Category Archives: California

Dump Truck Training School Westwood CA

How to Choose the Right Trucking School near Westwood California

long haul tractor trailer in Westwood CACongratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Westwood CA. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Westwood residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal means to guarantee you’ll obtain the right training. Just remember, your objective 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 pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?

tanker truck in Westwood CAIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Westwood CA, an operator must get 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. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, 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 together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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. A few 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Evaluate a CDL School

Questions to ask Westwood CA truck driving schoolsWhen you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Westwood CA truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are a few more things that you need to research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Westwood CA area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent 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. As an example, PTDI requires 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 satisfy the very high standards 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 operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Westwood CA schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the California licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in California and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Westwood 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 stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide ample 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a good 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 Westwood CA schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified 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 rather than having associations 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Westwood CA schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in California, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at California testing facilities. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Westwood CA school you select provides 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 teacher should be willing 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? The moment you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Westwood CA employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Westwood CA area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Westwood CA?

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

Westwood, California

Westwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lassen County, California, United States. Westwood is located 20 miles (32 km) west-southwest of Susanville,[3] at an elevation of 5,128 feet (1,563 m).[2] The population was 1,647 at the 2010 census, down from 1,998 at the 2000 census. Westwood is the hometown of mythical logger Paul Bunyan.

Westwood was built by T. B. Walker to be the operations center for the Red River Lumber Company in 1913.[3][5][6] The first post office opened the same year.[3] The Red River Lumber Company is credited as being "the world's largest electrical sawmill of the times."[7] Red River Lumber Company also operated one of the first electric railways in the state built in 1927.[8] The mill was equipped with the most modern equipment for its time;[9] and the surrounding territory was crisscrossed by forest railways bringing logs to the mill. The railway shop at Westwood was home to 2-8-0 #102 and 2-8-2 #104 when forest railway operations ceased in the early 1950s.[10] The four woods engines scrapped in 1953 were 2-6-0 number 1, 2-6-2 number 2, 2-8-2 number 3, and 3-truck Shay locomotive number 4.[11]

William Laughead, an advertising copywriter who had once worked in lumber camps, took the stories of an old lumberjack and reworked them into the modern character. He sold the stories of Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox "Babe" to the Red River Lumber Company, which published "Introducing Mr. Paul Bunyan of Westwood, California" in 1916 as an advertising pamphlet.[12] Among other things, Laughead gave the name "Babe" to the blue ox, originated the idea that Paul Bunyan and Babe were of enormous size, and created the first pictorial representation of Bunyan.[12]

Dump Truck Training School Westwood CA

Westwood CA long haul truckSelecting the right trucking school is an important 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 shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Dump Truck Training School.  However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower 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 firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Westwood CA.

Keep On Trucking in These Other California Locations

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  • Getting a Class A CDL Richgrove CA
  • Truck Driving Training Programs Grover Beach CA
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