How to Find a Truck Driving School near Hollister California
Best wishes on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Hollister 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 research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Hollister home. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the appropriate education. Just remember, 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 discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the USA, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school near Hollister CA, we will address Class A and 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 for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive 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 CDL is needed to operate 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Hollister CA trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Hollister CA trucking schools are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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 a number of advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Hollister CA schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good 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 next segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Hollister CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based 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 techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the Hollister CA school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Hollister CA schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from certain Hollister CA truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, ask if the Hollister CA schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Hollister CA school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. 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 are proficient. 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career in Hollister CA. Confirm 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 hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed in Hollister CA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Truck Driver?When prepping to interview for a Trucking position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask truck driving prospects is "What made you decide on trucking as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a trucking operator, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Best Trucking School Hollister CA
Choosing the right truck driving 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 shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may 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 select an independent school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Hollister CA.
A Bit About Hollister California
Hollister is a agricultural town county seat of San Benito County, California. Located in Northern California, Hollister is part of the Monterey Bay Area and a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. With a 2010 census population of 34,928, Hollister is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Central California subregion. Primarily a small residential town, Hollister is the closest rural community to Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara County.
The area of modern day Hollister was historically inhabited by the Mutsun band of the Ohlone Native Americans. With the construction of Mission San Juan Bautista in 1797, the Ohlone were forced into the California mission system.
The town of Hollister was founded on 19 November 1868, by William Welles Hollister on the grounds of the former Mexican land-grant Rancho San Justo. At the time, Hollister was located within Monterey County, until San Benito County was formed by the California Legislature in 1874 from portions of Monterey, Merced, and Fresno counties.
The city is intermittently the site of an annual motorcycle rally around July Fourth. The riot at the original 1947 event was the basis for the 1953 film The Wild One. The rally was revived in 1997 as the Hollister Independence Rally.
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