How To Get Class B CDL Antioch CA

How to Pick the Right Trucking School near Antioch California

long haul tractor trailer in Antioch CACongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Antioch CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Antioch residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on 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?

tanker truck in Antioch CAIn order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Antioch CA, a driver needs to attain 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 pick a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class 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). Following are short summaries for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Questions to ask Antioch CA truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Antioch CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional points that you need to research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Antioch CA area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Antioch CA schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the California licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in California and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized attention 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Antioch CA schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Antioch CA schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with a wide range of 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 freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Antioch CA schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in California, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from other schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Antioch CA school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Provided? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Antioch CA employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Antioch CA area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Antioch CA?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Antioch California area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Antioch, California

Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing,[11] and Marshs Landing[12]) is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census[13] and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.[8]

Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.[14]

In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.[15]

How To Get Class B CDL Antioch CA

Antioch CA long haul truckChoosing the right truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get Class B CDL.  But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Antioch CA.

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