Get My CDL License Lockesburg AR

How to Find the Right CDL Driving School near Lockesburg Arkansas

long haul tractor trailer in Lockesburg ARCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a trucking school near Lockesburg AR. Perhaps it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible work prospects. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the proper training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Lockesburg home. The cost will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll obtain the right training. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover 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?

tanker truck in Lockesburg ARTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Lockesburg AR, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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 explanations of the two 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. A few 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 CDL is needed 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 CDLs may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Assess a Trucking School

Questions to ask Lockesburg AR truck driving schoolsAs soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can start the process of evaluating the Lockesburg AR trucking schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, cost and location will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only considerations. Other variables, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally if not more important. So following are a few more things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many trucking schools in the Lockesburg AR area are accredited because of the rigorous process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will receive lots of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate 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 top Lockesburg AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

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 cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personal attention they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that insists 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. The majority of Lockesburg AR schools offer training courses that range 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 previously stated, it’s essential that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Sufficient Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will furnish sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training tools, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Lockesburg AR schools you are researching and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain free or discounted training from some trucking schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having associations with many different 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 surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Lockesburg AR schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is available in Arkansas, ask if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is also an indicator that the DMV deems the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driver training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s important that the Lockesburg AR school you select offers 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 instructor should be prepared to devote 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 received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Verify that the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates 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 Lockesburg AR employers recruiting their grads, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driving schools are comparable to colleges and other Lockesburg AR area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Lockesburg AR?

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

Lockesburg, Arkansas

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 711 people, 276 households, and 197 families residing in the town. The population density was 201.1 inhabitants per square mile (77.5/km²). There were 328 housing units at an average density of 92.8 per square mile (35.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.55% White, 4.50% Black or African American, 2.25% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 2.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 276 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town the population had 30.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

Get My CDL License Lockesburg AR

Lockesburg AR long haul truckChoosing the appropriate truck driver school is an important first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is crucial if you are going to succeed as an operator.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in Get My CDL License.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But regardless of how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Lockesburg AR.

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