How to Choose the Right Trucker School near Romance Arkansas
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Romance AR. Perhaps it has always been your ambition to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have done some research and have found that a career as a truck driver provides good wages and flexible job prospects. 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 certain factors that you’ll need to examine before making your final selection. Location will certainly be important, especially if you need to commute from your Romance residence. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based exclusively on price is not the ideal method to guarantee you’ll get the right education. Just remember, your goal is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL examinations and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that goal in mind, just how do you pick a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which commercial driver’s license you will eventually need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
To drive commercial vehicles lawfully within the USA and Romance AR, a driver needs to attain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that a driver can apply for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driving school, we will discuss Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as 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 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 needed to drive 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 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 may also need endorsements to operate certain types of vehicles, for example passenger or school buses. And a Class A licensee, with the appropriate required endorsements, can operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is qualified to drive.
How to Research a Truck Driving School
When you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you would like to pursue, you can start the process of evaluating the Romance AR truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they must not be your only concerns. Other issues, such as the experience of the instructors or the reputations of the schools are equally or even more important. So following are a few more points that you should research while performing your due diligence prior to selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driver schools in the Romance AR area are accredited because of the rigorous process and expense to the schools. On the other hand, 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 quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. For example, PTDI calls for 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 comply with 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 poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Romance AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of several qualifiers. You can also ask what the school’s track record is pertaining to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t supply those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with local and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only confirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for students. It also wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with the Arkansas licensing department to verify that the CDL trucker schools you are reviewing are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. Also, the student to instructor proportion should not be higher than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a comparatively short time period. Learning to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully takes time. Most Romance AR schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or type of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Instructors? As earlier stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Although several states have minimum driving time requirements to be certified as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also crucial that the instructors keep current with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other standards, and possibly the best approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the teachers in person. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
How Much Driving Time? Above all else, an excellent truck driver school will provide lots of driving time to its students. Besides, 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 ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are necessary training methods, they are no alternative for actual driving. The more training that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time differs between schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide at least 44 hours of driving time. Contact the Romance AR schools you are considering and ask how much driving time they provide.
Are they Independent or Captive ? You can obtain discounted or even free training from certain truck driver schools if you make a commitment to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined period of time. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the freedom to initially work wherever you choose. Naturally contract training has the potential to limit your income opportunities when starting out. But for many it may be the ideal way to receive affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Romance AR schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow third party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, ask if the schools you are considering are DMV certified to offer it. One benefit is that it is more convenient than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Arkansas testing facilities. It is moreover an indication that the DMV regards the authorized schools to be of a higher quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, truck driver training is only about one to two months in length. With such a short duration, it’s essential that the Romance 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 instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you have it mastered. 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 commitments.
Is Job Placement Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to begin your new profession. Make sure that the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. Find out what their job placement ratio is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which local and national trucking companies their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a lower job placement rate or not many Romance AR employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are comparable to colleges and other Romance AR area trade or technical schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that must be submitted.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Romance AR?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Romance Arkansas area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Romance is an unincorporated community in west-central White County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located approximately halfway between the town of Rose Bud to the north, and the unincorporated community of El Paso to the south. Alternately, the community is about 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Beebe, and less than 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Mount Vernon.
Lacking exact boundaries, much of the Romance area falls within the borders of Marshall Township and Kentucky Township within White County. As legend maintains, the community was named by a school teacher many years ago who thought the view from bluffs on the community's eastern side was particularly romantic. Romance has been noted for its unusual place name.
Naming of the community has proven significant in maintaining Romance's most visible business, a small branch post office of the United States Postal Service. The local post office is one of several within the USPS system that gain attention because of "love-themed" names, but received special focus in 1990 as the first location to issue that year's stamp in the USPS Love Stamp series. Romance's post office is among those popular around the United States for postmarks of cards for Valentine's Day, as well as for wedding invitations. A side venture of sorts has developed in recent years, with a small number of weddings performed on the grounds of the post office, though the practice is not affiliated with the USPS.
CDL Classes Romance AR
Choosing the appropriate truck driving school is an important first step to beginning your new profession as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several 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 Classes. However, you must obtain the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional manner. If you are lacking funds or financing, you might need to think about 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 select an independent CDL school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking firm of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you get your training, you will in the near future be joining a profession that helps America move as a professional trucker in Romance AR.
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