How to Select the Right Trucking School near Hartman Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Hartman AR. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver offers good income and flexible work opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various factors that you’ll want to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Hartman home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll get the appropriate training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to address in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Hartman AR, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to pick a truck driver school, we will discuss Class A and 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). Following are short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 needed to operate 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 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also require endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles, for instance passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of assessing the Hartman AR trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So below are some more factors that you need to research while performing your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Hartman AR area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get an ample amount of driving time. For 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 curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help determine the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Hartman AR schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use 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 share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools should be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a relatively short time frame. Learning to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. Most Hartman AR schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great trucking school will provide plenty of 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. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time differs between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Hartman AR schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a specific carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Hartman AR schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are some states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Hartman AR school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating 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 low job placement rate or not many Hartman AR employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driver schools are similar to colleges and other Hartman AR area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
CDL Training Near Me Hartman Arkansas
Selecting the right truck driving school is an important first step to launching 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 several 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 CDL Training Near Me and wanting information on the topic Trucking School Cost. But first and foremost, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be entering a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Hartman AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Hartman is located in southwestern Johnson County at 35°25′54″N 93°37′1″W / 35.43167°N 93.61694°W / 35.43167; -93.61694 (35.431598, -93.617034), on the west side of Horsehead Creek about 4 miles (6 km) north of the Arkansas River. U.S. Highway 64 passes through the center of town, leading east 9 miles (14 km) to Clarksville, the county seat, and west 13 miles (21 km) to Ozark.
At the 2000 census, there were 596 people, 234 households and 181 families residing in the city. The population density was 421.2 per square mile (163.2/km²). There were 258 housing units at an average density of 182.3/sq mi (70.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.32% White, 1.01% Native American, 0.50% from other races, and 0.17% from two or more races. 1.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 234 households of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.92.