How to Choose the Right Trucker School near Giddings Colorado
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Giddings CO. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Giddings home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your objective 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 target in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest 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 Require?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Giddings CO, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more 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 drivers may be qualified to operate 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 need endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Giddings CO trucking schools that you are looking at. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, such as the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are a few additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Giddings CO area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent 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 know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. 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 Giddings CO schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the industry, 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 researching are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Giddings CO schools provide training programs that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some 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.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will provide ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time fluctuates among 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. Check with the Giddings CO schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having associations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Giddings CO schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously noted, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Giddings CO school you choose 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 working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to start your new career. Confirm that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Giddings CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Giddings CO area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Class B CDL Training Giddings Colorado
Selecting the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 Class B CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Best Trucking Schools. However, 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 funds or financing, you might want to think about 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 select an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Giddings CO.
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Jesse Giddings is a Canadian musician, designer, actor, artist and photographer born in Langley, British Columbia and went to high school at Langley Secondary School. He was formerly a VJ starting in 2009 at MuchMusic, a music television station in Canada.
Jesse studied at Langley Secondary School but left shortly after graduating. He then moved to San Clemente, California before settling in Sacramento, California for a while. Later Jesse moved back to Langley, British Columbia and started The Basement Venue promoting, emceeing and hosting All-Age concerts. This led Jesse to join Swingset Champion and where he met Sherwood who he later did a North American tour with The Academy Is..., Armor For Sleep, Cobra Starship, and The Rocket Summer . This led him to join We Shot The Moon for a brief stint. After touring Jesse moved to Calgary where he worked for Lakota drilling as a roughneck before jumping to Toronto to pursue a job at MuchMusic. He got back into modeling  while waiting through the nine-month audition process at MuchMusic. He caught the attention of the station's producers in an open casting call where he beat out thousands for the coveted position. He started his VJ job at MuchMusic on October 20, 2009. He co-hosted regularly on MuchMusic's flagship show New.Music.Live. and when it was formerly known as Much On Demand. Jesse co-hosted the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards with LMFAO and in 2011 with Selena Gomez.
As a musician, he has played with indie bands such as Swingset Champion and We Shot the Moon. Jesse finished his upcoming solo album with producer Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent, Three Days Grace) which he has yet to release.
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