• Instructor Norm Wigham with US Truck CEO Dick Lammers

    Congratulations on your long, successful career!

    Happy Retirement to The Man, The Legend - Mr. Norm Wigham! After nearly 25 years at United States Truck Driving School, and over 60 years in the trucking industry, Norm Wigham is officially retiring. Norm has held a Commercial Drivers License for over 60 years! He started his career driving for Allied Van Lines, and stayed with the company for 35 years. After a full driving career there, he spent some time driving locally and started teaching for USTDS. Admissions Representative Josh Mitchell expressed his admiration for Norm. "He's been with us for about 25 years and always taught with all the energy and enthusiasm of someone just starting a new career."  "Norm has trained literally thousands of students. He's patient and knowledgeable and goes out of his way to help students that struggle - he never gives up on anyone! He's taught our instructors how to teach in a way that people can understand. When graduates call in or stop by to visit, they always ask about Norm. He’s played a huge role in the lives of a lot of people over the years, and we will miss having him here." Norm has over 3,500,000 accident-free miles. He’s a certified Colorado CDL Examiner, is a CVTA Certified Master Instructor, is International AAMVA Tester Certified, and is a Certified Instructor by the Colorado Department of Higher Education Division of Private Occupational Schools. "We don’t know what Norm has planned in his retirement, but we all have no doubt that he’ll stay busy. He’s a true workhorse, and can’t stand to stay idle. They really broke the mold when they made him!' Congratulations on your long, successful career Norm! If anyone deserves to finally enjoy retirement, it’s you! Everyone's trucking story begins somewhere. Will yours start here? Let us help you start on the road to a career just as successful as Norm’s. Let's shift your career in gear - call us today! 303-848-8443
  • Helpful Tips to Pass and Earn your License

    Passing the CDL Exam can be a nerve-wracking experience for new drivers. You’ve spent weeks pouring yourself into your CDL training in the classroom, in the yard, and out on the roadways. That training experience has come down to this: a two-part exam that tests your knowledge of what you’ve learned. Today we're sharing 5 Tips on how you can prepare for - and pass - your written CDL exam on the first try! 

    1. Study & Understand - Don't Just Memorize.

    Set aside time to study the CDL Manuals and your classroom work materials. Your instructor will be able to clarify any items you have questions about. Get the most out of your training and utilize their experience and expertise. Don't just memorize the materials, make sure you can apply them to actual real-world scenarios. Remember that the actual exam may have questions worded differently than on practice test. Fully understanding the material means you won't get tripped up on those questions with alternate wording. 

    2. Practice Tests

    Speaking of practice tests... During your training, you'll have access to practice test materials. Use them! Time yourself taking these practice tests, and ask questions on things you aren't sure about. Practice tests also give you a sense of how questions will be worded on the final exam. 

    3. Dust Off Your Test-Taking Skills

    Using the same skills and tactics that you used in middle or high school can help you pass your CDL test with ease. You know most of the answers from studying your manual, but the good old brain-drain can happen to anyone. Eliminating answers you know are wrong and narrowing down your choices before making your final decisions will help you ensure that you pick as many correct answers as possible while taking your exam.

    4. Come Prepared

    If you know what to expect ahead of time you'll be less nervous, be able to focus on your answers, and won't stress on the time limit.  The CDL Exam is broken into two parts: the written test, and the driving portion. The written part of your CDL test is 50 questions long and you will have 60 minutes to complete it. Knowing that ahead of time will make you less frazzled on test day.

    5. Get Some Rest

    On the day of the exam, prepare yourself for success. That will mean getting quality rest the night before your exam. If your test is in the morning, eat breakfast, give yourself extra time, and arrive at the exam center ahead of schedule.  If your test is later in the day, take a few moments to read through the question you are less sure of. Don't let anxiety from the day carry over to your test performance!

    Going through CDL training gives students the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to pass the CDL exam. Following these 5 tips will ensure you are well prepared for your written CDL exam and on your way to a successful new career. 

    Enroll in a CDL program today, and get started on the road to your new career! Ready to roll? Call us! 303-848-8443

    This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2019.

  • 5 Reasons Why This Might Be the Perfect Career

    Driving a truck is a well respected and great career that's needed in many fields across the United States. Truck drivers are responsible for the transportation of our goods, equipment, and machinery. Luckily, the transportation industry keeps things moving forward and without it life would come to a halt for many businesses dependent on transport. As more truck drivers are reaching retirement age, the transportation industry has an increased demand for truck drivers across the country. So, why would you get your CDL and become a truck driver? 

    Top 5 Reasons Why A CDL Could Be The Perfect Career Path 

    1. Ditch Your 9 to 5

    The cubicle world isn't for everyone and many people are looking for a sure way out of their typical 9 to 5 desk job. Driving a truck has many options for someone dissatisfied with their current 9 to 5. If the idea of an ordinary desk job is becoming mundane, a truck driving career could be the ideal solution. 

    2. Enjoy Driving 

    If you enjoy driving, a truck driving career can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Go over the open road and earn a living than by traveling the roads and seeing the sights this great nation has to offer.

    3. You Keep Calm Under Pressure 

    Truck driving can present unique problems that include inclement weather, heavy traffic, or overwhelming road construction. However, these are problems that you could face on the road at any time. If you're a patient person and can keep a level head under unexpected situations, these issues may present a positive challenge for you. 

    4. No College Degree Needed & No Student Loan Debt 

    As a truck driver, you won't need a 4-year degree or have to spend years paying back huge government student loans. Many CDL truck driving programs participate in tuition reimbursement, financial assistance, and job placement (there are extra benefits for military veterans and their family members).   

    5. Excellent Pay 

    A truck driving career has excellent pay, great benefits, and substantial retirement options. You won't have to live from paycheck to paycheck anymore. If you're willing to put in the work, truck driving can open up the door to many opportunities. 

    Why Choose United States Truck Driving School For Your CDL Certification 

    United States Truck Driving School (USTDS) offers a variety of CDL programs to help you start a new trucking career. Our truck driving programs provide hands-on training with modernized equipment that's currently being used in the trucking industry. If you're not afraid of hard work, truck driving is a sufficient opportunity to do something you'll love. If you're reading this, you've probably been considering a career in the truck driving industry. To learn more about the benefits of driving the open road, give us a call! We're ready when you are! 303-848-8443 This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2019.
  • Follow These Tips on Passing

    Failing the CDL exam can be a trucker's worst nightmare. The driving portion of the exam is where a lot of driver's struggle the most. What if you forget the rules or focus on them so much that it leads to a mistake? The following guide focuses on how to avoid failing the CDL exam. 

    How To Improve Your Chances Of Passing The CDL Exam 

    Most importantly, be calm: the exam is not as bad as you think. Building up anxiety will only hurt your chances of doing well on the exam. Staying calm during the exam will help you avoid careless mistakes.  Remember: it's the examiner's job to test you and see if you can handle the pressure. Will you panic if you miss a shift or freeze up if someone critiques your driving skills? The lesson here is to remain as calm as possible. Focus on what you've learned in driving school and behind the wheel of the truck.  The most important tip in passing the CDL exam is avoiding mistakes that will result in an automatic fail. Safety hazard mistakes are the most important aspect of the CDL exam because they can lead to accidents on the road. Safety hazard mistakes include:
    • running a red light
    • failing to signal when changing lanes/making a turn
    • being involved in an accident.
    Remember to rely on your driving skills, don't put to much pressure on yourself!  For over five decades,  we have helped students successfully pass the CDL exam through expert instruction. We're ready when you are, just give us a call to get started with your CDL training! 303-848-8443 This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2019. 
  • 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

    When you become a truck driver you are required to have a DOT physical. If you are going to be operating commercial motor vehicles a DOT physical exam is required. Drivers need to be able to safely operate their vehicle and a DOT physical ensures there are no health issues which would prevent that from happenings.

    What To Expect During a DOT Physical

    Your DOT physical is going to look at your current health status as well as your medical history to determine if you are physically fit to drive a commercial motor vehicle. The following tests are all part of the overall exam:
    • Vision and hearing tests
    • Blood test, to check for high blood pressure or other medical conditions
    • Urinalysis, as part of drug and alcohol testing
    These are all included in DOT exam as well as a current physical examination.

    What Should I Bring With Me?

    To make sure you have everything covered and your medical history is complete you will want to bring the following with you:
    • Medical history
    • List of prescriptions medications, and dosage, you currently take
    • Glasses or let them know if you wear contacts
    • Hearing Aids

    How Often Is A DOT Physical Required?

    CDL drivers must take the DOT physical every two years. If you have a condition that needs monitoring, such as high blood pressure, you may be required to get a physical more often. Once you have passed your DOT physical the doctor in charge will give you a certificate. If your employer needs a copy you directly from the physician you can sign and waiver and have them request that.

    Where Do I Go To Get A DOT Physical?

    To find a listing of medical offices offering DOT physicals, you visit the Colorado DMV website. If you have any questions about getting your DOT physical exam card we would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today and you can be on your way to a successful trucking career! 303-848-8443 This blog was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for 2019 standards.
  • What it Means for Young Truck Drivers

    According to the American Trucking Association, the current shortage of CDL truck drivers is expected to increase over 175,000 by 2026. The ATA points out the largest factor contributing to this shortage is the average age of for-hire drivers is 49. The trucking industry hopes to bridge the older driver demographics and lack of qualified applicants with a new law called, the DRIVE-Safe Act.

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Targets Young CDL Drivers

    By law, you have to be at least 18 to have a commercial driver's license. Currently, in order to drive across state lines with a CDL, you have to be over 21. The DRIVE-Safe Act targets drivers between 18 and 20 who hold a CDL. As trade schools increase in popularity, the younger generation is steering away from attending traditional colleges to learn a skilled trade like truck driving.

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Addresses the Truck Driver Shortage

    The truck driving industry is changing. One of the biggest changes is job outlook as employers struggle to meet the demand for both quality and quantity of drivers. The ATA states the current trucking industry is short over 50,000 drivers. The DRIVE-Safe Act has the potential to decrease the shortage by attracting young talent. According to the ATA, nearly 90,000 drivers will need to be hired yearly over the next 10 years to meet the industry's growth. To attract new drivers companies--like Walmart--are increasing salaries and easing the recruitment process.  

    The DRIVE-Safe Act Reduces Age Restrictions Across State Lines

    Today, a 20-year-old truck driver can drive four hours to Denver, CO to Springfield, CO, but not the hour and a half drive to Cheyenne, WY.  If passed in Congress, the law will lower the intrastate CDL restriction age to 18 nationwide. This will allow for young qualified drivers to fill the gap of empty driver seats. The DRIVE-Safe Act would require drivers under 21 to participate in a two-part apprentice program. The first part of the program consisting of 120 hours of probationary training and the second half 280 hours. We love seeing young adults find a career path that fits their lifestyle and we enjoy helping them reach that goal. To learn about how you can start your journey as a certified commercial licensed driver and be a student at our Denver or Colorado campus, call today! 303-848-8443
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