How to Choose the Best Truck Driving School near Corning Arkansas
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a truck driving school near Corning AR. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good pay and flexible job prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you need to commute from your Corning residence. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll obtain the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to address in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will eventually need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Corning AR, a driver must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driver School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Corning AR trucking schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole 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 some more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many trucking schools in the Corning AR area are accredited because of the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, 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 certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked 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 Corning AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also learn what the school’s track record is concerning successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arkansas licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arkansas and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Corning AR schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. After all, 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 simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a good standard 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 Corning AR schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of trucking 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 rather than having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Corning AR schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is available 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 battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Arkansas testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As formerly noted, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short term, it’s imperative that the Corning AR school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from trucking school, you will be impatient to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Corning AR employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Given? Trucking schools are comparable to colleges and other Corning AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Truck Driving Classes Corning Arkansas
Picking the right truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck Driving Classes and wanting information on the topic How To Get A Truck Driving License. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated 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 Corning AR.
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Corning Incorporated is an American multinational technology company that specializes in specialty glass, ceramics, and related materials and technologies including advanced optics, primarily for industrial and scientific applications. The company was named Corning Glass Works until 1989. Corning divested its consumer product lines (including CorningWare and Visions Pyroceram-based cookware, Corelle Vitrelle tableware, and Pyrex glass bakeware) in 1998 by selling the Corning Consumer Products Company subsidiary (now known as Corelle Brands) to Borden, but still holds an interest of about 8 percent.
As of 2014[update], Corning had five major business sectors: display technologies, environmental technologies, life sciences, optical communications, and specialty materials. Corning is involved in two joint ventures: Dow Corning and Pittsburgh Corning. Quest Diagnostics and Covance were spun off from Corning in 1996. Corning is one of the main suppliers to Apple Inc. since working with Steve Jobs in 2007 to develop the iPhone; Corning develops and manufactures Gorilla Glass, which is used by a large number of smartphone makers. It is one of the world’s biggest glassmakers. Corning won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation four times for its product and process innovations.
Corning Glass Works was founded in 1851 by Amory Houghton, in Somerville, Massachusetts, originally as the Bay State Glass Co. It later moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, and operated as the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works. The company moved again to its ultimate home and namesake, the city of Corning, New York, in 1868 under leadership of the founder's son, Amory Houghton, Jr.