How to Pick the Right CDL Driving School near Solgohachia Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Solgohachia AR. Maybe it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a huge tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have done some research and have found that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work opportunities. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to get the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to consider before making your ultimate selection. Location will no doubt be important, particularly if you need to commute from your Solgohachia home. The expense will also be of importance, but picking a school based entirely on price is not the optimal method to guarantee you’ll obtain the appropriate education. Don’t forget, your goal is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to operate commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Solgohachia AR, a driver needs to obtain 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 subject of this article is how to pick a truck driving school, we will address Class A and B licenses. What differentiates 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 descriptions of 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 more 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 CDL is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some 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 CDLs might also require endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
Once you have determined which CDL you would like to pursue, you can start the process of researching the Solgohachia AR truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your sole considerations. Other issues, for example the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are similarly if not more important. So following are a few additional factors that you need to research while conducting your due diligence prior to choosing, and especially paying for, your truck driving training.
Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few truck driving schools in the Solgohachia AR area are accredited due to the stringent process and expense to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are a number of advantages. Prospective students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will receive plenty of driving time. As an example, PTDI mandates 44 hours of actual 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 training and curriculum will comply with the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help measure the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. Having said that, even the best of Solgohachia AR schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduating students. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should also have relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms a quality reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job assistance program for students. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Arkansas licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucker schools you are researching are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? At a minimum, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and employ teachers that are trained and experienced. We will talk more about the teachers in the next section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And look out for any school that professes it can train you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Solgohachia AR schools offer training programs that run from three weeks to as long as 2 months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more successful driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also important that the teachers keep current with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors may be a bit more subjective than other standards, and perhaps the ideal approach is to visit the school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students going through the training and find out if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Adequate Driving Time? Most importantly, an excellent truck driving school will furnish ample driving time to its students. Besides, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the real time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. While the use of simulators and ride-a-longs with other students are necessary training tools, they are no replacement for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver she or he will be. Although driving time fluctuates between schools, a reasonable standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Solgohachia AR schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can obtain free or discounted training from a number of truck driver schools if you enter into an agreement to drive for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with numerous trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Naturally contract training has the potential to reduce your income opportunities when beginning your new career. But for some it may be the best way to get affordable training. Just make sure to ask if the Solgohachia AR schools you are looking at are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there CDL Testing Onsite? There are some states that will permit 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, find out if the schools you are reviewing are DMV certified to provide it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than contending with graduates of other schools for test times at Arkansas testing locations. It is moreover an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As formerly mentioned, truck driver training is just one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s important that the Solgohachia AR school you choose provides flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. As an example, if you’re having difficulty learning a particular driving maneuver, then the teacher should be prepared to commit 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 responsibilities.
Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have acquired your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be eager to start your new career. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or few Solgohachia AR employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Truck driving schools are much like colleges and other Solgohachia 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 reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you get through the options and forms that need to be completed.
Top Trucking Schools Solgohachia Arkansas
Choosing the appropriate trucking school is a critical first step to launching your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets that you will learn at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are many options offered and understanding them is crucial to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Top Trucking Schools and wanting information on the topic Obtaining A CDL. But first and foremost, you must get the appropriate 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 trucking school and have the option of driving for the trucking firm of your choosing, or one of several affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Solgohachia AR.
Truck On in These Other Arkansas Locations
Solgohachia (pronounced saw-guh-HATCH-ee ) is an unincorporated community in Conway County, Arkansas, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Morrilton on state highway 9 and Highway 287. The name is from the Choctaw word Sok-ko-huch-cha, meaning "muscadine river" (Cushman, p. 603).
Nearby Solgohachia Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2004. The bridge that was listed, I swam under many times is gone. Unfortunately the old steel span bridge no longer exists. The creek it spanned is Point Remove creek. Locals refer to it as "Pointymove." The name comes from the Cherokee being move to the west and north of this creek. There was an old well at the junction, but gas well trucks tore it down.