How to Choose the Right CDL Training School near Casscoe Arkansas
Congrats on your decision to become a truck driver and enroll in a trucking school near Casscoe AR. Maybe it has always been your goal to hit the open road while operating a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers good pay and flexible job prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s imperative to receive the proper training by choosing the right CDL school in your area. When evaluating your options, there are certain factors that you’ll want to examine before making your ultimate selection. Location will undoubtedly be important, especially if you have to commute from your Casscoe residence. The cost will also be of importance, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll get the proper education. Don’t forget, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills 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 choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the rest 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 Should You Get?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Casscoe AR, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic 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 short summaries of the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required 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 required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, such as passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate needed endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driver School
Once you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can begin the undertaking of researching the Casscoe AR truck driving schools that you are considering. As earlier discussed, cost and location will undoubtedly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Casscoe AR area are accredited because of the stringent process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more typical 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 know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get plenty of driving time. For example, PTDI mandates 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 measure the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Casscoe AR schools had to start from their first 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 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 numerous contacts not only affirms a quality reputation within the trade, but also boosts their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with the Arkansas licensing authority to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are researching are in good standing.
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. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning 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 comparatively short period of time. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Casscoe AR schools offer training programs that run from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s imperative that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more professional driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to check out the school and talk to the instructors face to face. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Sufficient Driving Time? Above all else, a great truck driving school will provide ample 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 operating a truck. Although the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training methods, they are no substitute for real driving. The more instruction that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time can vary between schools, a reasonable standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Casscoe 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 a number of trucking schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining associations with a wide range of 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 giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to inquire if the Casscoe AR schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of other schools for test times at Arkansas testing centers. It is also an indicator that the DMV believes the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Flexible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short term, it’s essential that the Casscoe AR school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain 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 must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Offered? Once you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Ask 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 referred to for employment. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Casscoe AR employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other Casscoe AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Ask 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 must be submitted.
Bus Driver Training Casscoe Arkansas
Choosing the appropriate truck driver school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation 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 critical to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Bus Driver Training and wanting information on the topic Dump Truck Training School. However, you must obtain the proper training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you may want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition in exchange for driving for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driver school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps America move as a professional trucker in Casscoe AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Arkansas Highway 33
Highway 33 (AR 33, Ark. 33, and Hwy. 33) is a north–south state highway in eastern Arkansas. The highway runs 23.86 miles (38.40 km) from Highway 130 north of DeWitt to Highway 37 east of Tupelo. Highway 33 roughly connects four county seats: DeWitt, DeValls Bluff, Des Arc and Augusta. One of the original Arkansas state highways, the highway's routing has remained largely the same since inception, with the exception of one extension in 1956.
Highway 33 begins at Highway 130 north of DeWitt in Arkansas County on the Grand Prairie in the Arkansas Delta. The highway runs north to a brief overlap with Highway 153 at Lagrue, followed by the western terminus of Highway 33 Spur at Casscoe. Continuing north, the highway reaches a T-intersection with Highway 146. Highway 33 forms a 1.0 mile (1.6 km) concurrency with Highway 146 before turning north toward Monroe County. After riding the Arkansas/Monroe county line for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km), the route enters Prairie County for 2.49 miles (4.01 km) before entering the western portion of Monroe County.
The route serves as the western terminus for Highway 366 before entering the town of Roe. Beginning in Roe, Highway 33 forms a concurrency with US Highway 79 (US 79) northbound for approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 km). The routes split north of town, with Highway 33 turning due west and passing the Clarendon Municipal Airport before exiting the county northbound.