You always dreamt of a career as a truck driver, Arkansas is a good place to start it because it has a good selection of training schools for truck and commercial drivers.
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Deciding If You Need a CDL
It’s easy to figure out if you need a CDL or not: all you have to do is assess the type of vehicle you’l be driving.
The vehicles are split into classes, based on their weight, and the classes for which you need a CDL are A, B, and C.
These vehicles are usually heavier than 26,000 pounds, have a trailer or even two, may carry passengers or hazardous materials.
For each class, you can get endorsements that allow you to drive under specific conditions.
For instance, you can transport hazardous materials or passengers only with the appropriate endorsement.
Before you start your training, make sure you meet the requirements.
The first requirement is related to your age.
While being 18 is enough to get the CDL, this age doesn’t allow you to drive trucks out of state, nor to transport hazardous materials, and you’re also not allowed to tow double or triple trailers.
It’s usually expected of you to have at least 1 year of driving experience and pass some exams, such as medical or background checks, on top of the exam for the driving license.
The last requirement, no less important, is for you to have the legal right of working in the USA if you’re not a citizen, and be a resident of Arkansas.
You need to attend a driving school in Arkansas because you need a commercial driver’s license to drive trucks, as per the federal law.
The number of schools even increased in recent years because the demand for truck drivers and diesel mechanics increased as well.
Some of the schools in the state even offer scholarships to help the students get into their new careers as fast as possible.
When choosing the school, having a look at the tuition and program length is not enough, as you also have to consider the size of the class.
Considering the number of lab hours is also important, as some programs may not include enough. despite those being more important.
|Arkansas State University – Newport||7648 Victory Blvd, Newport, AR 72112|
|C1 Truck Driver Training||7303 Hwy 70 E, North Little Rock, AR 72117|
|Cossatot Community College of University of Arkansas||1557 Hwy 371 W, Nashville, AR 71852|
|Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute||620 Newcastle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72336|
|Diesel Driving Academy||11001 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209|
|International Schools – University of Arkansas||2500 S. Main St., Hope, AR 71801|
|Mid-America Truck Driving School||375 Alcoa Road, Malvern, AR 72104|
|North Arkansas College||1515 Pioneer Dr, Harrison, AR 72601|
|Pine Bluff Truck Driving Schools||4208 Hwy 65, Pine Bluff, AR 71601|
|Roadmaster Drivers – West Memphis, AR||2800 East North Service Road, West Memphis, AR 72301|
|South Arkansas Community College||300 S. West Ave, El Dorado, AR 71730|
|University of Arkansas – Fort Smith||5401 S Zero St, Fort Smith, AR 72193|
The CDL exam has 2 parts: in one, you show your knowledge and in the other, you prove your driving skills.
If you want to add endorsements to your license, those cost extra.
You have to pay the testing fee before taking the exam.
Make sure you know when it’s the time to renew your license, and what the procedure is.
In 2012, it was predicted that the demand for truck drivers would grow 15% and the demand for diesel mechanics would increase by 11%.
Commercial drivers in Arkansas earn on average about $40,787 per year, while those in the top 10% earn about $47,269 per year.
The median salary in the United States for these drivers is $44,225 while those in the top 10% make around $51,254 per year.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|North Little Rock||$41,104|
You can start working as soon as you get your license and there are many trucking companies in search of new drivers.
Driving a school bus is also an option, with the right class license and endorsement.