How to Pick a Trucking School near Wild Horse Colorado
Congrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Wild Horse CO. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to consider before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Wild Horse home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best method to make sure you’ll get the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified 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 address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Wild Horse CO, an operator must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will focus on 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 two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL 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. Several 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 greater 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Evaluate a CDL School
After you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can begin the process of evaluating the Wild Horse CO truck driving schools that you are looking at. As earlier discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driver schools in the Wild Horse CO area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, 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. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount 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 measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Wild Horse CO schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Colorado licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in compliance.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, 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 proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Wild Horse CO schools provide training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As already mentioned, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although 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 keep 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 best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will provide sufficient 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Wild Horse CO schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Wild Horse CO schools you are contemplating are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are several states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Colorado, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Colorado testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is just one to two months long. With such a brief duration, it’s important that the Wild Horse CO school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to devote 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Wild Horse CO employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Wild Horse 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 examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Enrolling in a Truck Driving School near Wild Horse CO?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Wild Horse Colorado area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The wild horse (Equus ferus) is a species of the genus Equus, which includes as subspecies the modern domesticated horse (Equus ferus caballus) as well as the undomesticated tarpan (Equus ferus ferus, now extinct), and the endangered Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii). Przewalski's horse had reached the brink of extinction but was reintroduced successfully back into the wild. The tarpan became extinct in the 19th century, though it is a possible ancestor of the domestic horse; it roamed the steppes of Eurasia at the time of domestication. However, other subspecies of Equus ferus may have existed and could have been the stock from which domesticated horses are descended. Since the extinction of the tarpan, attempts have been made to reconstruct its phenotype, resulting in horse breeds such as the Konik and Heck horse. However, the genetic makeup and foundation bloodstock of those breeds is substantially derived from domesticated horses, so these breeds possess domesticated traits.
The term "wild horse" is also used colloquially in reference to free-roaming herds of feral horses such as the mustang in the United States, the brumby in Australia, and many others. These feral horses are untamed members of the domestic horse subspecies (Equus ferus caballus), not to be confused with the truly "wild" horse subspecies extant into modern times.
In general, wild horses are grazers that prefer to inhabit open areas, such as steppes and grasslands. They may have seasonal food preferences, as seen in the Przewalski's subspecies. Horses may fall prey to native predators where they live, such as wolves,cougars, and spotted hyenas.
Pick the Ideal Truck Driver School Wild Horse CO
Picking the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator. Most importantly, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent trucker school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Wild Horse CO.
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