How to Decide on the Best Truck Driving School near Delight Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Delight AR. Maybe it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have done some analysis and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible job opportunities. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the proper training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are certain factors that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final selection. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Delight home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the best method to guarantee you’ll get the proper training. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills 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 review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Delight AR, a driver must obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will highlight Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Several 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 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. 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 may also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, including passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
After you have determined which CDL you want to obtain, you can begin the process of researching the Delight AR truck driver schools that you are looking at. As previously discussed, location and cost will no doubt be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole concerns. Other variables, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are equally if not more important. So below are several additional points that you should research while performing your due diligence before choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few truck driving schools in the Delight AR area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more commonplace and is offered by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will get lots of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real 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 fulfill the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a truck driving school is how long it has been in business. 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 best of Delight AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to contact the Arkansas licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and employ instructors that are trained and experienced. We will discuss more about the teachers in the next section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that insists it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short time period. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Delight AR schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as 2 months, depending on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As previously mentioned, it’s important 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 a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the teachers stay current with industry developments or any new laws or changes in regulations. Assessing instructors may be a little more subjective than other criteria, and possibly the best approach is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Above all else, a good 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 actual 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 replacement for real driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will become. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Delight AR schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with numerous trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only refer to one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to restrict 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 ask if the Delight 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 permit third party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its graduates. 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 accommodating than competing with graduates of other schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Classes Accessible? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief duration, it’s essential that the Delight AR school you choose provides 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 teacher should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have received your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are considering have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Delight AR employers hiring their graduates, it might be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Truck driving schools are similar to colleges and other Delight AR area vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Find out if the schools you are evaluating have a financial assistance department, or at least someone who can help you get through the options and forms that must be submitted.
Class B License Training Delight Arkansas
Choosing the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to launching your new profession 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 several options available and understanding them is critical if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Class B License Training and wanting information on the topic CDL Driving School. But first and foremost, you must obtain the proper training in order to operate a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on cash or financing, you might want to think about a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you obtain your training, you will in the near future be entering a profession that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Delight AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Several decades after Pike County was formed and almost seventy years after Arkansas became a state, Delight became an incorporated town. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Quapaw Indians, a tribe of the great Dakotas who at one time had a population of many thousands. By the end of the eighteenth century, white settlers had begun making their homes near the banks of Wolf Creek. Some of the earliest residents of the area were the Kirkhams, Kellys, Dixons, Dosses, Carpenters, Dosseys, Mobleys, Wards, Greens, Lambs, Reeves, Griffins, Clingmans, Wilsons, and Hancocks. On January 18, 1832, a post office was granted and called "Wolf Creek". In the 1833 Territorial Papers of the United States proposals for mail contracts in Arkansas Territory, Wolf Creek was identified as a mail stop between Little Rock and Hempstead County Courthouse, which was in Washington at that time. The Wolf Creek post office was listed again in 1834, and the amount of postage from the Wolf Creek post office was $13.73 for that year.
On August 21, 1873, Samuel Hasley purchased almost 43 acres of land from the United States for $1.25 an acre. This acreage covers the present site of Delight. A few years later the land was sold to S. B. Dixon and wife, Nancy, who in turn sold it to Abner H. Hancock for $500. On January 4, 1853 he deeded it to David Mobley for the consideration of $700. This land remained in the Mobley family until 1860 when the heirs to David Mobley, then deceased, granted to convey their rights, titles, and interest to William H. Kirkham, his son in law, for the sum of $800. On December 13, 1895, Southwestern Arkansas, an Indian Territory Railroad Company, paid William H. Kirkham $1.00 for a 100-foot right-of-way and other territory through which their railroad was to be built. As the people of the community learned of the coming of the railroad, excitement grew. The prospects of train service brought new life into the community. A town site was provided and the location of the railroad station was selected. As William H. Kirkham, now a Confederate Army Veteran, had generously donated the town site, it was decided that he should choose the town's name. Kirkham said, "This is such a delightful place to live, we shall call the town Delight." The Pike County Court Record B, page 413, contains the proceedings for the incorporation Delight. On July 25, 1904, the petition for incorporation was read before the court and properly filed. It was recorded on September 9, 1905, with John Brock as the first mayor.
The coming of the new railroad brought new industry to Delight. R.B. F Key was interested in the timber business and he saw in the forests of virgin timber a veritable gold mine. He secured a site and proceeded to build a saw mill and planer. Early on a morning 1897 the whistle sounded and the wheels began to turn. Lumber was shipped far and near on the railroad but it was also used to build new houses for the residents of the Delight. Business boomed and so did Delight. Near the town, large deposits of gravel offered more industry. So carloads of gravel was also shipped over the new railroad. Key built a large hotel to accommodate the drummers who descended on the town to sell their wares to the rapidly expanding business district. Some of the early merchants were A. E. Westbrook, C. E. Reid, Bose and Jim Bratton, and the Geiser brothers. O. L Mckinney owned and operated the first cold drink stand. As the town grew, a need for a doctor arose. Antoine, a neighboring town 5 miles away, had shared its Dr. Kirkham with the community of Delight for a number of years. So Dr. Rice was the first to become the town's physician in 1903. After Dr. Rice, Dr. Rodgers moved to Delight from Mississippi and practiced medicine for several years. Other doctors who gave unstintingly of their time were Dr. Walls, Dr. Newt Slaughter, Dr. Joe Thomasson, Dr. W. P. Hemby, and Dr. B. S. Stokes. Dr. Hemby's brother, Hosea, operated a drug store. Ed Brewer became the town's first post master.