Driving School Truck Colorado Springs CO

How to Select the Right Trucking School near Colorado Springs Colorado

tractor truck in Colorado Springs CO Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Colorado Springs CO. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Colorado Springs home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master 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 choose a truck driving school? That 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 CDL license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

Colorado Springs CO long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Colorado Springs CO, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick 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 explanations of the two 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. A few 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 required 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. A few of the vehicles that drivers may be qualified to operate 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 require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a CDL School

Colorado Springs CO truck driving schoolAfter you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of researching the Colorado Springs CO truck driver schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Colorado Springs CO area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Colorado Springs CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Colorado licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the next segment. 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 individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Colorado Springs CO schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor 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 intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Colorado Springs CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Colorado Springs CO schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Colorado, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Colorado Springs CO school you enroll in offers 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 dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Colorado Springs CO employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Colorado Springs CO area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.

Driving School Truck Colorado Springs Colorado

Colorado Springs CO long haul truckSelecting the ideal truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Driving School Truck and wanting information on the topic How To Get A CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Colorado Springs CO.

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    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in the east central portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

    At 6,035 feet (1,839 m) the city stands over 1 mile (1.6 km) above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher and lower. Colorado Springs is situated near the base of Pikes Peak, which rises 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level on the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The city is home to 24 national governing bodies of sport, including the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Training Center, and USA Hockey.

    The city had an estimated population of 465,101 in 2016, and a metro population of approximately 712,000,[10] ranking as the second most populous city in the state of Colorado, behind Denver, and the 42nd most populous city in the United States.[11] The Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 712,327 in 2016.[12] The city is included in the Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong region of urban population along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Wyoming, generally following the path of Interstate 25 in both states.

     

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