Truck Driver School Near Me Fort Collins CO

How to Choose the Right Truck Driver School near Fort Collins Colorado

tractor truck in Fort Collins CO Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Fort Collins CO. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll need to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Fort Collins residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?

Fort Collins CO long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Fort Collins CO, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick 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 as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. A few 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 require endorsements to operate certain kinds of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

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How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Fort Collins CO truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the process of assessing the Fort Collins CO truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Fort Collins CO area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards 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 negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Fort Collins CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to 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 authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personalized 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. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Fort Collins CO schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s essential that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few 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.

Enough Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish 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 operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Fort Collins CO schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just remember to inquire if the Fort Collins CO schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Colorado testing centers. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV deems the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Fort Collins CO school you select offers 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 instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Fort Collins CO employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Fort Collins CO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Truck Driver School Near Me Fort Collins Colorado

Fort Collins CO long haul truckChoosing the right trucking school is an important first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets 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 Truck Driver School Near Me and wanting information on the topic Cost Of Truck Driving School.  However, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to look into 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 trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Fort Collins CO.

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    Fort Collins, Colorado

    Fort Collins is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat[2] and the most populous municipality of Larimer County, Colorado, United States.[7] Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 56 mi (90 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2016 estimated population of 161,000,[8] it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University.

    Fort Collins was founded as a military outpost of the United States Army in 1864. It succeeded a previous encampment, known as Camp Collins, on the Cache La Poudre River, near what is known today as Laporte. Camp Collins was erected during the Indian wars of the mid-1860s to protect the Overland mail route that had been recently relocated through the region. Travelers crossing the county on the Overland Trail would camp there, but a flood destroyed the camp in June 1864.[9] Afterward, the commander of the fort wrote to the commandant of Fort Laramie in southeast Wyoming, Colonel William O. Collins, suggesting that a site several miles farther down the river would make a good location for the fort. The post was manned originally by two companies of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and never had walls.[10]

    Settlers began arriving in the vicinity of the fort nearly immediately. The fort was decommissioned in 1867. The original fort site is now adjacent to the present historic "Old Town" portion of the city. The first school and church opened in 1866, and the town was platted in 1867. The civilian population of Fort Collins, led by local businessman Joseph Mason, led an effort to relocate the county seat to Fort Collins from LaPorte, and they were successful in 1868.[10]

     

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