How to Select the Right Trucker School near Eaton Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Eaton CO. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will no doubt be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Eaton home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based solely on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Eaton CO, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify 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 focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for 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. Some 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Eaton CO truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. 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 or even more important. So following are several additional things that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Eaton CO area are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Eaton CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining 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 companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Colorado licensing authority to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and hire teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Eaton CO schools provide 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 Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable standard 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 Eaton CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular 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 relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit 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 opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Eaton CO schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Eaton CO school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing 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 fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Eaton CO employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Eaton 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 aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Become Truck Driver Eaton Colorado
Selecting the right truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Become Truck Driver and wanting information on the topic How To Be A Truck Driver. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you might want to consider 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Eaton CO.
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The T. Eaton Company Limited, commonly known as Eaton's, was a Canadian retailer that was once Canada's largest department store chain. It was founded in 1869 in Toronto by Timothy Eaton, a Presbyterian Ulster Scot immigrant from what is now Northern Ireland. Eaton's grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying-offices around the globe, and a catalogue that was found in the homes of most Canadians. A changing economic and retail environment in the late 20th century, along with mismanagement, culminated in the chain's bankruptcy in 1999.
Eaton's pioneered several retail innovations. In an era when haggling for goods was the norm, the chain proclaimed "We propose to sell our goods for CASH ONLY – In selling goods, to have only one price." In addition, it had the long-standing slogan "Goods Satisfactory or Money Refunded."
In 1869, Timothy Eaton sold his interest in a small dry-goods store in the market town of St. Marys, Ontario, and he bought a dry-goods and haberdashery business at 178 Yonge Street in the city of Toronto.
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