• Perseverance and Hard Work During CDL Training

    With most things in life, success is not based on head knowledge or a skill set that no one else has. What’s the deciding factor that determines your success? You. The Denver Commercial Driving License (CDL) training you are looking for may help you find employment in the trucking industry. Many schools know how to help you pass a test, though their skills at teaching real job skills may or may not be up to par. How do you know whether you are going to be receiving solid Denver CDL training, or if you will find yourself struggling to adapt to the intricacies of the job once you find that it is different from what you expected it to be? Many Denver CDL training schools don’t necessarily claim to offer programs that teach “job skills” per se, but may only help you obtain a commercial driver’s license. That’s okay if they do, but it might be a little more helpful if you seek out a school with a different sensibility. Having instructors who have been there in the trucking industry have an advantage over those who have not been, and having the foresight to offer stories from the road, or in offering helpful hints and tips while they are offering Denver CDL training is a boon for up and coming truck drivers, who most likely need all the help they can get when it comes to getting a heads-up on what’s going on in the industry. For many people entering a career, it’s important to learn the skills you need to perform the job, of course. If you can’t do the work required by the job, then you may as well not even apply for it. However, there are additional skills you can learn, which may make the difference between squeaking by and running into major career surprises and other trouble, or being prepared for the worst and coping well in your career. Is it pure, blind luck that gets you this advantage, or is there strategy involved? It may be a little of both, but as an informed, discerning consumer you don’t leave that to chance. Conducting thorough research is one way you can remove luck from the equation and get a high-quality education you can be proud of. First, contact the schools you are interested in attending and get some information from them. Graduation/completion rates, and the percentage of graduates who work in the industry. This is pretty important; are you going to want to take Denver CDL training from a school that only has 5% of its graduates working in the industry? Most likely not. Next, contact some graduates; often times schools have a list of graduate references they can provide you, but try to track a few down on social media. They may be more likely to offer more honest answers and be more willing to express any reservations they have with people taking their training courses. They may have interesting insights on their Denver CDL training. Also, consult online reviews at this time, but beware them as a source; understand that online reviews are sometimes false, and that other times they are written by someone with a grievance, and without the school being able to offer its side of the story. Once you have gotten these opinions, visit an employer and ask they if they have any reservations about hiring graduates of the schools you are considering. Finding out whether they believe the Denver CDL training offered at these schools is worthwhile can do quite a bit for you as far as gaining insights on whether you should pursue Denver CDL training there. Eventually, though, you’ll need to make a decision. Don’t take TOO much time making this consideration, or you’ll find yourself behind in the Denver CDL training before it even starts. Once you have made your decision, your Denver CDL training is up to you. Make sure you make the most of the opportunity, and that you commit yourself fully to your Denver CDL training. Push yourself to do your best, and secure your education as swiftly and decisively as you can. Get into your CDL exam and get your training completed and get your career in motion. In the end, you are the biggest factor on your career, and the work you put in will make or break your career. Make the most of it.

    Interested in Becoming a Truck Driver?

    At United States Truck Driving School, we specialize in training for both a Class A CDL and Class B CDL. USTDS campuses are located in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO. To learn more, head over to our Truck Driver Training Program!
  • photo image of a male patient sitting with a blood pressure cuff on his arm, while a doctor takes a reading

    Everything You Need to Know About the Exam

    If you are new to the trucking industry, you may wonder what a DOT Physical is, what it involves, and how you go about getting one. A DOT physical exam is required in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle. This exam ensures that there are no health issues that could affect the driver's ability of safely driving a commercial vehicle.

    What does a DOT Physical consist of? 

    The DOT exam that will determine whether or not the driver is fit for work based on medical history, as well as current health status. During your DOT Physical, you will go through the following during the physical exam:
    • Vision and hearing tests
    • Blood test, to check for high blood pressure or other medical conditions
    • Urinalyisis, as part of drug and alcohol testing

    Should I bring anything to the DOT Exam?

    Since you'll have to disclose your medical history, you should bring a list of any prescription medicines you are currently taking, including the dosage. You'll also need to remember to wear or bring glasses or hearing aids.

    How often do I need a DOT Physical? And where do I get one?

    Typically, drivers are required to repeat this exam every two years. The follow-up could be sooner than two years if there are issues that warrant it. The physician in charge of the exam will issue a certificate for drivers that pass the exam. While physicians are not required to give a copy of the exam report to employers, they can release the information if the employer requests it and they have a signed waiver. For a list of medical offices offering DOT physicals, you can visit the Colorado DMV website. If you have any questions about getting your DOT physical exam card, please contact us today!  
  • image of young male standing in front of a nondescript white delivery truck holding a box and paperwork

    Stand Out from the Crowd with a CDL!

    Obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) license is a great start to a new career, but what do you do when you no longer want to stay over the road (OTR) away from home for long periods of time? Fortunately, there are countless driving jobs that you can get when you have a CDL. You may even open yourself up to driving careers that do not require a CDL, yet strongly favor drivers who have one.  

    Your CDL can help you stand out from the competition!

    CDL drivers have the expertise required for safe driving - like safely backing up a large truck, or allowing more time to slow down when approaching a stop. Because of this experience, companies that utilize larger-than-average trucks tend to favor candidates with a CDL, even if you don't need to have one.  

    On the road, but back in time for dinner!

    Driving a school bus or city bus allows you to be home in time for dinner and your favorite show. Similar jobs that give CDL drivers a distinct advantage in the hiring process include driving delivery trucks for companies like FedEx or UPS. Local moving companies or other grocery delivery and retail stores are other great options that do not require overnight OTR drives.  Earning your CDL opens up a world of opportunity that does not restrict you to a life of OTR driving! With our Job Placement assistance, United States Truck Driving School can help jump-start your driving career - no matter how far you want to go, or how close to home you want to stay!
    Call our school office today to get started!  In Denver: (303) 848-8443 or Colorado Springs: (719) 394-8222
  • Trucker with semi-truck and USTDS logo

    United States Truck Driving School Graduate Gives Advice

    In 1994, William Gary Gilbert graduated from United States Truck Driving School. As an experienced long-haul driver, William has spent the last twenty-three years truck driving. As a trucker for Jack Daniels, his typical drive is from Tennessee to Phoenix, Las Vegas or Reno. After three and a half million miles under his belt, William has given us a few tips for new truck drivers.

    Tips for Truckers:

    Follow the rules
    Don't cheat the system. It’s not worth getting fired or in trouble just to make some extra cash. Be smart for your own safety, others on the road, or your company’s reputation.
    Watch for lane restrictions
    For William, he once got pinched in Georgia because it said no trucks in the left lane. He passed a guy in the left lane and resulted in a $380 ticket. That pass wasn’t worth the additional cost.
    Don't Speed. Ever.
    Speeding tickets cost hundreds of dollars these day. If you’re in your first year of truck driving and receive a ticket, it can be pretty difficult to find a job afterwards.
    No split-second lane changes
    Make sure to let the turn-signal blink a few times before moving. It can be very dangerous and will potentially cause a trucker to accidentally hit someone.
    Be nice to shippers and receivers
    A little trick William learned a long time ago. When shippers or receivers tell you it’s going to take a long time to get the truck loaded and unloaded, pretend you don’t care. William shared that he always tells them it’s no big deal. He’ll say he gets $50 an hour to sit anyway. This is a little reverse psychology. They’ll get angry knowing a driver makes that kind of money for sitting. They will likely unload and load faster, and then back on the road you go!
    If you are tired, STOP and SLEEP!
    It’s of course important to be on time, by no load is worth the same as a life of a truck driver or a citizen on the road. Dispatchers are not the ones who will end up in jail or deceased, that will be the trucker. Any company that would give you a hard time for choosing safety first, isn’t worth working for.   After all these years on the road, William has a true understanding of the trucking industry. Here at United States Truck Driving School, we a thrilled to see our graduates still loving what they do every day. Are you interested in becoming a truck driver? At United States Truck Driving School, we specialize in training for both a Class A CDL and Class B CDL. USTDS campuses are located in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO. To learn more, head over to our Truck Driver Training Program!
  • image of white and blue semi trucks lined up and parked in a ro

    Find the CDL that Fits Your Career Goals

    In order to drive certain types of motor vehicles in America, the driver must posses a commercial driver's license (CDL). Depending on the type of vehicle that you are looking to operate, you will either need to obtain a Class A, B, or C CDL license. A Class A CDL will allow drivers to operate most vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more. It also gives the driver the right to operate most Class B and Class C vehicles with a few exceptions. Vehicles That Can Be Operated With Class A CDL:
    • Tractor-trailers
    • Truck and Trailer Combinations
    • Double and Triple Trailers
    • Tractor-Trailer Buses
    • Tanker Vehicles
    • Livestock Carriers
    • Flatbeds
    • Box Trucks
    • Dump Trucks
    • Straight Trucks
    • Passenger Vans
    The Class A CDL allows drivers to operate not only Class A vehicles, but drivers will also be able to operate all Class B and Class C vehicles as well. A couple of Class B and Class C vehicles require additional special endorsements before being able to operate with a Class A CDL though. Vehicles That Require Special Endorsements:
    • Passenger Bus
    • School Bus
    In order to operate a passenger bus or school bus, written tests and additional road skill tests will need to be completed. With the proper endorsements, a Class B CDL is the highest classification needed in order to operate a passenger bus and school bus. Are you looking for more information on how to earn a commercial driver's license? At United States Truck Driving School, we specialize in training for both a Class A CDL and Class B CDL.  Not sure which one is right for you? Contact us for more information on finding the CDL training program that fits your career goals!
  • picture of School Bus Driver in Uniform leaning against the bus with school children standing behind him

    An Outline of a Typical Day on the Job

    A school bus driver is responsible for safely transporting students to and from school and home. This can be a dangerous task, and it takes a special type of person to drive an 8 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 20,000 pound vehicle. Many bus drivers are work part-time and get paid only for when they are driving. So, what is it that bus drivers do during the day? Here is an outline of a typical bus driver's day.

    Clock-In

    Some bus drivers have the luxury of keeping their bus at home, while others meet at a lot where the buses are stored. Those who drive from home typically do not have to clock in, but those who meet at a lot usually have to clock-in.

    Inspect The Bus

    Before driving each day, the bus driver inspects:
    • lights are properly working
    • tires are at the right pressure
    • doors are functioning
    • fluid levels are normal
    • brakes work properly
    • Start Route
    Each bus driver has a unique route, picking students up and taking them to school. The driver opens the door at each stop, waits for the students to be seated, and then closes the door before driving to the next stop. The drivers repeat this process until each stop has been made.

    Keep the Children Safe

    While completing the route, the driver takes the right precautions to keep the students safe. Check road conditions before starting route Keep an eye out for strange vehicles and people Use the "stop arm" at each stop to let other vehicles know that the bus stopping Safely make detours around wrecks and other road hazards Return Bus After the students have been dropped off at school, the driver will return the bus to the lot or their home.

    Between Morning and Afternoon Trips

    Many bus drivers are part-time workers, meaning they only get paid for their two bus trips during the day. Some bus drivers are full-time, and they may work at the bus lot repairing and working on the buses. Some part-time drivers have other jobs during the day to make extra money. Here are a few ways part-time drivers make extra money at school:
    • Drive the bus for field trips or sporting events
    • Drive the bus for the technical schools
    • Work for the school's food service
    • Janitorial work at the school
    • Teacher's aide
    • Drive Students Home
    All of the students load the bus at the end of the school day, and the driver reverses their morning route to take the students home. They safely drop each student off at their stop.

    Return Bus

    After all of the students have been dropped off, the driver will return the bus back to the lot or back to their home. Any necessary inspections or repairs will also be completed at this time, and the bus may need to be washed and cleaned as well.

    Paperwork

    Most bus drivers are required to complete paperwork about their routes. The time this paperwork is completed can vary depending on the driver and school, but many will complete it at the end of their day. If you have ever considered driving a school bus or would like to learn more information about earning your license to do so, contact United States Truck Driving School for more information on getting your Class B CDL!
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