The Best Truck Driving Schools Eckley CO

How to Pick the Right Trucker Classes near Eckley Colorado

tractor truck in Eckley CO Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Eckley CO. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Eckley home. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based only on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll receive the right education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional 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 address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

Eckley CO long haul tractor trailerIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Eckley CO, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates 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). Below are brief summaries of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 CDL is needed to drive 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses might also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Eckley CO truck driving schoolAfter you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Eckley CO truck driver schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Eckley CO area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost 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 several advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Eckley CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Colorado licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next 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 personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Eckley CO schools offer training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out 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 happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Eckley CO schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Eckley CO schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Colorado, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than battling with graduates from competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Eckley CO school you select 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 instructor should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? As soon as you have attained your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Eckley CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Eckley CO area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out 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 need to be submitted.

The Best Truck Driving Schools Eckley Colorado

Eckley CO long haul truckChoosing the right truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new vocation as a local or long distance 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 crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in The Best Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic How To Get Your CDL License.  However, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to consider 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Eckley CO.

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    Eckley, Colorado

    As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 278 people, 100 households, and 66 families residing in the town. The population density was 591.7 people per square mile (228.4/km²). There were 120 housing units at an average density of 255.4 per square mile (98.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.25% White, 0.36% African American, 1.80% Native American, 10.79% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.42% of the population.

    There were 100 households out of which 45.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.53.

    In the town, the population was spread out with 37.1% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

     

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