How to Select the Right CDL Driving School near Norman Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Norman AR. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by selecting the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to consider before making your ultimate choice. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Norman residence. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Just remember, your goal 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 objective in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Norman AR, an operator must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 license classes that a person can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the topic of this article is how to choose a truck driving 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 in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is required to operate 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. 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 might also require endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
After you have decided which CDL you want to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Norman AR truck driving schools that you are looking at. As already discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your sole concerns. Other issues, including the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So below are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Norman AR area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense 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 required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will meet the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a truck driver school is how long it has been in business. A poorly reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Norman AR schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with local and national trucking firms. Having a large number of contacts not only points to a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arkansas licensing department to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and employ instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following segment. In addition, the student to instructor ratio should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be getting the personal instruction they will need. This is particularly true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally requires time. Most Norman AR schools provide training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As earlier mentioned, it’s important that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a bit more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to visit the school and speak with the teachers face to face. You can also speak with some of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, a good truck driving 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Norman AR schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just make sure to find out if the Norman AR schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. 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 other schools for test times at Arkansas testing facilities. It is also an indicator that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driving training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Norman AR school you select provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while attending training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from trucking school, you will be keen to start your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Norman AR employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Norman AR area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Norman AR?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Norman Arkansas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
There is a Caddo Native American burial ground on the southern end of town. It was discovered by city officials, led by then mayor Duane Cox, who protected it with a wooden fence. Recently, descendents of the Caddo added to the site a footpath and benches as well as plaques containing historical information regarding the living habits of Native Americans.
As of the census of 2000, there were 423 people, 190 households, and 117 families residing in the town. The population density was 140.8/km² (364.8/mi²). There were 224 housing units at an average density of 74.6/km² (193.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.56% White, 1.42% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.95% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 190 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84.
Truck School Cost Norman AR
Picking the ideal trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new profession 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 offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Truck School Cost. However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can select 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 decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Norman AR.
Keep On Trucking in These Other Arkansas Locations
Bing: Arkansas Truck Driving Schools Search results
Rossen Reports: Truck driver shortage leaving shelves empty
Transport The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates the country is about 80,000 truckers short, which is an all-time high for the industry.
Find Your Next Truck Driving Job Here at Best Driver Jobs
Find Truck Driving Jobs Fast. Stay alert to the latest truck driving jobs available in your area. We have job listings for part-time and full-time trucking jobs for local, regional, and long haul truck drivers. Search for the specific haul types, zip codes, and trucking companies you are interested in working for with our convenient search tool.
CDL Career Now: CDL Schools & Truck Driver Training Guide
Truck Driver Training from Top CDL Schools. Our CDL training partners offer both quality truck driver training classes and assistance in job placement with local, regional, and national trucking companies. At CDL Career Now we'll help you get your CDL-A license and reach success as a commercial driver.
NO EXPERIENCE TRUCK DRIVING jobs | TruckersReport
The average salary of a no experience truck driver is $74,594 per year or $1,435 per week. No Experience Truck Drivers can make anywhere from $55,500 to $104,200 depending on where they are driving and how many hours per week they are driving.
Truck Driving Jobs, Trucking Jobs for Truckers | Class A Drivers
Please use the form below to contact our customer service or sales team. You can also reach us at (888) 830-2326. Our normal business hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Financial Aid for CDL Training | US Truck Driving School
Find information, financial aid, and payment options for your truck driving school costs. Sponsorships & loan reimbursements available. Apply today! DENVER: (303) 848-8443; CO. SPRINGS: (719) 394-8222; CDL Training. Class A CDL Training; ... our goal is to finance as many qualified students as possible, even when other schools have said “NO ...
Free Arkansas (AR) DMV Practice Tests – Updated for 2022
A great place to start as it covers the basics of commercial driving in Arkansas. Each question comes with a hint and a detailed explanation. 1-50. questions. 10 mistakes ... Covers the basics of driving tanker vehicles: driving smooth bore tankers, getting out of a skid, and using a truck escape ramp. 1-20. questions. 4 mistakes. Allowed to ...
Light Duty Trucks For Sale - 6037 Listings | TruckPaper.com
Browse our inventory of new and used Light Duty Trucks For Sale at TruckPaper.com.
Find CDL Training & Truck Driving Schools in NY | CDL.com
Sunny Truck Driving School. 41-26 College Point Blvd, 2nd Floor. Flushing , NY 11355. Request Information
How to Start a Truck Driving School | CDL.com
How to Start a Truck Driving School. Trucking schools are designed to help future truck drivers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain their CDL license. Should you decide to start a trucking school, follow the steps below. Formulate a business plan: Determine if there’s a real need for a CDL driving school in your area. If there ...