How to Decide on the Right Truck Driving School near Frisco Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Frisco CO. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of 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 several factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Frisco residence. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal method to make sure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Frisco CO, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are brief explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive 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 greater 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, such as school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Assess a Trucking School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Frisco CO trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized 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 similarly or even more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Frisco CO area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more common and is provided 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 standard, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Frisco CO schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. 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 hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding 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. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Frisco CO schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies between 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. Get in touch with the Frisco CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with many different 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 surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Frisco CO schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Colorado testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As formerly mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Frisco CO school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have attained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Frisco CO employers recruiting their grads, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Frisco CO area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Local Truck Driving Schools Frisco Colorado
Choosing the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Local Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic Cheap CDL Training. However, you must receive the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Frisco CO.
Truck On in These Other Colorado Locations
The Town of Frisco is a Home Rule Municipality in Summit County, Colorado, United States. The population was 2,683 at the 2010 census. It is a popular town among skiers from around the world. Four major ski resorts are located in close proximity to Frisco: Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (5.17%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,443 people, 1,053 households, and 527 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,479.9 people per square mile (571.7/km²). There were 2,727 housing units at an average density of 1,652.0 per square mile (638.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.36% White, 0.08% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.48% of the population.
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