CDL Driving School Near Me Piggott AR

How to Decide on the Right Trucking School near Piggott Arkansas

long haul tractor trailer in Piggott ARCongrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a CDL school near Piggott AR. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to obtain the appropriate 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 choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you have to commute from your Piggott home. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based solely on price is not the best method to ensure you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the skills and knowledge that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? That is what we are going to cover 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 Piggott ARIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Piggott AR, a driver 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 choose a truck driving 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). Below are short explanations of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 Commercial Drivers License is required 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. 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 drive specific types of vehicles, including school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, may drive any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to operate.

How to Assess a Truck Driving School

Questions to ask Piggott AR truck driving schoolsOnce you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to pursue, you can start the process of assessing the Piggott AR truck driving schools that you are considering. As already mentioned, cost and location will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other variables, for instance the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are several more factors that you should research while conducting your due diligence before enrolling in, and particularly paying for, your truck driving training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driver schools in the Piggott AR area are accredited due to the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more typical and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several advantages. Interested students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will be given plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of actual 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 benchmarks set by PTDI.

How Long in Operation? One clue to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the top Piggott AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, search elsewhere. The schools should also maintain associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the trade, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arkansas licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucker schools you are considering are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be receiving 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 be a truck driver in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Piggott AR schools provide training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or kind of vehicle.

How Good are the Trainers? As already mentioned, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers might be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal method is to check out 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 quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a great 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 important training methods, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. Although driving time varies between schools, a reasonable benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Piggott AR schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to obtain discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is what’s known 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 work with one company. The benefit is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the flexibility to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Piggott AR schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates from competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing centers. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the approved schools to be of a superior quality.

Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Piggott AR school you choose offers 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 prepared to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still employed while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage 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 lower job placement rate or few Piggott AR employers recruiting their grads, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.

Is Financial Assistance Given? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Piggott AR area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be submitted.

Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Piggott AR?

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

Piggott, Arkansas

Piggott is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States, one of that county's two seats (Corning is the other). It is the northern terminus of the Arkansas segment of the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. As of the 2010 census, Piggott's population was 3,849.[3] The town was founded by William N. Barron and named after his sister (Sarah Ann, wife of John Piggott).

Piggott is perhaps best known for its association with American writer and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, whose second wife Pauline Pfeiffer was the daughter of prominent local landowner and businessman Paul Pfeiffer. After meeting and marrying in Paris in the late 1920s, Hemingway and Pauline made frequent and lengthy visits to her parents' home in Piggott, where Ernest Hemingway wrote portions of A Farewell to Arms, and other works. The Pfeiffer House and Carriage House are now preserved as the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, run by Arkansas State University.

The town was mentioned in the 1990s television sitcom Evening Shade, set in Arkansas. The high school football team coached by "Wood Newton" (played by Burt Reynolds) celebrated when it tied Piggott High in a game, which it almost always lost.

CDL Driving School Near Me Piggott AR

Piggott AR long haul truckPicking the right trucking school is a critical first step to starting your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is critical to a new driver’s success.  You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Driving School Near Me.  However, you must get the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might need to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or in some cases no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Piggott AR.

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