How to Pick the Best Trucking School near Maynard Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Maynard AR. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open highway while driving a big ole tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some analysis and have found that a career as a truck driver provides excellent pay and flexible job prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll need to examine before making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Maynard home. The cost will also be important, but selecting a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal way to ensure you’ll obtain the proper education. Just remember, your objective 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 goal in mind, just how do you decide on a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the remainder of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will ultimately need.
Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Maynard AR, a driver needs to get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three license classes that a driver can qualify 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 discuss 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 brief explanations for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some 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 drive 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 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 need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
Once you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you wish to obtain, you can begin the undertaking of assessing the Maynard AR trucking schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, cost and location will no doubt be your initial considerations. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other factors, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So below are several additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Not many truck driving schools in the Maynard AR area are accredited because of the rigorous 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 obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students know that the training will be of the highest standard, and that they will receive an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual driving time, not ride-alongs or simulations. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the curriculum and training will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A negatively reviewed or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Maynard AR schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s track record is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t provide those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing department to make sure that the CDL trucking schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will talk more about the teachers in the next segment. Also, the student to instructor ratio should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the individual instruction they will need. This is particularly true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that claims it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. The majority of Maynard AR schools offer training courses that range from three weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s important that the teachers are trained to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors stay up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and possibly the best method is to check out the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to some of the students going through the training and find out if they are happy with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent trucking school will furnish sufficient 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 driving a truck. Although the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a reasonable benchmark is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Maynard AR schools you are considering and find out how much driving time they provide.
Are they Captive or Independent ? It’s possible to receive free or discounted training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specific carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than having affiliations with many different trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, 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. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the only way to get affordable training. Just be sure to find out if the Maynard AR schools you are contemplating are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Offer Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Accessible? As earlier mentioned, truck driver training is only about 1 to 2 months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Maynard AR school you select 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 have it mastered. And if you’re still employed while attending training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to fit in working hours or other obligations.
Is Job Assistance Provided? As soon as you have acquired your CDL license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be keen to begin your new profession. Confirm that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement rate is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, ask which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for employment. If a school has a poor job placement rate or not many Maynard AR employers hiring their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Maynard 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 assessing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be submitted.
Local CDL Training Maynard Arkansas
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skills taught at school will be those that forge 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 Local CDL Training and wanting information on the topic Driving Truck School. However, you must obtain the appropriate training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are lacking cash or financing, you might want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or in some cases 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 company of your choosing, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will in the near future be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional truck driver in Maynard AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Maynard is home to the Maynard Pioneer Museum and Park. A jail built in 1936 has a door made of wagon wheel rims. The last time it was used was in 1988, when it temporarily housed a man charged with public intoxication. The jail is beside Maynard Community Center.
Maynard was settled in the late 19th century. John Maynard, formerly a captain in the Confederate Army, spent some time in Texas before moving to Arkansas in 1872, where he opened a dry goods store, and farmed 900 acres, mostly cotton. Other families and businessmen joined him in the village they called New Prospect. When they applied for a post office in 1885 that name was rejected and the office was named ‘Maynard.’ The town incorporated as Maynard in 1895.
Abbott Institute — later known as Maynard Baptist Academy and Ouachita Baptist Academy — was a boarding school established in 1894. Abbott Institute joined a school network associated with a college now known as Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.