How to Choose a CDL Training School near Auburn California
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Auburn CA. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Auburn home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the optimal means to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the USA, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Auburn CA, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 operate 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 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 drive certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Auburn CA truck driver schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Auburn CA trucking schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked 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 Auburn CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in California and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the following section. 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Auburn CA schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the Auburn CA school and speak with the teachers face to face. 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 qualification to train them.
Sufficient 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 driving a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary 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 Auburn CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of Auburn CA trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous 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 giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the Auburn CA schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Auburn CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career in Auburn CA. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted in Auburn CA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Truck Driver?When preparing to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask truck driving prospects is "What drove you to choose trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to trucking, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Best Trucking School Auburn CA
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Auburn CA.
A Bit About Auburn California
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California. Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Auburn is part of Greater Sacramento and is home to the Auburn State Recreation Area. The park is the site of more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States Endurance Run; the Western States Trail Ride, also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride; American River 50 Mile Endurance Run; American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride; Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run; Auburn International Half-Ironman Triathlon; Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride, Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run, Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run, and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.
Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area. The indigenous Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.
In the spring of 1848, a group of French gold miners arrived and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. This group was on its way to the gold fields in Coloma, California, and it included Francois Gendron, Philibert Courteau, and Claude Chana. The young Chana discovered gold on May 16, 1848. After finding the gold deposits in the soil, the trio decided to stay for more prospecting and mining.
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