How to Find the Right CDL Driving School near Frederick Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Frederick CO. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to get the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Frederick home. The expense will also be important, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you choose 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 commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Frederick CO, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can apply 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 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). Following are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate 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 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 Commercial Drivers License 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. Several 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 example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
After you have decided which CDL you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of evaluating the Frederick CO truck driving schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are some more factors that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Frederick CO area are accredited due to the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will measure up to the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated 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 Frederick CO schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Colorado licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting 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 relatively short time frame. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Frederick CO schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As previously mentioned, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver school will provide lots of 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 driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates between schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Frederick CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver 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 rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Frederick CO schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available in Colorado, find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Frederick CO school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Frederick CO employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Frederick 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 examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Certified CDL Truck Driver Training Frederick Colorado
Selecting the appropriate truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available 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 Certified CDL Truck Driver Training and wanting information on the topic Tractor Trailer Driving School. 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 might want 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Frederick CO.
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Initially named McKissick for the mine owner, Frederick was renamed when the daughters of Frederick A. Clark, a land owner, laid out the town site in 1907 and named it for their father. Incorporated in 1907, the Town of Frederick began as a coal mining town attracting immigrants from Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, several Slavic countries and Latin America. The Frederick Coal mine closed in 1928.
In 2014 the town 're-branded' by designing a logo that is a stylized gas lamp with a mountain range background, and adopting the tag line "Built on What Matters". Prior to the re-branding the town primarily used the seal as a logo on town vehicles and letter head.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.7 square miles (23 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.03%) is water.
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