Semi Truck Driving School Strawberry Valley CA

How to Select the Right CDL Driving Classes near Strawberry Valley California

tractor truck in Strawberry Valley CA Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Strawberry Valley CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper 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 undoubtedly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Strawberry Valley residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder 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?

Strawberry Valley CA long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Strawberry Valley CA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class 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 descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. Several 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 needed 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. 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driving School

Strawberry Valley CA truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Strawberry Valley CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole 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 a few additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Strawberry Valley CA area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 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 comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine 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. On the other hand, even the top Strawberry Valley CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, 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 be critical of any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Strawberry Valley CA schools offer training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish lots 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Strawberry Valley CA schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with many different 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 work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Strawberry Valley CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Strawberry Valley CA school you select 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 teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates 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 Strawberry Valley CA employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Strawberry Valley CA area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Semi Truck Driving School Strawberry Valley California

Strawberry Valley CA long haul truckPicking the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new profession 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 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 Semi Truck Driving School and wanting information on the topic CDL Training Schools Near Me.  However, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money 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 select 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 decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Strawberry Valley CA.

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    Strawberry, Marin County, California

    Strawberry, California is a census-designated place (CDP) and an unincorporated district of Marin County, California, United States. Strawberry shares a zip code (94941) with Mill Valley (hence, addresses in Strawberry are listed as "Mill Valley") and falls within its school districts, however, it is considered within the sphere of influence of the Town of Tiburon. It is separated from Mill Valley by U.S. Route 101. The population was 5,393 at the 2010 census.

    According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), of which, 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) of it (1.14%) is water.

    The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that 5,393 people, 2,510 households, and 1,307 families resided in the CDP. The population density was 4,094.9 people per square mile (1,581.1/km²). There were 2,729 housing units at an average density of 2,048.4 per square mile (790.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 80.2% White (76.1% non-Hispanic), 10.9% Asian, 2.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. 6.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

     

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