Trucking Driving Schools Commerce City CO

How to Select the Right Truck Driving School near Commerce City Colorado

tractor truck in Commerce City CO Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Commerce City CO. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Commerce City home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal way to make sure you’ll receive the proper training. Just remember, your goal 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Commerce City CO long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Commerce City CO, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind 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 of the two 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 greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Commerce City CO truck driving schoolWhen you have determined which CDL you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Commerce City CO trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are several additional things that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Commerce City CO area are accredited due to the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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 recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Commerce City CO schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Colorado licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be 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 regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Commerce City CO schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driver school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Commerce City CO schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from a number of truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Commerce City CO schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, CDL training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Commerce City 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 certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Commerce City CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Commerce City CO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Trucking Driving Schools Commerce City Colorado

Commerce City CO long haul truckChoosing the right truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 Trucking Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic Commercial Drivers License Schools.  But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider 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 truck driving 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 choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Commerce City CO.

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    Commerce City, Colorado

    The City of Commerce City is a Home Rule Municipality located in Adams County, Colorado, United States. Commerce City is a northern suburb of Denver and as of 2013[update] is the 18th most populous municipality in Colorado. The city population was 45,913 at the 2010 United States Census, a population increase of 118.7% in the ten years since the 2000 census.[9]

    Commerce City is a mixed residential and industrial community that is known for an oil refinery with a capacity of 90,000 barrels per day (14,000 m3/d), operated by Suncor.[10][11]Dick's Sporting Goods Park, a soccer stadium in Commerce City, hosts the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.

    In 1859 after fighting in Bleeding Kansas, pro-slavery John D. "Colonel Jack" Henderson built a ranch, trading post, and hotel on Henderson Island in the South Platte River in Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory north of Denver, from which he sold meat and provisions to gold seekers on their way up the South Platte River Trail to the gold fields during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Henderson Island was the first permanent settlement in the South Platte River Valley between Fort Saint Vrain in the Nebraska Territory and the Cherry Creek Diggings in the Kansas Territory. Henderson Island is today the site of the Adams County Regional Park and Fairgrounds.

     

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