This is a very special post because we’ll be exploring a topic that has been in high demand. If you are trying to get into the trucking industry, there are two ways you can approach this profession. First, you can gather all the information you need on your own, then write the CDL examination. This is NOT uncommon because you have several free online resources available to help you through the process. For example, please view our selection of free online CDL practice tests to help you get started. Many people who choose this route don’t have the financial backing to pay for trucking school so ultimately handle much of the testing process themselves. However, please note there are still fees associated with this option like:

  • CDL examination fee
  • Training for the final portion, which is the driving skills tests. If you don’t have anyone who is in the industry, then you’ll have to pay a driving school to learn the fundamentals.
  • DOT medical examination
  • Some students prefer to purchase additional training material

Next,

Many future truckers prefer to attend a truck driving school because of the various opportunities it presents. For example, trucking schools offer job placements through various partners and even offer financing. They offer a variety of courses covering all the fundamentals, and finally, a mentorship program.

The choice you make will depend on your current situation. However, today, we’ll be exploring the top trucking schools in California. This way, those who live in the State of California and are looking to attend a school will have a breakdown of the top trucking options.

Here are the Top 5 Schools, and I’ve discuss them in more detail below. You’ll learn about courses, financial assistance, job placement and overall score.

Let’s get started.

To ensure we find the right schools, we’ll be filtering, looking at the following:

  • Tuition
  • Enrollment
  • Reviews
  • Courses
  • Job Placement
  • Financing

Courses

We will be looking at the various courses offered by these trucking schools. It’s important that when you pay for training, you get the right knowledge and skills to prepare you going forward. With each school, we’ll provide a summary of the courses so you know exactly what to expect.

Tuition

We’ll be exploring what California trucking schools have flexible tuition options. One of the things we want to ensure is you get quality training for an adequate price. We have seen numerous times how the price doesn’t justify the education, so it’s important we explore all options, and how they relate to tuition fees.

Enrollment

We’ll be going over the basic enrollment requirements. Every school will be different so it’s important you understand the fundamental prerequisites.

Reviews

Some truck driving schools in California have been filtered by reviews, and we’ll base our list on what we can find. Our team has explored online business directories, and even performed general searches to find what we can. We will list schools that have a solid track record.

Job Placement

Many of the top California truck driving schools offer job placements so you can get training in the real world. These placements are meant to prepare you for work, and give you a better idea of the trucking profession. We’ll explore the top schools that offer you quality training and job placements with established companies.

Financing

We understand paying for training can be very expensive with many of you NOT having the financial resources. We’ll be exploring the top trucking schools within California that offer financing options and explore their screening process. With a solid financing program, you’ll be able to get the training you need from a quality school. This will improve your chances of passing the CDL examination and find work with a credible trucking company.

Now that you have a clear idea of our screening process, let’s look at the…

Please note these are in NO particular order, but when we first receive them.

Top California Trucking Schools

1. RoadMaster Drivers School (5/5)

A reputable trucking school with over 20 years of experience in the industry. RoadMaster provides CDL training for those who are currently in the industry or who are looking to get into commercial truck driving. With a huge selection of classes, you’ll end up with the knowledge and experience required to pass your CDL examination. By focusing on giving students the best education and maintaining high job placement standards, Roadmaster has gained a national reputation in the trucking industry for quality training of entry-level commercial truck drivers.

Here’s some things Roadmaster Driving School focuses on:

  • Map reading and trip planning
  • Hands-on truck driving
  • Backing, turning, and hooking
  • Emergency actions
  • Complete knowledge training
  • Complete skills training

Class “A” Truck Driver Training –

RoadMaster offers a complete program for those looking to obtain their CDL Class “A” License. They cover the fundamentals and even offer hand-on driver training. When you enroll for the CDL Class A program, you’ll get top-notch training on their advanced equipment, and can choose from 12 different locations. The course is 3-4 weeks long so you’ll be ready within a short period of time compared to other California trucking driving schools.

Once you have completed your course requirements, you’ll have the opportunity to write your CDL examination on-site at select RoadMaster locations.

Class “B” Truck Driver Training –

RoadMaster offers a comprehensive Class B program for those looking to get their “B” license. Please browse over to their course page to read more about their two programs.

The Job Placement Program –

RoadMaster has partnerships with some of the MOST reputable trucking companies within the industry. Each year, they visit the campus for prospects to join their team. Getting hired by these trucking companies leads to better benefits, hire pay, and even tuition reimbursement. RoadMaster holds several on-site hiring events that enrolled students are eligible to take part in.

Financing & Assistance –

There are a few ways you can pay for your trucking training.

First, many reputable companies offer up to 90% tuition reimbursement after you sign on full-time after successful completion. You also have the option to pay out of pocket with cash or check, or set up a payment plan.

RoadMaster accepts post-9/11 financial assistance for those veterans looking to get involved within the industry. After 2010, a bill was passed to provide financial assistance to veterans looking to get involved in another career. The trucking industry does meet the post-9/11 approved training programs.

Please visit the Veterans Affairs site for more information or to apply for assistance.

2. Western Trucking School (4/5)

They have been around since 1976 and have established themselves as a reputable trucking school in California. They have had close to 40,000 students graduate with successful CDL licenses, and helped even more find job placements while in their training program. On Yelp, they have a rating of 4/5, which is almost the highest when compared to other trucking schools listed.

They offer flexible programs for almost every type of truck driver. Here’s a quick overview:

Tractor Trailer Operator Program

This programs prepares you for the California CDL Class A license and teaches you the skills to secure jobs with the reputable companies in the industry.

  • 160 hours of intensive training to be completed in 4 – 8 weeks
  • Classroom training covers DOT safety rules and state regulations
  • Field training for highway, rural, and city driving, including day and nighttime traffic conditions
  • Defensive driving, backing, emergency procedures, and safety are emphasized
  • Day, evening, and weekend classes offered for your convenience

Advanced Tractor Trailer Operator Program

This is an extension of the program above, and catered to teach you advanced skills required to work in the industry. You’ll learn advanced driving skills, comprehensive knowledge of the industry, and introduction in managing the road lifestyle.

  • 330 hours of intensive training to be completed in just over 8 weeks
  • 80 hours of expanded classroom training covering DOT safety rules and health and wellness
  • Field training expands to include mountain driving as well as highway, rural, and city driving, including day and nighttime traffic conditions
  • Defensive driving, backing, emergency procedures, and safety are emphasized
  • Day courses available only

Commercial Tractor Trailer Operator Program

This builds on the program above and offers an internship with a professional driver working with a credible trucking company. This program has been designed to give you 200 hours shadowing a professional truck driver.

  • 640 total hours of training
  • 80 hours of expanded classroom training covers DOT safety rules, health, and wellness
  • 360 hours of field training expands to include mountain driving as well as highway, rural, and city driving, including day and nighttime traffic conditions
  • 200 hours of an “externship”, where you’ll learn while on-the-job with a major carrier
  • Defensive driving, backing, emergency procedures, and safety are emphasized
  • Day courses available only

Class B Truck Operator Program

An entry level trucking program offering the fundamentals to obtain your Class B CDL driver’s license.

  • 40 hours of intensive training
  • One-to-one instructor-to-student training ratio
  • Standard Class B box or modified Class A vehicles are used
  • Field training for highway, rural, and city driving, including day and nighttime traffic conditions
  • Defensive driving, backing, emergency procedures, and safety are emphasized
  • Day, evening, and weekend classes offered for your convenience

Class B Bus Operator Program

This course has been designed to prepare graduates on obtaining a Class B license. Western Trucking School will work with you to obtain your Passenger Endorsement. Once you have graduated from this program, you’ll be ready to write the Class B CDL license examination with Passenger Endorsement.

  • 40 hours of intensive field training
  • One-to-one instructor-to-student training ratio
  • Emphasis on safety, pre-trip inspection, in-cab inspections, air brake check, skills, and driving
  • Training is accomplished using transit buses that fully comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations.
  • Offered on an on-going basis at locations throughout California

Class A or B Refresher Course

An amazing course for those requiring refresher training on what they have already covered. This course is perfect for new students who are looking to enter the industry. It’s a great course and goes over the fundamentals of the Class A and B License.

  • 40 hours of intensive training
  • One-to-one instructor-to-student training ratio
  • Standard Class B box or modified Class A vehicles are used
  • Field training for highway, rural, and city driving, including day and nighttime traffic conditions
  • Defensive driving, backing, emergency procedures, and safety are emphasized
  • Day, evening, and weekend classes offered for your convenience

Western Truck Driving School also offers two other programs that combine the others above: Forklift Course and The A/P Program.

The Job Placement Program

Western Trucking School has helped over 40,000 students obtain trucking licenses. They have even established relationships with the top trucking companies in the industry. This has helped with their job placement program by giving them priority over others when it comes to hiring graduate students. After graduation, or even during training, you’ll have job placement opportunities available with some of the biggest trucking industry leaders. Here’s something that is exciting:

Some of these trucking companies will even reimburse you for the trucking education you’ve received.

The Veterans Program

This school loves to help those who have been in the industry for years. They do have a program for those looking to get back in the industry. There is a separate application process that MUST be completed before they can start looking for job placements and training opportunities.

Western Trucking School has 4 campuses in California. Please contact their enrollment division to get more information.

3. Dolphin Trucking School (4.5/5)

Dolphin is definitely gaining traction as one of the best trucking schools in California. After heading over to Yelp.com to check out the reviews, they’ve definitely left a lasting impression with 4.5/5 ratings. They have great program selection, and even offer funding to prospective students. With established partnerships with trucking companies, they can offer solid placement opportunities to give students a more in-depth educational background.

Since their starting in 1999, they have strived to offer students a professional education and training program to help them obtain their CDL license. You’ll be allowed to drive any vehicle above 10,000 LBS.

Course Overview

Class A Commercial with Endorsements

This course will train and give you the skills to drive any vehicle under Class B and Class C. The endorsement exams will allow you to drive doubles and triples, tankers, and hazardous materials.

Class B Commercial with Endorsements

One may drive a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., a 3-axle vehicle weighing over 6,000 lbs., any farm labor vehicle (with endorsement), and all vehicles under Class C; furthermore, one is to tow a single vehicle with 10,000 lbs. (or less), and any vehicle a Class C licensed driver may tow.

Class B Commercial with Passenger Endorsement

One may drive a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., a 3-axle vehicle weighing over 6,000 lbs., any farm labor vehicle (with endorsement), and all vehicles under Class C; furthermore, one is to tow a single vehicle with 10,000 lbs. (or less), and any vehicle a Class C licensed driver may tow. When passenger endorsement is added, the driver may also drive a bus.

The Commercial Refresher Course

Great for anyone who has held a CDL license before, and is looking to get back in the industry.

To find out more about the courses offered by Dolphin Trucking, please view their trucking course guide.

Dolphin Job Placement Program

Even though students are encouraged to attend trucking company recruitment events, Dolphin does offer a lifetime assistance program. Since 1999, they have worked incredibility hard at building relationships with reputable companies like Swift Transport, Schneider Trucking, and J.B. Hunt Transport.

Dolphin Funding Program

Dolphin is one of the truck driving schools in California that offers several payment plans to their students. For example, students can pay out of pocket or even set up a direct payment plan with their office. It’s important to note tuition reimbursement may also be available to those who qualify. Next, WIA/EDD is also available for those who are unemployed or with low income. To take part in their assistance program, you must be:

  • Registered with CalJobs
  • Men must have the Selective Service Verification letter

We can help you attain both documents mentioned above. Check edd.ca.gov for more information

Next,

Dolphin Trucking also offers Veteran programs for those part of Post-9/11 and Montgomery GI Bill. They have scholarships, however, you must:

  • Be 21+ years old
  • Be resident of school’s State
  • Provide a copy of one’s clean DMV driving record (H-6 printout)
  • Submit application provided
  • Submit a 3-page essay on selected topic.

4. California Truck Driving Academy (3.5/5)

Another reputable trucking driving school in California with over 25 years of experience in trucking. They offer a wide range of programs perfect for those looking to refresh or newly obtain their CDL license. The California Truck Driving Academy is approved to operate in the state of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, which is important to ensure you get the right training before hitting the roads.

california-truck-driving-school

Here are a few cool opportunities offered by CTDA.

Job Placement –

The California Truck Driving Academy will help you find a job during your training program. Several times a year, you can expect top trucking recruiters to visit their training facilities. CTDA has partnerships with CRST, Swift, Werner Enterprises, Covenant, Schneider National, Central Refrigerated Services, U.S Express, and many more top-paying companies.

High Graduate Expectations –

General California trucking schools usually don’t offer a high ROI (return on investment), but the CTDA strives hard to ensure their graduates find the best opportunities after graduation. For example, here are just a few things they pay close attention to:

  • Higher than normal starting salaries, usually in the range of $36,000 – $41,000 per year.
  • Awesome benefits like complete family health care, 401k, dental insurance, paid vacations, and flexible working schedule so you can spend time with the family.
  • Lifelong training within the company to keep you prepared and ahead of the competition.
  • Local travel
  • Nationwide travel
  • Awesome job security
  • CTDA Certified Certificate of Completion

Tuition and Assistance Options –

Let’s take a look at the payment methods they accept:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money Order
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex
  • Payment plan also available (approval)

Next,

Here are CTDA assistance programs:

Employer Tuition Reimbursement: When your employer will cover your tuition costs after you’ve been with them for a pre-determined time.

Vocational Rehabilitation Assistance – Those who are disabled and unable to work in traditional job settings. Read more here about Vocab Rehabilitation.

Partial Scholarships – Offered by CTDA for those who qualify. You’ll have to fill out an application to see if you qualify for the program.

Employment Development – State funding programs that offer training and resources. Please read more here: EDD.ca.gov

Training Programs Offered by CTDA

Class A/B CDL Training –

180 hours of training consisting of hands-on training with a conventional 2-axle tractor, both 28 and 53 foot trailers combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, and a commercial passenger vehicle. The cool thing is all the endorsement training is included like:

Class A Truck Driver Training –

A complete 160-hour truck driving training course covering all aspects needed to successfully pass your CDL examination. California trucking schools sometimes fail to cover things like hands-on training, however, you’ll get that within this program plus all endorsements are covered.

Class B Truck Driver Training –

A complete introduction and demonstration of how to operate commercial equipment correctly. All endorsements are included within this course, which lasts about 3 weeks. The Class B Truck Driver Program also provides Class B CDL License training, using a commercial vehicle equipped with airbrakes with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or under. Total course time is 60 hours.

Class B Passenger and School Bus –

This course is 60 hours in its entirety and covers the basics to get your passenger endorsement. This course focuses on the “passenger” endorsement and when completed, you’ll know how to transport people safely. The course lasts about 3 weeks and is completely hands-on.

Class C Truck Driver Training –

Another awesome course for those truckers looking to get their C CDL license. This course is “1” full day and covers the fundamentals of operating trucking equipment. Unlike the other courses, it’s the graduate’s responsibility to obtain the required endorsements after graduation.

Trucking Class “A” Refresher –

For you to take part in this course, you should have completed the A Class examination and have a current A license. The course is a total of 40 hours long, and goes over the fundamentals of operating a conventional 2-axle tractor and both 28 and 53 foot trailers combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more.

Trucking Class “B” Refresher –

You need to have a current Class B license to enroll in this class. This course is a total of 40 hours, and lasts roughly a week. You’ll learn how to operate safely a Bobtail commercial vehicle equipped with airbrakes with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more.

The California Truck Driving Academy offers you several courses at different times. They have a wide range of assistance programs to help you get started with awesome payment plans. They work with many reputable companies to help you secure a California truck driving job after successful completion.

5. Dootson School of Trucking (4/5)

A trucking school started in 1953 with years of experience, and a reputation for providing the best. It’s known as one of the best trucking schools in California because of the variety of courses and job placement opportunities. Some of their courses include:

  • Safety CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) Permit Classes
  • CDL Class A Training – for new and existing drivers.
  • Safety Courses – Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel. Basic and Advanced
  • Defensive Driving Courses (Smith System)
  • Pre-employment Driving Tests and Certification Courses
  • New and Experienced Driver Referral Services, Customized to Client Specs
  • Automotive Safety Courses

Let’s take a look at some of the popular courses offered at Dootson School of Trucking.

Fleet Courses –

These course are perfect for anyone trying to get their commercial driver’s license with the focus on:

  • Class A – For beginners and is perfect if you want to pass your CDL exam + applicable endorsements.
  • Safety Courses – Basics on commercial driving, and safe operation behind the wheel.
  • Defense Driving Courses – Exploring the Smith System of driving. Unique on the road skills with an emphasis on advanced techniques.
  • Bus Driver Courses – This will explore the various different options you have available.
  • Pre-employment Driving – The fundamentals of what trucking companies are looking for when hiring graduates to join their team.

Bus Driving Courses

This course will explore more advanced areas of bus driving and the Passenger Endorsement. For example, you’ll learn about safety techniques and performing pre-inspection. You’ll spend time both on the road and within a classroom.

Here’s a breakdown of the classroom course:

  • DOT regulations
  • Regulation Agencies
  • Rules of the Road
  • Air Brakes
  • Pre-trip Inspection
  • Engines
  • Transmission
  • Defensive Driving
  • Adverse Conditions

Here’s a breakdown of the Street course:

  • Turns
  • Railroad Crossing
  • Pre-trip Inspections
  • Freeway Driving
  • Backing
  • Hill Driving
  • Intersections
  • Lane Chances and Choices
  • Rules of the Roads
  • Defensive Driving

Job Placement Opportunities

Over the years, Dootson School of Trucking has established long-term relationships with major trucking companies. Some of them include Swift, FedEx, J.B. Hunt, Coca Cola, Arrow Transport, Pepsi, etc. This has allowed them to open up many awesome placement opportunities for their graduates, even existing students. These placements have provided a long-term job for students after graduation, and even tuition reimbursement.

Get started now by contacting Dootson School of Trucking for more information on course fees and schedule.

Rounding It Up

We’ve provided a list of the top 5 California Trucking Schools, and how they compare to each other. Even though, taking part in CDL training does improve your chances when applying for California truck driving jobs, it’s important to note those who don’t attend have many opportunities available to them too.

Author: admin

admin

Leave a Reply