• CDL A or CDL B?

    What is a CDL License?

    A Commercial Drivers License, or CDL, allows you to drive larger vehicles such as semi trucks, flatbeds, tanker vehicles, and other larger trucks. A CDL license is truly a good investment in a career, as it opens the possibility of you being allowed to drive trucks meant for many different career paths. When you get your CDL at United States Truck Driving School, you'll have a choice between two CDL classes; CDL A or CDL B. Each license gives you the ability to drive different trucks, and each has their own merits, though class A is usually the most commonly obtained, for very good reason.

    The Class B CDL

    A Class B CDL gives you the ability to drive vehicles weighing in at 26,001 pounds or more. However, with a CDL B, you may not drive a vehicle with a trailer that exceeds 10,000 pounds. So, though you can drive a large vehicle, this license does comes with its limits.

    With a Class B CDL, the different vehicles you can drive are as follows;

    • Buses, such as school buses or city transportation buses
    • Box trucks
    • Straight trucks

    The Class A CDL

    For good reason, a Class A CDL is the most commonly chosen license for those wanting a career in trucking. Not only can you drive vehicles listed under the CDL B, the CDL A license gives you the ability to drive combination trucks, such as;

    • Semis with trailers
    • Tankers
    • Flatbed vehicles
    • Vehicles allowed under a Class B CDL license.

    So as you can see, the class A CDL gives you many more opportunities when it comes to using your new license to start a career. If you're ready to learn more about enrolling in classes to get your license, call today! 303-848-8443

  • 20 Questions for your New Employer

    If you are looking to start a new career in truck driving, there are a few questions you need to ask any recruiter before you get started. Here is a list of some things you need to know from any new employer:

    Time on the Road

    • What is your policy regarding pay while on the road? Will I be compensated for layovers? Am I paid by the hour or by the mile?
    • Are most of your routes long hauls or shorter day trips? Can I choose my routes or will they be assigned?
    • Will I be required to load and unload the truck? If so, how will I be compensated for my time? By the package, weight or hour?
    • Can I bring my pet with me? If so, are there weight restrictions?
    • What is your refueling policy? Will I be provided with a company card or will I get reimbursed?

    Benefits

    • What are the benefits associated with this position? Medical, Vision, Dental?
    • Are benefits available to me on the first day of employment or is there a waiting period?
    • Are there additional benefits available like continuing education opportunities for additional training?
    • Will the company help with my truck insurance payments?
    • Do you have a paid time off policy?

    Company Advancement

    • How often are performance reviews conducted?
    • What are you looking for when giving raises?
    • As I gain seniority, will new opportunities become available like preferred routes?
    • What is the pay structure like as I become a seasoned driver?
    • Is there a possibility to become part of management further down the road?

    General Questions

    • Is there someone available in the home office 24/7 should I need assistance?
    • When I am on the road, what is your policy for expenses like tolls, meals and overnight stays?
    • Are there bonuses for spotless driving records?
    • Does the company use an e-log?
    • How large is the company and is it growing?
    Asking the right questions can mean the difference between a job that you like and a job that you love. Contact us for more information about how you can get started in the truck driving industry! 303-848-8443 
  • Efforts to Reduce the Driver Shortage Mean Lower OTR Age Requirements

    It's estimated that the trucking industry will be short 150,000 drivers by 2024. Experts are asking for a change now in order to combat the shortage. Trucking companies already offer higher pay per mile, sign-on bonuses, and health or retirement benefits to attract more drivers. Now, they're looking to hire from a younger pool of applicants.

    On Monday, the Colorado State House passed a bill that would lower the age requirements for truck drivers from 21 to 18. Current state law allows 18 year old CDL holders to drive within state lines only. Interstate drivers must be at least 21 years old. This bill would allow anyone 18 and older with a CDL to drive across state lines on longer routes.

    Fox21News Right Now talked with Mark Haefner, Director of Training for the USTDS Colorado Springs campus about this new bill, and the option for 18 year olds to drive these long haul routes. While he has his concerns, he thinks it would be great for these younger drivers to partner with a trucking veteran as continued learning.

    With this bill, we could start seeing a younger generation of drivers enrolling for CDL training at United States Truck Driving School. USTDS provides Class A CDL Training programs at two Colorado locations. Along with training, students can use financial aid and have job placement assistance once they complete the course.

    We hope to see more young adults enter into the trucking industry. If you’re ready to get started with your CDL training, contact United States Truck Driving School and get on the road towards a successful career!

  • Tips for Becoming a Talented, Knowledgeable, and Safe Driver.

    Paying attention in class isn't fun. It's just not. The allure of the open road or the desire to get out of an office or classroom was the reason for getting a CDL. But, you find yourself in a classroom. Listening to someone explain things that may seem too obvious or too complicated… And you start to tune out. This can feel natural. Maybe you already know this material and you don't need to hear it for the thousandth time. Or you got lost right off the bat and don't want the embarrassment of asking a question. But great drivers are the ones that are always learning.

    Here are some keys to help you come into class ready to take in as much as possible and leave as a talented, knowledgeable, and safe driver.

    Visualize

    If it is hard to understand or stay focused on what the instructor is talking about, visualize yourself in the situations they are addressing. Think about the wheel in your hands and how it feels. Think about the muscles you will use. Try to be as vivid as possible and see if it helps you remember the material better or learn something new.

    Ask Questions

    AIf you missed something, or got a little lost, it is better to ask a question in class than to have a question on the road. If you already know the information being taught, try to think of a question to ask. This may help less experienced drivers get more information, and you may learn something you didn't already know.

    Take Notes

    You forget most of what you don't write down. Taking notes is the best way to stay engaged, and you have something to look at if you ever have a question down the road.

    Take it Slow

    Maybe you've heard the stories of the student who sideswiped the light pole in the parking lot. It happens. Don't be that student. When you get behind the wheel breathe easy and remember your training. Confidence and quickness are not the same thing. Listen to your trainer; and visualize your success. It's what the pro athletes do, and it's the best way to learn.

    If you're interested in attending CDL school or have questions about getting a CDL, let's talk! Fill out the form, or call us today and let's see how you can get started! 303-848-8443

  • Overcoming one of the most common obstacles to career training education

    Finances should never keep you from getting the career you deserve. Luckily, they don't have to. United States Truck Driving School has many different opportunities available for financial assistance. These include allowances, reimbursements, loans, sponsorship, and others. Here are few ways you can qualify for financial aid when getting CDL training at USTDS.

    Financial Assistance for Veterans

    Several tuition assistance opportunities are available for service members, their spouses, and dependents. The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs has benefits available to cover tuition and gives you access to a highly in-demand job field. Below are just a few of the VA benefits available you can receive.

    • The Montgomery GI Bill: If you're a veteran with at least 2 years of active duty service, you can receive up to 36 months of benefits covered.
    • The Post 9/11 GI Bill®: You may be eligible for 36 months of benefits if you have 90 days of aggregate service after September 10th, 2001.
    • Special Vocational Training: If you have a disability rating from the VA and have an employment handicap, this program can get you the assistance you need.

    Reimbursement for Veterans and Others

    In addition to the programs available to assist veterans in getting the training they need, certain carriers will pay back up to $7,500 of the VA benefits used to cover CDL training costs. Even if you paid for training out of pocket, the carrier you find employment with will pay back your monthly tuition.

    Carrier Sponsorship for CDL Training

    The carriers that partner with USTDS recognize how important quality drivers are. In light of the high demand for drivers, certain carriers are willing to invest in your CDL training. You'll receive benefits towards your tuition, housing, and transportation while you're getting your CDL training. When you get finished, you'll pay them back through a weekly payroll deduction until it's paid off.

    ....And Much More

    United States Truck Driving School has programs help you overcome one of the most common obstacles to education, including:

    • Programs from Goodwill Industries
    • Vocational programs from the state of Colorado
    • In-House financing, loans, and deferred payment plans

    If you're interested in getting CDL training, contact us today to learn more about the financial aid opportunities open to you!

  • Being Humble and Teachable When Getting your CDL

    CDL training will come with a lot of information for prospective truck drivers, and all of it is important. If you're not careful, certain attitudes and actions may limit your growth in the transportation industry. They may even cause you to fail if you're not careful. Adopt these practices to make the most of your CDL training.

    Have the Right Attitude

    Going into CDL training with an out-of-check ego or a negative mindset will stop your learning before it begins. Always remain open to instruction. Experienced drivers agree that a student thinking he's already got it mastered will not only hinder their own progress, but will disrupt his fellow students' learning as well. Remain humble and be open to looking at things in a different way. You also need to remember to give yourself room to grow. Don't compare your progress to someone else's. Everyone learns at their own pace.

    Surround Yourself With Like-minded People

    Don't let yourself be distracted by people who aren't there to learn. This is as true in CDL training as it was in High School. If someone doesn't care about their own education, then they won't care too much about yours. Keep close to other students that are as focused on their studies as you are, and stay away from cliques of slackers.

    Remain Disciplined and Respect the Challenge

    CDL training is meant to be a challenge. Class A CDL training with the United States Truck Driving School will require 160 hours of instruction to prepare you for the rigors of truck driving. Make sure you're being serious about putting in the work, or you won't make the cut.

    Work With Your Instructor, Not Against Them

    Your instructor is the greatest asset you'll have available to you during your CDL training. Remain cooperative, and try to pick their brain a bit. Ask them about their driving experiences. Show them you're serious. When the instructor sees that you care about your training, they'll go a lot further than someone that's just going through the motions.

    Be Coachable

    Remaining disciplined, humble, and coachable is the best way to get the most out of your CDL training. If you're serious about receiving the best training, contact the United States Truck Driving School and find out more about the Class A and Class B CDL training programs available.

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