How To Become A Truck Driver Blue Mountain AR

How to Pick the Best Trucking School near Blue Mountain Arkansas

tractor truck in Blue Mountain AR Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Blue Mountain AR. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain variables that you’ll want to consider prior to making your final selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Blue Mountain residence. The cost will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the right training. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which CDL Will You Need?

Blue Mountain AR long haul tractor trailerTo drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the United States and Blue Mountain AR, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is required 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 greater 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 CDLs may also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.

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How to Assess a Truck Driver School

Blue Mountain AR truck driving schoolOnce you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Blue Mountain AR truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several more things that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Blue Mountain AR area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more prevalent 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. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 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 meet the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Blue Mountain AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only points to a quality reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arkansas licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in compliance.

How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arkansas and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following section. Also, the student to instructor ratio should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the individual attention 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 claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Blue Mountain AR schools offer training programs that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking 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 driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time varies between schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Blue Mountain AR schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can receive discounted or even free training from some truck driver schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of maintaining relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Blue Mountain AR schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Offer CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Arkansas testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier mentioned, CDL training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Blue Mountain AR school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have received your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to start your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Blue Mountain AR employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Blue Mountain AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.

How To Become A Truck Driver Blue Mountain Arkansas

Blue Mountain AR long haul truckPicking the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in How To Become A Truck Driver and wanting information on the topic Class A CDL School.  However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are short on funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driver 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 an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Blue Mountain AR.

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    Blue Mountain, Arkansas

    As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 132 people, 55 households, and 33 families residing in the town. The population density was 47.2/km² (122.3/mi²). There were 67 housing units at an average density of 24.0/km² (62.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 100.00% White.

    There were 55 households out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.15.

    In the town, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 3.8% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 109.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.1 males.

     

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