from the Santa Cruz County community of Scotts Valley.

    Nearby Summit Road is roughly the dividing line between the counties: Santa Cruz County areas being generally west of Summit Rd. The Butano Fault (also known as the Butano Rift Zone), roughly follows Summit Road through the area. The ZIP code for post office boxes in Redwood Estates is 95044, although the city and ZIP code for street delivery is Los Gatos, 95033. Street addresses are usually five digits. The U.S. Geological Survey, National Geographic Names Database, lists the NAD27 coordinates of the community as 37°09′23″N 121°59′08″W / 37.15639°N 121.98556°W / 37.15639; -121.98556. The community is inside area code 408 while communities further west (but outside Redwood Estates) are in the coastal area code 831.

    The architecture of homes in the community varies widely. The roads are paved, but narrow and winding when compared to modern urban streets. While area housing prices have been buoyed by rising real estate prices in Silicon Valley, the area is quiet and informal. There are few lawns: most homes have redwood duff in the front yard. Poison oak is evident in the area. There are very few storm drains, curbs, or sidewalks. Roads are framed by vegetation and wind along the contours of the area's hills. As the name implies, the area is populated by the towering redwood trees ubiquitous to the occasionally fog-shrouded areas of the California coast. Redwood roots seem to serve as informal speed bumps on many of the narrow community roads.

     

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