Class A Truck Driving Schools Gardner CO

How to Select the Best CDL Driving School near Gardner Colorado

tractor truck in Gardner CO Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Gardner CO. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to consider prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Gardner home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll get the proper 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 qualified truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose 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?

Gardner CO long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Gardner CO, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on 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 short descriptions 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 more 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 drive 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. 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 require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Research a Truck Driver School

Gardner CO truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Gardner CO truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other factors, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are a few additional points that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Gardner CO area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, 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 certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive 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 training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Gardner CO schools had to begin 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 graduating students. If a school won’t supply those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Colorado licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized attention 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Gardner 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 Experienced are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and speak with 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 happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient 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 important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Gardner CO schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain truck driving schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to restrict your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to get affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Gardner CO schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Gardner CO school you enroll in offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Assistance Provided? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Ask 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 few Gardner CO employers hiring their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Gardner CO area vocational or trade 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 a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

Class A Truck Driving Schools Gardner Colorado

Gardner CO long haul truckPicking the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local 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 vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class A Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic Class B License Training.  But first and foremost, you must get the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need 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 enroll in an independent CDL school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Gardner CO.

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    Chris Gardner

    Christopher Paul Gardner (born February 9, 1954) is an American businessman, investor, stockbroker, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist who, during the early 1980s, struggled with homelessness while raising his toddler son, Christopher Gardner Jr.[1] Gardner's book of memoirs, The Pursuit of Happyness, was published in May 2006.[2] The 2006 motion picture The Pursuit of Happyness, directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith is based on the book.[3][4] He was CEO of his own stockbrokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co, which he founded in 1987, based in Chicago, Illinois until he sold his share in 2006 to found Christopher Gardner International Holdings. Then in 2012, just before his wife's death, she challenged him to find true happiness and fulfillment in the remainder of his life. He now travels all over the world 200 days a year as a motivational speaker. Gardner has spoken in over 50 countries.[5]

    Gardner credits his tenacity and success to the "spiritual genetics" handed down to him by his mother, Bettye Jean Triplett, née Gardner,[2][6][3] and to the high expectations placed on him by his children, son Chris Jr. (born 1981) and daughter Jacintha (born 1985).[1]

    Gardner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 9, 1954, to Thomas Turner and Bettye Jean Gardner. He was both the second child and the only boy born to Bettye Jean. His older half-sister, Ophelia, is from a previous union. His younger sisters, Sharon and Kimberly, are children from his mother's marriage to Freddie Triplett.

     

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