Category Archives: Colorado

CDL School Yuma CO

How to Choose the Best Trucker School near Yuma Colorado

tractor truck in Yuma CO Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Yuma CO. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Yuma residence. The expense will also be of importance, but selecting a school based entirely on price is not the best way to make certain you’ll receive the right training. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.

Which CDL Will You Require?

Yuma CO long haul tractor trailerTo operate commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Yuma CO, an operator needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and 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). Following are brief explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License 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. 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 required to drive 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain kinds of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.

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How to Evaluate a CDL School

Yuma CO truck driving schoolAfter you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Yuma CO truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are some more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Yuma CO area are accredited due to the stringent 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 certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the top Yuma CO schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, 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 make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Yuma CO schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a bit more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few 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? Most importantly, an excellent trucking school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time varies among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Yuma CO schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with a wide range of 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 giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Yuma CO schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is available in Colorado, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates from other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a short term, it’s important that the Yuma CO school you enroll in 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 teacher should be prepared to spend more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Assistance Offered? The moment you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to begin your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Yuma CO employers recruiting their grads, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Yuma CO area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

CDL School Yuma Colorado

Yuma CO long haul truckChoosing the right truck driver school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of 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 CDL School and wanting information on the topic Class A Truck Driving School.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Yuma CO.

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    Yuma, Colorado

    According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.41% is water. Yuma is 21 miles away from its closest city Wray, Colorado.

    As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 3,285 people, 1,275 households, and 847 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,350.6 people per square mile (522.0/km²). There were 1,393 housing units at an average density of 572.7 per square mile (221.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.39% White, 0.09% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.03% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 7.06% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.47% of the population.

    There were 1,275 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.17.

     

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