Best Truck Driving Schools Saratoga CA

How to Pick the Best CDL Driving Classes near Saratoga California

tractor truck in Saratoga CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Saratoga CA. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Saratoga residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the remainder 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 Need?

Saratoga CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Saratoga CA, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick 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). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 drive 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 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 drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Evaluate a Trucking School

Saratoga CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of researching the Saratoga CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Saratoga CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated 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 top Saratoga CA schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement 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 firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts 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 trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Saratoga CA schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method 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 level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide ample 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable 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 Saratoga CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver 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 associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Saratoga CA schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Saratoga CA school you choose provides 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 instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Saratoga CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Saratoga 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 assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.

Best Truck Driving Schools Saratoga California

Saratoga CA long haul truckChoosing the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Best Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic How Can I Get A CDL License.  However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may want to consider 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 truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Saratoga CA.

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    Saratoga, California

    Saratoga (/ˌsærəˈtoʊɡə/ SARR-ə-TOH-gə)[7] is a city in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley, directly west of San Jose, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 29,926 at the 2010 census. Located on the Western edge of the Silicon Valley, Saratoga is known locally for its suburban small-town feel, wineries, and high-end restaurants. Major attractions of Saratoga include Villa Montalvo, Hakone Gardens, and the Mountain Winery.

    The 2016 Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report listed Saratoga as the most expensive housing market in the United States.[8] In 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek named Saratoga the most expensive suburb in California.[9] According to CNN Money 70.42% of Saratoga households have an income greater than $100,000.[10] Saratoga also was ranked by Forbes in 2009 as one of America's top 20 most-educated small towns.[11] Bloomberg Businessweek also named Saratoga's zip code 95070 the 18th richest zip code in America in 2011.[12] In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Saratoga was the 8th wealthiest city in the United States.[13]

    This area was earlier inhabited by the Ohlone Native Americans.[14][15]European settlers imposed a displacement and created a settlement of what is now Saratoga in 1847, when William Campbell (father of Benjamin Campbell, the founder of nearby Campbell, California), constructed a sawmill about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) southeast of the present downtown area. An early map noted the area as Campbell's Gap. In 1851 Martin McCarthy, who had leased the mill, built a toll road down to the Santa Clara Valley, and founded what is now Saratoga as McCarthysville.[16] The toll gate was located at the present-day intersection of Big Basin Way and 3rd St., giving the town its first widely used name: Toll Gate. In 1867 the town received a post office under the name of McCarthysville.

     

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