How to Pick the Right Trucker Classes near Clifton Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Clifton CO. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Clifton home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best way to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Clifton CO, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and 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). Following are brief descriptions for the 2 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 more 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 needed to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 need endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a CDL School
After you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Clifton CO truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Clifton CO area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real 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 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 business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Clifton CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Colorado licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized 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 insists it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Clifton CO schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide plenty of 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 necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Clifton CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally 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 get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Clifton CO schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Clifton CO school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Clifton CO employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Clifton CO area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
How To Get A Class A Drivers License Clifton Colorado
Picking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 How To Get A Class A Drivers License and wanting information on the topic How To Choose A Truck Driving School. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Clifton CO.
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Kevin Clifton (born 13 October 1982) is an English professional dancer born in Waltham, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. He is a professional dancer on the BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing, having previously worked as an assistant choreographer. He has also featured on Burn the Floor. He was given the nickname "Kevin from Grimsby".
On 15 December 2018, Clifton won the sixteenth series of Strictly with his celebrity partner, Stacey Dooley. He has appeared in every year's final since he joined the show in 2013, with the exception of 2017.
Clifton started dancing ballroom and Latin as a child in his home village of Waltham, near Grimsby, taught by his parents, former World Champions Keith and Judy Clifton. He competed nationally and internationally as a child initially partnering his sister Joanne. Later, when they both chose to move on to different partners he chose Latin as his primary dance style so as not to directly compete against his sister. He was a Youth World Number 1 and four time British Latin Champion and won International Open titles in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Belgium. At the time of his retirement from competitive dancing in 2007, he was ranked 7th in the world.
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