CDL Truck Driver Schools near Dumas AR 71639

How to Pick a Truck Driving School near Dumas Arkansas

Dumas AR CDL truck driving schoolCongrats on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Dumas AR. Perhaps it has always been your fantasy to hit the open highway while operating a monster tractor trailer. Or maybe you have conducted some research and have discovered that a career as a truck driver offers excellent wages and flexible job opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important to receive the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When reviewing your options, there are several variables that you’ll need to examine prior to making your final choice. Location will undoubtedly be an issue, particularly if you need to commute from your Dumas home. The expense will also be of importance, but choosing a school based only on price is not the optimal method to make certain you’ll receive the right education. Just remember, your objective is to master the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that target in mind, just how do you decide on 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 ultimately need.

Which Commercial Drivers License Will You Need?

tractor trailer in Dumas ARIn order to operate commercial vehicles legally in Arkansas and within the USA, a driver must get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Since the topic of this article is how to select a truck driver school near Dumas AR, we will highlight Class A and B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the kind of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short descriptions of the two classes.

Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is needed to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater 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 CDL is needed 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. A few 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 Commercial Drivers Licenses may also need endorsements to operate specific types of vehicles, for example school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, can drive any vehicle that a Class B licensee is authorized to operate.

How to Research a Truck Driving School

Dumas AR tractor truckAfter you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you wish to pursue, you can start the undertaking of researching the Dumas AR truck driver schools that you are considering. As previously discussed, location and cost will certainly be your initial considerations. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only concerns. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So following are a few additional things that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before selecting, and especially paying for, your truck driver training.

Are the Schools Accredited or Certified ? Very few Dumas AR trucking schools are accredited due to the stringent process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more common and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not obligated to become certified, but there are several 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 requires 44 hours of real 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 curriculum and training will satisfy the very high standards set by PTDI.

How Long in Business? One indicator to help assess the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the best of Dumas AR schools had to begin from their first day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is regarding successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, search elsewhere. The schools should additionally maintain relationships with regional and national trucking companies. Having a large number of contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, 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 trucking schools you are researching are in compliance.

How Effective is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools should be licensed in Arkansas and hire instructors that are experienced and trained. We will discuss more about the instructors in the following segment. Also, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, 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 watch out for any school that claims it can teach you to be a truck driver in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Dumas AR schools offer training courses that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the class of license or type of vehicle.

How Good are the Teachers? As previously stated, it’s imperative that the teachers are qualified to teach driving techniques and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time requirements to qualify as a teacher, the more professional driving experience a teacher has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry developments or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating instructors might be a little more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best approach is to check out the Dumas AR school and talk to the teachers in person. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are happy with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.

Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving 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 driving a truck. Even though 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 receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will become. And even though driving time fluctuates among schools, a good benchmark is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will provide a minimum of 44 hours of driving time. Get in touch with the Dumas AR schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.

Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to get free or discounted training from a number of Dumas AR trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a specified carrier for a defined amount of time. This is referred to as contract training, and the schools that offer it are called captives. So rather than maintaining affiliations with a wide range of trucking lines that they can place their graduates with, captives only refer to one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by giving up the flexibility to initially work wherever you have an opportunity. Clearly contract training has the potential to restrict your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the only way to obtain affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.

Provide CDL Testing Onsite? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of trucking schools for its graduates. If onsite testing is permitted in Arkansas, ask if the Dumas AR schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than contending with graduates from 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 Classes Flexible? As previously noted, CDL training is only about one to two months long. With such a short duration, it’s imperative that the Dumas AR school you choose offers flexibility for both the curriculum and the scheduling of classes. For 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 accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.

Is Job Placement Offered? Once you have obtained your CDL license after graduating from truck driving school, you will be keen to begin your new career in Dumas AR. Make sure that the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. Ask what their job placement rate is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a poor job placement rate or few employers recruiting their graduates, it may be a sign to search elsewhere.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Trucking schools are much like colleges and other vocational or trade schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial assistance being offered. Find out 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 completed in Dumas AR.

Why Did You Want to Be a Trucker?

When getting ready to interview for a Trucking position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask truck driving candidates is "What made you decide on trucking as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a trucker, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to trucking, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent truck driver and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

Pick the Right CDL School Dumas AR

tanker truck driving in {Dumas ARSelecting the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to starting your new profession as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that mold a new career behind the wheel. There are several options offered and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. But first and foremost, you must get the necessary training in order to operate a big commercial vehicle in a professional and safe fashion. If you are short on money or financing, you may need to consider a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choosing, or one of many associated with the school. It’s your decision. But regardless of how you get your training, you will soon be joining an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Dumas AR.

A Bit About Dumas Arkansas

Dumas, Arkansas

Dumas is a city in Desha County, Arkansas. The population was 4,706 at the 2010 census.[3]

Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all of it land.[5] The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta with a topography that is largely flat.

The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

 

 

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