How to Enroll in the Right Truck Driving School near Blevins Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Blevins AR. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good income and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to get the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Blevins home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the ideal method to make certain you’ll receive the appropriate training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Blevins AR, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick 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 in addition to 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 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. Some 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 needed to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of more 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
When you have determined which CDL you wish to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Blevins AR trucking schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few more points that you should research while performing your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Blevins AR area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will comply with the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Blevins AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s track record is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Blevins AR schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Good are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal method is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Blevins AR schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from a number of truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining associations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Blevins AR schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is allowed in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is moreover an indicator that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As previously noted, CDL training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Blevins AR school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few Blevins AR employers hiring their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Blevins AR area trade or technical 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 least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be completed.
Trucker Schools Near Me Blevins Arkansas
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options offered and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Trucker Schools Near Me and wanting information on the topic Commercial Truck Driving School. However, you must receive the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Blevins AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Blevins is located in northeastern Hempstead County at 33°52′16″N 93°34′36″W / 33.87111°N 93.57667°W / 33.87111; -93.57667 (33.871218, -93.576666).U.S. Route 371 passes through the city as Center Street, leading southeast 15 miles (24 km) to Prescott and northwest 19 miles (31 km) to Nashville. Arkansas Highway 29 is Main Street in Blevins, crossing US 371 in the center of town and leading northeast 18 miles (29 km) to Antoine and south 15 miles (24 km) to Hope, the Hempstead County seat.
At the 2000 census, there were 365 people, 131 households and 102 families residing in the city. The population density was 365.8 per square mile (140.9/km²). There were 152 housing units at an average density of 152.4/sq mi (58.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.15% White, 14.25% Black or African American, 2.47% Native American, 7.67% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. 18.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 131 households of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.8% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.21.