CDL Truck Driver Schools near Oakley CA 94561

How to Choose a CDL Driving School near Oakley California

Oakley CA CDL truck driving schoolCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Oakley CA. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Oakley home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the best way to ensure you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable 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 address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

tractor trailer in Oakley CAIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully in California and within the United States, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify 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 Oakley CA, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations 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. 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 CDL is needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Oakley CA tractor truckAfter you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Oakley CA trucking schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few Oakley CA truck driving schools are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Oakley CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement 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 companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Oakley CA schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the Oakley CA school and talk to 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 quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide ample 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. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Oakley CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some Oakley CA truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in California, find out if the Oakley CA schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing centers. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Oakley 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 instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. 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 commitments.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career in Oakley 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 lower job placement rate or not many employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted in Oakley CA.

Why Did You Decide to Become a Trucker?

When getting ready to interview for a Trucking job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask truck driving candidates is "What drove you to choose trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to trucking, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent truck driver and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.

Select the Best Truck Driver School Oakley CA

tanker truck driving in {Oakley CAChoosing the ideal truck driving school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. Most importantly, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Oakley CA.

A Bit About Oakley California

Oakley, California

Oakley is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is within the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The January 1, 2016 population was 40,144, as determined by the State Department of Finance. Oakley was incorporated in 1999 and is the most recently incorporated city in Contra Costa County. Oakley is part of the East Contra Costa Bicycle Plan, which has existing facilities in Oakley as well as plans for further expansion.[8]

The Oakley areas offers access to the Delta de Anza Regional Trail.[10] According to reports provided by CNN,[11] Oakley experiences 21.16 inches of annual rainfall with an average high temperature in July of 96.0 F and an average low temperature in January of 40.0 F. Oakley experiences 52% clear days throughout the year.

Oakley's west border is Highway 160, which provides access to Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and the Central Valley. The City of Antioch adjoins Oakley on the west, the city of Brentwood adjoins Oakley on the south, and Bethel Island lies to the east. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta forms the northern boundary. The southwestern skyline is dominated by Mt. Diablo.

Prior to 1963, creating a new city in California only required a petition, a public hearing (where 51 percent of the landowners could approve the desire to incorporate) and an election. During the 1950s over 50 new cities incorporated, and in Los Angeles County alone, 10 new cities incorporated in 1957. At the time, no thought was given as to how or who would pay the costs for the necessary services needed to sustain a city. Fire, police, water and sanitation services were often provided by a number of different and overlapping entities.[citation needed]

 

 

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