How to Find the Right CDL Training School near San Jose California
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near San Jose CA. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your San Jose home. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll receive the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss 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 Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and San Jose CA, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions of the 2 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. Several 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 CDL is required 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. A few 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 require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a Trucking School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the San Jose CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the San Jose CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required 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 plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively 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 top San Jose CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing authority to make sure 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 teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of San Jose CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the San Jose CA schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different 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 giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the San Jose CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the San Jose CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have received your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many San Jose CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other San Jose CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Truck Driving Training Schools San Jose California
Picking the right truck driver school is a critical first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Training Schools and wanting information on the topic Weekend Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose 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 no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in San Jose CA.
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San Jose, California
San Jose[A] (/ˌsæn hoʊˈzeɪ, -ˈseɪ/; Spanish: [saŋ xoˈse]; Spanish for "Saint Joseph"), officially the City of San José,[B] is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California (both by population and area). With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.
San Jose is a global city, notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence,Mediterranean climate, and extremely high cost of living. San Jose's location within the booming high tech industry, as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname "Capital of Silicon Valley". San Jose is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zürich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita. With a median home price of $1,085,000, San Jose has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, eBay, Adobe Systems, PayPal, Broadcom, Samsung, Acer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San Jose, in the center of Silicon Valley.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area around San Jose was inhabited by the Tamien nation of the Ohlone peoples of California. San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, the first city founded in the Californias. It then became a part of Mexico in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. Following the American Conquest of California during the Mexican–American War, the territory was ceded to the United States in 1848. After California achieved statehood two years later, San Jose became the state's first capital. Following World War II, San Jose experienced an economic boom, with a rapid population growth and aggressive annexation of nearby cities and communities carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center to an urbanized metropolitan area. Results of the 1990 U.S. Census indicated that San Jose had officially surpassed San Francisco as the most populous city in Northern California. By the 1990s, San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley had become the global center for the high tech and internet industries, making it California's fastest-growing economy.
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