Getting A CDL License Fountain Hill AR

How to Select the Right CDL Driving School near Fountain Hill Arkansas

long haul tractor trailer in Fountain Hill ARCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Fountain Hill AR. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are various variables that you’ll need to consider before making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Fountain Hill home. The cost will also be important, but choosing a school based only on price is not the ideal way to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover 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 CDL Should You Get?

tanker truck in Fountain Hill ARIn order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Fountain Hill AR, an operator must get 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 address Class A and B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate together with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Following are brief descriptions of the 2 classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to operate 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 Commercial Drivers License is needed 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. 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to operate.

How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Fountain Hill AR truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have decided which CDL you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Fountain Hill AR truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your sole considerations. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few more factors that you need to research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Fountain Hill AR area are accredited because of the demanding process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Fountain Hill AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s history is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with local and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker 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 teachers that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time frame. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Fountain Hill AR schools provide training courses that run from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Instructors? As earlier mentioned, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the teachers stay current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating instructors may be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and speak with 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 qualification to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driver 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. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary 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. And even though driving time differs between schools, a reasonable benchmark 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 Fountain Hill AR schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Captive or Independent ? 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 called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by giving up the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for many it may be the only way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Fountain Hill AR schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is allowed in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Classes Accessible? As previously noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Fountain Hill AR school you select provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to devote more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Placement Offered? As soon as you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be eager to begin your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Fountain Hill AR employers hiring their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Fountain Hill AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Fountain Hill AR?

If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Fountain Hill Arkansas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.

Fountain Hill, Arkansas

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 159 people, 66 households, and 39 families residing in the town. The population density was 104.1/km² (271.0/mi²). There were 77 housing units at an average density of 50.4/km² (131.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.38% White, 35.22% Black or African American, 1.89% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 66 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

Getting A CDL License Fountain Hill AR

Fountain Hill AR long haul truckPicking the ideal truck driver school is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are many options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Getting A CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking money or financing, you may need to think about 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 choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be part of a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Fountain Hill AR.

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