How to Select the Best Truck Driver School near Cheyenne Wells Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Cheyenne Wells CO. Perhaps 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 good wages and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Cheyenne Wells home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll get the right education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified 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 discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Cheyenne Wells CO, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to drive 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater 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 drive specific types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
When you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Cheyenne Wells CO truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally or even more important. So following are several more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few trucking schools in the Cheyenne Wells CO area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered 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 get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 training and curriculum will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Cheyenne Wells CO schools had to start 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 regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Colorado licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Cheyenne Wells CO schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and perhaps the ideal method 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 ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great truck driver school will provide sufficient 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. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Cheyenne Wells CO schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Cheyenne Wells CO schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Colorado testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly noted, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Cheyenne Wells CO school you enroll in provides 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 willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Cheyenne Wells CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Cheyenne Wells CO area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
School For CDL License Cheyenne Wells Colorado
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in School For CDL License and wanting information on the topic Truck Driver Training Schools. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker 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 decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Cheyenne Wells CO.
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Cheyenne Wells, Colorado
Cheyenne Wells is the statutory town that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Cheyenne County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 846 at the 2010 United States Census.
Cheyenne Wells is located at 38°49′16″N 102°21′13″W / 38.82111°N 102.35361°W / 38.82111; -102.35361 (38.821141, -102.353637). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,010 people, 417 households, and 261 families residing in the town. The population density was 974.3 people per square mile (375.0/km²). There were 505 housing units at an average density of 487.2 per square mile (187.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.19% White, 0.99% African American, 0.79% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 6.44% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.90% of the population.