Schools For Truck Driving San Geronimo CA

How to Enroll in the Best Truck Driver Classes near San Geronimo California

tractor truck in San Geronimo CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near San Geronimo CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your San Geronimo home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

San Geronimo CA long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and San Geronimo CA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and 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). Following are brief explanations for 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 more than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 required 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Evaluate a CDL School

San Geronimo CA truck driving schoolWhen you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the San Geronimo CA truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the San Geronimo CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top San Geronimo CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding 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 relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most San Geronimo CA schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor 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. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. Besides, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the San Geronimo CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the San Geronimo CA schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the San Geronimo CA school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few San Geronimo CA employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other San Geronimo CA area vocational or trade 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 completed.

Schools For Truck Driving San Geronimo California

San Geronimo CA long haul truckPicking the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation 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 several options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Schools For Truck Driving and wanting information on the topic How Can I Get My CDL License.  However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver 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 get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in San Geronimo CA.

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    San Geronimo, California

    San Geronimo (formerly Nicasio Station)[4] is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the San Geronimo Valley in Marin County, California in the United States. San Geronimo is located 8 miles (13 km) southwest of downtown Novato,[4] at an elevation of 292 feet (89 m).[3] The population was 446 at the 2010 census.

    The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that San Geronimo had a population of 446. The population density was 295.8 people per square mile (114.2/km²). The racial makeup of San Geronimo was 421 (94.4%) White, 3 (0.7%) African American, 2 (0.4%) Native American, 3 (0.7%) Asian, 3 (0.7%) from other races, and 14 (3.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21 persons (4.7%).

    There were 199 households, out of which 49 (24.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 108 (54.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 19 (9.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 7 (3.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 13 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 43 households (21.6%) were made up of individuals and 9 (4.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24. There were 134 families (67.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.60.

     

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