How To Obtain Class A CDL Edwards CO

How to Decide on the Right Truck Driver School near Edwards Colorado

tractor truck in Edwards CO Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Edwards CO. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several variables that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Edwards residence. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based only on price is not the best means to make certain you’ll receive the proper training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

Edwards CO long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Edwards CO, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 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 may also need endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Edwards CO truck driving schoolOnce you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Edwards CO trucking schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are a few more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Edwards CO area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated 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 Edwards CO schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Colorado licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is especially true concerning 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 comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Edwards CO schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will furnish sufficient 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Edwards CO schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations 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 flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Edwards CO schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s important that the Edwards CO school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to devote 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 Assistance Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Edwards CO employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Edwards CO area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.

How To Obtain Class A CDL Edwards Colorado

Edwards 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 skills that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Obtain Class A CDL and wanting information on the topic Getting Your CDL.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Edwards CO.

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    Edwards, Colorado

    Edwards is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. Edwards is the principal community of the Edwards Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,266 at the 2010 census,[3][4] up from 8,257 at the 2000 census. The Edwards Post Office has the ZIP code 81632.[2]

    Edwards is located in central Eagle County at 39°38′25″N 106°35′32″W / 39.64028°N 106.59222°W / 39.64028; -106.59222 (39.640178, −106.592325).[7] It is in the valley of the Eagle River and extends southwards up the valleys of Lake Creek and Squaw Creek, at the north end of the Sawatch Range. It is bordered to the east by the town of Avon. U.S. Route 6 runs through the center of Edwards on the south side of the Eagle River, while Interstate 70 runs through the CDP north of the river, with access from Exit 163. Via I-70, it is 14 miles (23 km) east to Vail, 110 miles (180 km) east to Denver, 17 miles (27 km) west to Eagle, and 47 miles (76 km) west to Glenwood Springs.

    According to the United States Census Bureau, the Edwards CDP has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.4 km2), of which 26.6 square miles (69.0 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.57%, is water.[8]

     

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