Semi Driving School Mount Pleasant AR

How to Select the Right Trucker School near Mount Pleasant Arkansas

long haul tractor trailer in Mount Pleasant ARCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Mount Pleasant AR. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s essential to obtain the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are several factors that you’ll want to think about prior to making your ultimate choice. Location will no doubt be important, especially if you have to commute from your Mount Pleasant home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to guarantee you’ll receive the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional 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 talk a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?

tanker truck in Mount Pleasant ARTo drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Mount Pleasant AR, an operator needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will focus on Class A and Class 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). Below are short summaries of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. A few 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 CDL is needed to operate 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. A few 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to drive specific kinds of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Evaluate a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Mount Pleasant AR truck driving schoolsOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Mount Pleasant AR truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, cost and location will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly or even more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Mount Pleasant AR area are accredited due to the stringent 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 required to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked 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 Mount Pleasant AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have relationships with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only points to an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arkansas licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in good standing.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the instructors in the next segment. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be getting the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Mount Pleasant AR schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously mentioned, 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 qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers keep up to date with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors might be a little more subjective than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers 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.

How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driver school will furnish lots 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 operating a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are essential training methods, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Mount Pleasant AR schools you are researching and ask how much driving time they provide.

Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free 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 provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to ask if the Mount Pleasant AR schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is allowed in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage 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 believes the approved schools to be of a higher quality.

Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier mentioned, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Mount Pleasant AR school you select offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the teacher should be willing to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. And if you’re still working while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be impatient to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job assistance 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 Mount Pleasant AR employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Given? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Mount Pleasant AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are assessing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be completed.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Mount Pleasant AR?

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

Mount Pleasant, Arkansas

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.34 square miles (8.66 km2), of which 3.33 square miles (8.63 km2) are land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.43%, are water.[3]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 401 people, 166 households, and 113 families residing in the town. The population density was 44.7/km² (115.8/mi²). There were 182 housing units at an average density of 20.3/km² (52.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.25% White, 0.25% Asian, and 0.50% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 166 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.

Semi Driving School Mount Pleasant AR

Mount Pleasant AR long haul truckPicking the right trucking school is an important first step to beginning your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape 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 Semi Driving School.  But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may 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 enroll in an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps America move as a professional truck driver in Mount Pleasant AR.

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