How to Decide on the Best CDL Driving School near Aguilar Colorado
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Aguilar CO. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Aguilar residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Aguilar CO, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type 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 of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. 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 required 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Aguilar CO truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Aguilar CO area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense 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 obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will satisfy the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Aguilar CO schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Colorado licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. Most Aguilar CO schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide sufficient 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 operating a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Aguilar CO schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from some truck driving 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 instead of having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver 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 best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Aguilar CO schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 Colorado testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Aguilar CO school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask 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 Aguilar CO employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Aguilar CO area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask 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 must be submitted.
CDL Training Programs Aguilar Colorado
Picking the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Training Programs and wanting information on the topic Training For CDL. But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may need to consider 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 option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Aguilar CO.
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Aguilar is a Statutory Town located in Las Animas County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 538 at the 2010 United States Census. Cattleman and prominent pioneer José Ramón Aguilar founded the town in 1894.
As of the census of 2000, there were 593 people, 243 households, and 165 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,508.8 inhabitants per square mile (582.6/km2). There were 291 housing units at an average density of 740.4 per square mile (288.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.00% White, 3.04% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 6.91% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 46.54% of the population.
There were 243 households out of which 23.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.93.
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