CDL Programs Shasta Lake CA

How to Select the Best CDL Driving Classes near Shasta Lake California

tractor truck in Shasta Lake CA Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Shasta Lake CA. Perhaps it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Shasta Lake residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose 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 remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Shasta Lake CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Shasta Lake CA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 short summaries of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 needed 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. 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Shasta Lake CA truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Shasta Lake CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Shasta Lake CA area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know 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 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Shasta Lake CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims 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 professionally takes time. Most Shasta Lake CA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide plenty of 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Shasta Lake CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Shasta Lake CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Shasta Lake CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Shasta Lake CA employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Shasta Lake CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

CDL Programs Shasta Lake California

Shasta Lake CA long haul truckSelecting the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available 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 CDL Programs and wanting information on the topic Accredited Truck Driving Schools.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced 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 company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Shasta Lake CA.

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    Shasta Lake, California

    The City of Shasta Lake, known as Central Valley or CV prior to incorporation, is a city in Shasta County, California, United States. It is the closest settlement to Shasta Dam and Shasta Lake reservoir, which are popular tourist destinations. The population was 10,164 at the 2010 census, up from 9,008 at the 2000 census.

    Shasta Lake City started out as five small communities named Central Valley, Toyon, Project City, Pine Grove, and Summit City, all of which came about with the beginning of construction of Shasta Dam in 1938.[4] Project City was built at the intersection of U.S. Route 99 and Shasta Dam Boulevard, a larger Central Valley at a midpoint on Shasta Dam Blvd., Summit City at the intersection of Shasta Dam Boulevard and Lake Boulevard, and Pine Grove at what today is the intersection of Interstate 5 and Pine Grove Avenue.

    The Bureau of Reclamation built the town of Toyon, first called Government Camp. Toyon was the premier community, built on 41 acres (17 hectares) of what was once the Seaman Ranch. By 1950 Toyon had two tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, a Community Center, green lawns, concrete side walks, commercial water and power from Shasta Dam, its own sewage treatment plant, and its own landfill. Initially, Toyon also had two large dormitories for bachelor employees. All the residents of Toyon worked for the US Bureau of Reclamation. Bureau headquarters office and maintenance facilities were located on Kenneth Ave, parallel to Shasta Dam Blvd.

     

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