How to Select the Right CDL Driving School near Strasburg Colorado
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Strasburg CO. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Strasburg home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal way to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge 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 decide on 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 talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Should You Get?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Strasburg CO, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes 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). Following are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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. A few 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 require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Strasburg CO truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driver schools in the Strasburg CO area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive lots of driving time. As an 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help determine the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Strasburg CO schools had to begin 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 pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check 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 hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting 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 claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Strasburg CO schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to check out the school and talk to the instructors in person. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good trucking school will provide ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Strasburg CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally 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 remember to find out if the Strasburg CO schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Colorado, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Strasburg CO school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to spend more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating 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 companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Strasburg CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Strasburg CO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Truck School Near Me Strasburg Colorado
Selecting the right truck driving school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available 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 Truck School Near Me and wanting information on the topic Class B CDL Training Cost. But first and foremost, you must receive the appropriate training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucking school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Strasburg CO.
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Strasburg is a census-designated place (CDP) in Adams and Arapahoe counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. The population was 2,447 at the 2010 census, up from 1,402 at the 2000 census. The Strasburg Post Office has the ZIP Code 80136.
Strasburg is located at 39°44′10″N 104°19′43″W / 39.73611°N 104.32861°W / 39.73611; -104.32861 (39.736047, -104.328494). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 20.82 square miles (53.93 km2), of which 20.80 square miles (53.86 km2) is land and 0.023 square miles (0.06 km2), or 0.12%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,402 people, 503 households, and 393 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 181.1 people per square mile (69.9/km²). There were 532 housing units at an average density of 68.7 per square mile (26.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.44% White, 1.28% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.71% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.85% of the population.
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