Category Archives: Colorado

CDL Driving Schools Woodrow CO

How to Pick the Right CDL Driving School near Woodrow Colorado

long haul tractor trailer in Woodrow COCongratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Woodrow CO. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to receive the appropriate training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Woodrow home. The cost will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal means to make sure you’ll obtain the proper training. Don’t forget, 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 purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

tanker truck in Woodrow COIn order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Woodrow CO, an operator needs to 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 choose a truck driver school, we will address 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 short explanations for the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive 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 CDL is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.

How to Evaluate a Trucking School

Questions to ask Woodrow CO truck driving schoolsAfter you have decided which CDL you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Woodrow CO truck driving schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So below are a few more things that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Woodrow CO area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI requires 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Woodrow CO schools had to start from their opening 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 employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Colorado licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Colorado and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly 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 be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. The majority of Woodrow CO schools provide training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driving school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Woodrow CO schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? You can get discounted or even free training from certain truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Woodrow CO schools you are contemplating 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 graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Colorado, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Colorado testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As previously mentioned, CDL training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Woodrow CO school you enroll in provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing 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 must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Provided? As soon as you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Woodrow CO employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Woodrow CO area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Woodrow CO?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Woodrow Colorado area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Woodrow, Colorado

CDL Driving Schools Woodrow CO

Woodrow CO long haul truckSelecting the ideal trucking school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Driving Schools.  But first and foremost, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you might want to look into 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 CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, 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 an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Woodrow CO.

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