How to Find the Best Truck Driver School near Monument Colorado
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Monument CO. Maybe it has always been your fantasy 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 provides good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, especially if you have to commute from your Monument home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to ensure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select 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 CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Monument CO, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Below are brief summaries of the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 CDLs might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Trucking School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Monument CO truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed 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 below are a few more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Monument CO area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Monument CO schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Colorado licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Colorado and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Monument CO schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal method is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent 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 operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no substitute for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Monument CO schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get free or discounted training from a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous 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 freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to ask if the Monument CO schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, ask if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driving training is just one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Monument CO school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. 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 Assistance Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be anxious 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 grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Monument CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Monument 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
How To Get CDL Class B License Monument Colorado
Choosing the right trucking school is a critical first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Get CDL Class B License and wanting information on the topic Commercial Truck Driving Schools. However, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Monument CO.
Truck On in These Other Colorado Locations
The Town of Monument is a statutory town situated at the base of the Rampart Range in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Monument is bordered by Pike National Forest on the west, Colorado Springs and the United States Air Force Academy to the south, foothills and rock outcroppings to the north, and rolling plains to the east. Monument was first settled as a stop along the Rio Grande Railroad in 1872, and the area was incorporated as a town called Henry's Station in 1879, but the name was later changed to Monument. The town population was 5,530 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of 181% from the population of 1,971 in 2000.
Monument's first homesteaders arrived in 1865 to mark out the town's preliminary shape, but settlement increased when Monument became a stop along the Rio Grande Railroad in 1872. The area was incorporated as a town called Henry's Station, after prominent settler Henry Limbach, on June 2, 1879, and the first town meeting was held July 3, 1879. However, three years later the name was changed to Monument after Monument Creek and Monument Rock in the west. The first records of the town can be found in various volumes in the El Paso County Courthouse dating back to 1872. With the help of the railroad, which brought in necessities, people started small businesses and started to create a town.
Monument is located at 39°04′52″N 104°51′45″W / 39.081024°N 104.862491°W / 39.081024; -104.862491. It is north of Colorado Springs and the United States Air Force Academy, and east of the Rampart Range, which is the eastern front range of the Rocky Mountains. Monument Creek, a gentle mountain stream beginning in the Rampart Range, eventually tumbles down through Palmer Lake and the west side of Monument to become one of the main waterways flowing south through Colorado Springs.
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