If you want to obtain your commercial driver’s license from the state of Arkansas DMV, you’ll need the right knowledge and know-how to pass the AR CDL test. CDL school is the best way to learn everything you need to get your license. Both the knowledge test and the road skills test present different challenges and you need to arrive prepared and knowledgeable before you undertake them.

While official training is not required in the state, it is extremely beneficial to help you pass the test on your first try, saving you time and money. This training also allows you to use a commercial vehicle for practice and test taking and you’ll be able to take advantage of a licensed commercial driving instructor to aid you as you learn. Additionally, most reputable schools will offer CDL job placement assistance to minimize the time between when you get your license and find employment in your field.

What is CDL training in Arkansas?

AR CDL prep will assist you as you prepare for the CDL knowledge test and road exam. When it comes to operating a commercial vehicle, there is a lot to learn. CDL school in Arkansas will teach you everything you need to know, and you should also take a look at the AR CDL manual.

Most schools offer at least two different class options: Class A CDL training and Class B. It’s important to pick the program that best suits your needs and future plans. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Class A CDL training is something you should consider if you plan to operate a commercial vehicle that is 26,001 pounds or more or will tow another vehicle that is over 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL training is for the same weight of vehicle but can only tow another vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or less.
  • Not all schools offer a Class C CDL training program because it covers smaller vehicles, under 26,001 pounds.

In addition to the class of CDL you are considering, you should also think about endorsements you will need. For example, if you wish to operate a school bus, you will need a S endorsement on your license. There are also passenger and hazardous materials endorsements, as well.

Is CDL school required in Arkansas?

The Arkansas DMV does not require any formal CDL training or special state-run classes. In Arkansas, the training is completely optional when applying for a CDL license, but it is highly recommended, especially for students who have little or no experience with commercial vehicles.

Once a driver receives their commercial driver learner permit, they are required to hold it for at least 14 days to practice driving in the presence of a knowledgeable instructor. CDL training in AR is an easy way to get this experience.

Curriculum of Arkansas CDL Classes

Arkansas CDL school offers tailored curriculum to educate students on all areas of getting a commercial driver’s license. Programs are comprised of two parts: in-class instruction and behind-the-wheel instruction. Classes cover everything from basic vehicle handling to road laws.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

The AR CDL knowledge test is challenging but it is also the first step to getting behind the wheel. You have to pass the written test in order to receive your learner’s permit to gain some real driving experience. In-classroom instruction will fill you in on all the necessary knowledge for the test like street signs to be aware of, road hazards, safety procedures, road laws and more.

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

Behind-the-wheel instruction is important to practice your driving ability and hone your skills once you meet the physical requirements. You’ll be able to use your learner’s permit alongside an experienced instructor to prepare for the road skills test.

Because the test includes various maneuvers you’ll need to complete, it’s important to run through them beforehand. You’ll learn how to drive in urban areas, manage traffic, maneuver tight turns, shift gears and park your vehicle.

How long is CDL training in Arkansas?

The programs at most AR CDL schools lasts about four weeks, though it can vary slightly from place to place.

If you have limited time and availability during the week, then you will want to check the class offerings ahead of time. For instance, some schools offer only one option regarding days of the week and time of day while other locations may have weekend or night classes.

Schedule flexibility can be an important factor to consider when choosing the right CDL training for you.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in Arkansas

If you live in Arkansas, finding the best “trucking schools near me” isn’t too difficult. There are many excellent schools in the state, especially if you are in the Little Rock area. Take the time to research which one works best for you in regards to tuition costs, location and schedule.

Some of the schools you may be interested to look into are:

  • Diesel Driving Academy: Located in Little Rock, AR, this CDL school has been around since 1972, beginning with other locations but expanding to Arkansas in 2009. This accredited truck driving school is one of the largest privately-owned in the country which means that thousands of students have passed through and onto promising CDL jobs. They offer a four-week day program for qualifying students who are at least 21 years old.
  • C1 Truck Driver Training: Unlike some other technical schools that offer other non-commercial driving programs, this school only offers and specializes in CDLs. In one year alone, they trained almost one thousand drivers. Plus, they have a three-week truck driving school that’s a great fit for even the most inexperienced drivers.
  • Delta Tech Truck Driver Training: This school is located in Marked Tree, AR and has a 20-day CDL Training Course to help you pass the Arkansas CDL license exam. In the classroom, you will learn about air brakes, safe driving, combination vehicles, trip planning, log books and more. Weeks two to four are for driving skills like shift execution, extreme driving conditions, performing emergency maneuvers and pre-trip vehicle inspection.
  • Mid-America Truck Driving School: If you are looking for tuition reimbursement, consider this school which accepts private sector programs like Career Pathways, Dislocated Workers, GI Bill students and those who qualify for Arkansas Vocational Rehabilitation. This Arkansas CDL school also offers short-term loans to students who qualify.
  • Pine Bluff Truck Driving Schools: This school offers a three-week course for students who can attend six days a week. It’s a fast track to CDL success, from start to finish, beginning with the written CDL test and ending with the final AR CDL test. Students must be at least 21 years old, have an acceptable driving record, pass the DOT physical and drug screen and have a valid license and birth certificate to qualify. The school also has dorms on-site for students who need a place to stay throughout the duration.

Benefits of Completing Arkansas Truck Driving School

If you do choose to go to CDL school in Arkansas, you will enjoy many benefits like hands-on instruction and guidance, the ability to use a commercial vehicle to take your CDL test and job placement services, if they are offered.

Many schools help you find CDL jobs in AK when you graduate and have built long-standing relationships with potential employers through the years. In fact, some companies reach out to truck driving schools for recruitment.

CDL Training Costs in Arkansas

Some AK truck driving schools offer scholarships for free CDL training but, for the most part, students need to pay out-of-pocket or over time for their tuition expenses.

Prices are usually about $4,000 to $6,000. If you have an employer lined up, you can check to see if they offer company paid CDL training. This is a great option to learn what you need while also taking a first step into your new job.

How to Self-Prep for Arkansas CDL Exams

CDL prep is absolutely essential. The AK CDL handbook contains all of the information that will be in the written knowledge test needed to receive a learner’s permit. Consider taking a free CDL practice test so that you can get some experience before you take the real test.

While it is completely possible to study for the test on your own, a training course from an accredited CDL school will also cover all of the material you need to pass the test.

Last updated on Thursday, February 27 2020.