Accredited Truck Driving Schools Denver CO

How to Select the Best CDL Driving School near Denver Colorado

tractor truck in Denver CO Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Denver CO. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Denver residence. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the ideal means to ensure you’ll get the appropriate training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Should You Get?

Denver CO long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Denver CO, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and 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). Below are brief explanations 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 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 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 may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Denver CO truck driving schoolWhen you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Denver CO trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few additional factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Denver CO area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided 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 receive lots 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Denver CO schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Colorado licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Denver CO schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more successful 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 teachers may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers in person. 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 qualification to train them.

Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a great trucking school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, 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 necessary training tools, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Denver CO schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Denver CO schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Denver CO school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Denver CO employers hiring their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Denver CO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.

Accredited Truck Driving Schools Denver Colorado

Denver CO long haul truckChoosing the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation 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 a number of options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Accredited Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic CDL Class A Training.  But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might need 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 enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Denver CO.

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    Denver

    Denver (/ˈdɛnvər/), officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level.[17] The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.

    Denver is ranked as a Beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. With an estimated population of 704,621 in 2017, Denver is the 19th-most populous U.S. city, and with a 17.41% increase since the 2010 United States Census, it has been one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States.[18] The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2017 population of 2,888,227 and is the 19th most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area.[19] The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2017 population of 3,515,374 and is the 15th most populous U.S. metropolitan area.[20] Denver is the most populous city of the 18-county Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong urban region stretching across two states with an estimated 2017 population of 4,895,589.[21] Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile (800 km) radius and the second-most populous city in the Mountain West after Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016, Denver was named the best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[22]

    In the summer of 1858, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas established Montana City as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was then western Kansas Territory. This was the first historical settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria (named after the gold-mining town of Auraria, Georgia) and St. Charles City.[23]

     

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