Truck School Driving Squaw Valley CA

How to Decide on the Right CDL Driving Classes near Squaw Valley California

tractor truck in Squaw Valley CA Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Squaw Valley CA. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Squaw Valley residence. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable 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 cover in the rest 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 Should You Get?

Squaw Valley CA long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Squaw Valley CA, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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 brief descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 CDL is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 operate certain kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Squaw Valley CA truck driving schoolAs soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Squaw Valley CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Squaw Valley CA area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, 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 caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill 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 ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Squaw Valley CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. 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 confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is particularly 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 period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Squaw Valley CA schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify 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. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide plenty 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 important training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Squaw Valley CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Squaw Valley CA schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in California, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Squaw Valley CA school you choose provides 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 prepared to devote 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 needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Squaw Valley CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Squaw Valley 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 assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Truck School Driving Squaw Valley California

Squaw Valley CA long haul truckChoosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck School Driving and wanting information on the topic Certified CDL Truck Driver Schools.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might need 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 enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Squaw Valley CA.

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