Truck Driver Education Redwood Valley CA

How to Select the Right Truck Driver School near Redwood Valley California

tractor truck in Redwood Valley CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Redwood Valley CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Redwood Valley home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the optimal means to ensure you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Redwood Valley CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Redwood Valley CA, an operator must attain 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 topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will address 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 of 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed 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. 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 operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Evaluate a Truck Driver School

Redwood Valley CA truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of assessing the Redwood Valley CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Redwood Valley CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, 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 determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Redwood Valley CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. 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 good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true regarding 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 relatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Redwood Valley CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide plenty of 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Redwood Valley CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Redwood Valley CA schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Redwood Valley CA school you select offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Redwood Valley CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

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

Truck Driver Education Redwood Valley California

Redwood Valley CA long haul truckPicking the ideal trucking 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 available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driver Education and wanting information on the topic CDL License Training.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might 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 CDL 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 regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Redwood Valley CA.

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    Redwood Valley, California

    Redwood Valley (formerly Basil)[3] is a census-designated place[4] in Mendocino County, California.[2] It is located 6.5 miles (10 km) southwest of Potter Valley,[3] at an elevation of 722 feet (220 m).[2] It comprises the northern portion of the Ukiah Valley. It is about 8 mi (13 km) north of Ukiah and 12 mi (19 km) south of Willits. Potter Valley is to the east and Calpella to the south. The ZIP Code is 95470. The community is in area code 707. The population was 1,729 at the 2010 census.

    One of the more dubious distinctions awarded Redwood Valley is it being the home of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple cult for a short time. The site was chosen because Jones believed that it was one of the few places in the world likely to survive a nuclear holocaust.

    The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that Redwood Valley had a population of 1,729. The population density was 629.1 people per square mile (242.9/km²). The racial makeup of Redwood Valley was 1,432 (82.8%) White, 7 (0.4%) African American, 63 (3.6%) Native American, 10 (0.6%) Asian, 1 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 155 (9.0%) from other races, and 61 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 305 persons (17.6%).

     

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