How to Select the Right Truck Driver Classes near Harvey Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Harvey AR. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Harvey home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based entirely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll get the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the skills and knowledge that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target 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 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 Need?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Harvey AR, an operator must attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are short explanations of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to drive single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 might also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
After you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of evaluating the Harvey AR trucking schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, cost and location will certainly be your primary considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other factors, for example 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 carrying out your due diligence prior to enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Harvey AR area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more common and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s course is certified (the course, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will fulfill the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Harvey AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the Arkansas licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will cover more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Harvey AR schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are qualified to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to be certified as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers 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 method is to visit the school and speak with the instructors in person. 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 ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will provide plenty of driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. Even though the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are important training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time differs between schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Harvey AR schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from certain trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Harvey AR schools you are looking at are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving 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 from competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV views the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driving training is only about one to two months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s imperative that the Harvey AR school you choose provides 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 teacher should be prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still working while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new profession. Verify that the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out 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 Harvey AR employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Harvey AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
CDL Classes Near Me Harvey Arkansas
Picking the right truck driver school is an important first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Classes Near Me and wanting information on the topic CDL B Training. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking funds or financing, you may want to look into 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 choose an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Harvey AR.
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William Hope Harvey
William Hope "Coin" Harvey (August 16, 1851 – February 11, 1936) was an American lawyer, author, politician, and health resort owner best remembered as a prominent public intellectual advancing the idea of monetary bimetallism. His enthusiasm for the use of silver as legal tender was later incorporated into the platforms of both the People's Party and the Democratic Party in the early 1890s. Harvey was also the founder of the short-lived Liberty Party and that party's nominee for President of the United States in 1932.
William Hope Harvey was born on August 16, 1851 on a farm near the small town of Buffalo, Virginia (later West Virginia). He was the fifth child of six born to Robert and Anna Harvey. His father, Robert Trigg Harvey, was a Virginian of Scottish and English ancestry, and his mother, who had Virginian ancestors traceable to colonial times, was descended from French ancestors who had long since peopled the territory around nearby Gallipolis, Ohio.
Harvey was educated in local public schools before attending the Buffalo Academy from 1865 to 1867. At the end of his time there, still just 16 years old, he taught school for three months before enrolling at Marshall College in Guyandotte, Virginia. He remained there only three months before leaving to briefly teach school again. This ended his formal education, although he continued to study law, ultimately managing to gain admission to the West Virginia state bar.