CDL Truck Driver Schools near Folsom CA 95630

How to Choose a CDL Training School near Folsom California

Folsom CA CDL truck driving schoolCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Folsom CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Folsom home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

tractor trailer in Folsom CATo operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school near Folsom CA, we will focus on Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short summaries for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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 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 Commercial Drivers License 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. Several 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 specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Research a Truck Driver School

Folsom CA tractor truckOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Folsom CA trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Folsom CA truck driver schools are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For 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 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 trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Folsom CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Folsom CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are trained 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 instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the Folsom CA school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to 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.

Enough Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish sufficient 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time differs among 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. Check with the Folsom CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from certain Folsom CA truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the Folsom CA schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Folsom CA school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty 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 employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career in Folsom CA. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed in Folsom CA.

Why Did You Desire to Be a Trucker?

When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask truck driving applicants is "What drove you to select trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a trucking operator, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional truck driver and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.

Pick the Right Truck Driving School Folsom CA

tanker truck driving in {Folsom CAPicking the appropriate trucking school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold 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 obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Folsom CA.

A Bit About Folsom California

Folsom, California

Folsom is named for Joseph Libbey Folsom who purchased Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff, and laid out the town called Granite City, mostly occupied by gold miners seeking their fortune in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Though few amassed a great deal of wealth, the city prospered due to Joseph Folsom's lobbying to get a railway to connect the town with Sacramento. Joseph died in 1855, and Granite City was later renamed Folsom in his honor. The railway was abandoned in the 1980s[8] but opened up as the terminus of the Gold Line of Sacramento Regional Transit District's light rail service in 2005. A few former gold-rush era towns are located within the city limits of Folsom, including Prairie City, Salmon Falls, and Mormon Island (though these towns no longer exist).

The establishment of Folsom Prison came in 1880, when the Livermore family made an agreement with the state to donate land for the prison in exchange for prison labor. They planned to build a hydro-electric dam from the American River for a sawmill. Though the sawmill did not work out, the Livermores soon realized that the natural force of running water could provide enough power to transmit to Sacramento, and the Folsom Powerhouse, now a National Historic Landmark, was opened. At the time it was opened, it had the longest overhead run of electricity (22 miles) in the country. The powerhouse operated until 1952.

Folsom Dam was built in 1956, providing much-needed flood control and water rights for the Sacramento Valley. The creation of this dam also created one of the most popular lakes in Northern California, Folsom Lake. The dam is located on the southwest corner of the lake. The lake is an estimated 4.8 miles (7.7 km) from Granite Bay to the most southern point of Folsom Lake.

Folsom is home to Folsom Lake College, Folsom Dam, Folsom Lake, Folsom High School, Vista del Lago High School and a historic district. Folsom is also home to the largest private employer in the Sacramento area, Intel.

 

 

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