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A Quick Guide to Getting a Class A CDL

 

So you’ve made the decision to go to trucking school to get your class A CDL, and now you are trying to decide which one is the best fit for you. We wanted to help you with that, so here is a quick guide to the process at Diesel Driving Academy.

What It Takes to Get Into Diesel Driving Academy

Like any school, we have requirements you will need to meet before you are admitted as a student. For DDA, they include:

  • possession of a current driver’s license
  • your 21st birthday on or before the day you graduate from DDA
  • an acceptable driving record
  • passing your DOT physical and drug screenings
  • meeting the DOT qualifications for truck operators – find them here

What To Expect During School

Diesel Driving Academy’s CDL Prep Course is three weeks and 136 hours of intensive training in and out of the classroom. This is what your course list will look like in your time here:

  • Intro to Trucking – a brief introduction of what you will be studying, plus discussions about the trucking industry and DOT qualifications
  • Hours of Service/Log Book –  going through hours of service regulations, as well as the driver’s daily log and log books
  • Competency Development – studying competency areas for your test at DMV, including air brakes and combination vehicles
  • Backing Maneuvers – Basic procedures for operating vehicles and tractor-trailers
  • Vehicle Maneuvers – More advances procedures for operating vehicles and tractor trailers as well as shifting and driving vehicles
  • Vehicle Inspection – Methods and documentation for inspections

For a more detailed break-down of the program, including the amount of time you’ll spend in on the classroom and lab components, click here.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting started with our program, contact us today.

Earn Money to Drive: How to get a CDL in Arkansas

 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, truck driver jobs are one of the fastest growing professions not only in Arkansas, but the United States as a whole. The reason for this is the high demand for consumer goods in all fifty states. Manufactured goods and imports are hauled over the road in all fifty states. As a result of this demand for CDL drivers, accredited truck driver schools are enrolling new students at a rapid rate.

Commercial truck drivers earn a substantial income, usually in excess of $50,000 the first year. Most major carriers also offer medical, dental, and retirement benefits to drivers and their families. Some outfits even allow family trucking packages, which allow drivers to bring a spouse, children, and pets on trips. Partner driving between spouses is also encouraged at some companies.

You can’t just jump into a semi and start driving. A truck driving career begins with an education. This program will teach you the essentials of semi truck operation, pre-trip inspection, effective loading, and laws for truck drivers. Because trucks travel all over the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates safety and travel laws for semi trucks. This organization makes sure truck drivers are in compliance, no matter which state the truck is traveling in.

You might be wondering how to get a CDL in Arkansas. There are several steps you must complete:

-Be at least 18 years old with a valid Arkansas driver’s license. Drivers under 21 will be restricted to driving only within the state of Arkansas. Drivers over 21 will be permitted to travel across state lines.

-Provide proof of U.S. citizenship

Allowable documents include: Valid U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, Certificate of Naturalization

-Proof of Arkansas address including full name and address on document

-Driving record check going back 10 years

-$50 test fee

If this is the first CDL you have ever applied for, you will be issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit. Under a CLP, you will be required to pass a written test, ride with and drive under the supervision of a licensed commercial driver, then take a CDL test. The CDL test includes a pre-inspection test, a vehicle control test, and an on-road driving test. This will be easy to do if you have completed a training program with an accredited CDL preparation program.

Truck driving is a rewarding career. You get to travel the country, spend time with your family, and earn a substantial income. Call your local truck driving school to get enrolled in the next training class. Within a few weeks, you will have a new career.

Why Get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

 

When you think about a driver’s license, you might think about the standard driver’s license that gives you permission to operate your personal vehicle. However, for many, going to school to get a commercial driver’s license can be a great move. These are a few reasons why you might want to consider it.

Stay Out of a Stuffy Office

Who wants to be stuck in a stuffy office all day long, day in and day out? If you’ve got your commercial driver’s license, you won’t have to worry about sitting in a cubicle all day. Instead, you can be out and about as a part of your regular work schedule.

Explore

Depending on the type of gig that you look for when you get your commercial driver’s license, you might be able to experience new places as a truck driver. For example, many truckers drive across the country all the time or head into Canada or Mexico as a part of their jobs. It can be a great way to see things that you’ve never seen before and to really expand your horizons.

Open Up Tons of New Opportunities

Not being able to find a job can be tough. If you’ve got your commercial driver’s license, however, you can open up a ton of new opportunities for yourself. You can choose a job that requires you to simply drive around town, or you can look for a long-distance driving job. You can choose to work for a trucking company, or you can start your own business as an owner-operator. The opportunities are pretty much endless!

As you can probably see, there are many reasons why getting a commercial driver’s license can be a wonderful thing. If you’d like to find out more about going to school to get your CDLcontact us at Diesel Driving Academy today.

How to Get a CDL and Start Driving Commercially in Louisiana

 

 

The demand for commercial drivers in Louisiana offers ample career opportunities for anyone that enjoys driving the open road, and experience viewing the many sites and landmarks along the way. If driving commercially appeals to you, the starting point is becoming familiar with the process for obtaining a Louisiana CDL (Commercial Drivers License).

Louisiana requires CDL license for anyone that drives commercially. The CDL Class A license requirement applies when driving a vehicle with a gross weight more than 26,000 pounds that include a hind portion with a gross weight more than 10,000 pounds (for example, driving a tractor-trailer rig). The CDL Class B license is similar except that the hind portion has a gross weight under 10,000 pounds. CDL Class C licenses apply if the vehicle transports over 15 passengers, or hazardous waste/toxins and does not fit into the CDL Class A or B license categories.

The following steps outline the process required to obtain your Commercial Drivers License in Louisiana so you can start driving commercially!

1. Meet all prerequisite requirements including:

18 years old (to drive commercially within the state of Louisiana) or 21 years old to drive interstate.

Possess a Class D driver’s license (personal driver’s license) for over one year.

Pass a medical fitness exam that checks hearing, verifies no color blindness, verifies at least 20/40 vision (with glasses/contact lenses), and at least 70 degrees field of vision.

In addition have the following documentation ready:

Proof of Louisiana address (such as utility bill with your full name on it)

Proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, passport or certificate of naturalization

2. Register with a commercial driving school

Prepare for the Commercial Drivers License written exams needed to obtain your Commercial License Permit (CDP). While not required, driving school is highly recommended. Contact us to locate a Diesel Drivers Academy near you.

3. Pay CDL exam fees/forms

Present the prerequisite forms and medical exam forms listed above. Take the CDL permit written exams to obtain your CDP (Commercial Driving Permit). Select CDL endorsements (specialized licensing categories that include tank, passenger, and school bus endorsements) and pay fees at this time as well.

4. Practice Driving

Your CDP is valid for 180 days of driver training which avails time to study for the CDL knowledge test, CDL endorsement tests, and CDL driving skills test. CDP holders must practice driving only with someone who holds valid Commercial Drivers License (which is another reason enrolling in a commercial driving school is so important).

5. Take a three-part exam

When fully prepared, go to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles to take a three-part exam that includes a knowledge, endorsement and driving skills test as mentioned above.

After pass the exams, you can begin your commercial driving career!

Contact us today for more information on commercial driving school and preparation to obtain a Louisiana Commercial Drivers License!

Diesel Driving Academy Celebrates 45 Years of Success!

 

An Anniversary Message from DDA

Exactly four and a half decades ago we opened the doors of Diesel Driving Academy, and since then we have helped thousands of men and women begin their new careers as professional truck drivers.

Since the beginning, our goal was to provide students with the skills and endorsements major transportation companies are looking for in their drivers.

The focus of our CDL training programs has always included intensive classroom instruction, maneuvering and driver training, and on-the-road experience.

We have strived to establish ourselves as a leader in truck driver training, and continually update our driver training programs to grow and change with the trucking industry.

We Can’t Thank You Enough

To our staff members and instructors: Thank you. Thank you for meeting with prospective students, encouraging them, and telling each of them about our strengths and our driver training programs. Thank you for sharing your many years of experience in the trucking industry, and continually networking and sharing job listings so that our students and graduates are able to make connections and launch their new careers.

To each of our many students and graduates: Thank you for trusting us to help you take the first steps in your trucking career! Each one of you has been an essential part of our great success story, and we can’t thank you enough for that.

You have all been a very big part of our extended family and you are instrumental to our success as a school. We hope to see you back on campus soon!

We are also thankful to each of the communities we have been – and are – a part of. We look forward to future generations who will be part of the institution’s continued growth. Again, congratulations to all!

Looking Backward as We Look Ahead

As we look back on the past 45 years, we are filled with many emotions. We are proud of the past 4+ decades well spent being dedicated to making good basic drivers of the men and women who wish to make a career in this field.

And remember: when you can drive a truck, you’ve got a job, my friend!

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos for our anniversary video. We had a great time reminiscing! if you didn’t get a chance to submit photos from your time at DDA, feel free to post and share your story on our Facebook page!

Road Maps: A Necessity for any Professional Trucker

 

Why We’re Celebrating “National ‘Read a Road Map’ Day!”

image of a caucasian male truck driver standing in front of a shiny red tractor against a blue sky with whispy cloudsThese days, professional truck drivers have many highly advanced pieces of technology at their disposal. Of course, they have access to GPS technology, which is one of the most commonly used technologies for many drivers. Truckers also have cell phones with which they can contact their dispatcher and request guidance.

GPS and cell phones have changed the way truckers operate. However, some things have remained the same. A good, reliable road map is still an absolute necessity for any professional trucker. GPS devices and cell phones may break or run out of battery power, but road maps will not.

Read below to see why, on April 5th, we are celebrating this obscure day know as “National ‘Read a Road Map’ Day!”

Road maps are reliable

One of the main advantages of road maps is that they don’t break or run out of power. These problems commonly affect GPS devices and cell phones. Many truckers carry chargers for their devices, but these chargers are easy to forget. A trucker that has a cell phone with a dead battery and no charger is in big trouble if they don’t have a paper road map. Such situations are why every professional trucker should have a comprehensive set of road maps with them at all times.

Road maps are easy to read

GPS devices and cell phones can be difficult to read. Sometimes the screens are too dim, or they reflect too much sunlight. Paper road maps don’t present this problem. They are always easy to read. Also, paper maps are much bigger than the screens on cell phones or GPS devices.

Good road maps are waterproof

Professional truckers can, and should, buy waterproofed paper maps. These maps are usually laminated for protection against the elements. Electronic devices are very susceptible to water, but laminated maps are not. Such maps can be incredibly important if the truck breaks down in a rainstorm, which many truckers will tell you happens fairly often. Rand McNally even prints maps specific for motor carriers with updated restricted routes, low clearance, and weigh station locations.

At Diesel Driving Academy, we pride ourselves on our service, and know that the right training makes all the difference in your success as a truck driver. Enroll in any of our CDL training programs, and you’ll get trip-planning knowledge from instructors with miles of experience!

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of road maps, and other fundamentals of trucking, contact us today to learn more!

Retiring Truck Drivers Means More Jobs in the ArkLaTex

 

image of the American Trucking Association (ATA) logoAccording to the American Trucking Association, for-hire trucking companies had about 50,000 fewer drivers in 2015. The shortage continued in 2016 and the ATA expects this trend to continue for years to come. Truck drivers across the nation are retiring or shying away from the profession because of the demands of the job.

A recent story by KTBS3 shows why truckers quitting means more jobs in the ArkLaTex.

“There is a population of workers that will tell you their job is to move the world. We’re talking about truckers and a number of these “world movers” across the nation are calling it quits. That means there are lots of jobs up for grabs right here in the ArkLaTex.

In our great country people don’t realize everything is moved by trucks and because of that truckers are really needed,” said 62-year-old truck driver Alonzo Brown.

At Diesel Driving Academy, we offer different CDL programs to suit individuals at various skill levels. Our school also partners with trucking companies that send recruiters in to meet with students, and most students accept a job offer even before graduation.

DDA student Alvin Breedlove has already signed up to get in on the available jobs and live the dream of moving America.

“I’ve never been out of the state of Louisiana so I wanted to travel a little bit and see what it feels like to actually get around and see nicer things because it’s a beautiful world,” said Breedlove.

We also have Financial Aid assistance programs to help cover training costs. New drivers who want to travel and are willing to put in the work will likely have a job after completing about 20 weeks of training.


Article reposted with permission from Devon Patton, Anchor KTBS3
Read the full story at KTBS.com – Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Women on the Road: Safety Tips & Tricks for Female Truckers

 

photo of a caucasian female truck driver sitting in the driver seat of her red semi truck, smiling towards the camera.

It’s exciting to be a female trucker! The freedom, your favorite music, getting the job done well- there are plenty of perks to being a woman on the open road, but there are also precautions to take to ensure your safety. Check out these tips:

Be aware of your surroundings

Keep your head up and don’t stare at your phone. When walking to your truck, be sure to walk around the end of the parking spaces, instead of walking between trucks. If you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to ask an employee at the rest stop to walk you to your truck. If someone walks up to your truck window while you’re sitting in the parking lot, wave them on. Consider taking a self-defense class to keep yourself safe. Walking through parking lots at night can be scary, and it’s important to know that you’re physically capable of fighting off someone who tries to bother you. Many community centers offer these classes for free. If it’s legal in the states you drive through, carry pepper spray and learn how to use it properly.

Woman’s Best Friend

Do you drive for a pet-friendly carrier? Consider rescuing or adopting a dog! When walking your canine companion, be sure to do so in well-lit areas. In addition, a reflective vest for both you and your furry friend helps you remain visible to drivers. Lastly, be sure to keep plenty of water in your truck for both you and Fido.

Nighttime

When it’s time to sleep, be sure the doors are locked. Go the extra mile to secure your doors by using a ratchet strap or looping the seatbelt through the door handle. Keep an airhorn nearby so that you can alert others if someone is trying to open your door. Your CB radio makes you easy to track when you’re parked- for this reason, don’t use your radio unless you’re moving. Lastly, if you break down at night, put our your triangles and then get back in your truck, and lock the doors until help arrives.

Being a female trucker has some unique challenges, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Stay safe!

Going through CDL training gives students the skills, knowledge, experience and confidence needed to be successful in their new careers. Let Diesel Driving Academy show you firsthand what it takes to be a reliable and safe truck driver! Contact your local DDA campus today for more information. 

Source:
http://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-9072/Page-1/safety-tips-for-women-truckers
http://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/Article-38/safety-on-the-road

Changing Gears: Becoming a Truck Driver Later in Life

 
For this article, we welcome guest blogger Joe G. to our site. We asked Joe to write for us because of his unique experience getting into the truck driving industry. For those considering a trucking career “later in life,” we hope you enjoy! ~ DDA

photo of a red semi tractor truck with a clean white cargo container trailer against a simple colorful background of trees and blue sky

When I was a kid, we would head out to a popular local truck stop after Friday night football games. They had great food, and we were always ready to eat a lot. I especially enjoyed the time there at Kelly’s because of the drivers who were always there, stopping to eat and refuel as they crossed the country time and again.

The Modern Knights

For me, these guys were like the knights of old, riding on their armor-clad steeds. Okay, so it’s not the same, but for more than 50 years since I would be driving down the interstate and checking out the many different trucks and slogans they would have painted on. More than once I got left in daydreaming about what it would be like to be in a different part of the country every day, living out of a great setup in one of the modern cabs. I even picked up trucking magazines every once in a while at the major fuel stops.

When I finally retired, I really didn’t need to work or do anything to earn income. In fact, the wife and I looked at a number of RVs to buy. I saw that as a way to finally address my wanderlust. However, I got to be good friends with a truck driver in our church – 10 years older and well past retirement age. When he talked about his love of trucking he made it clear he wasn’t going to stop driving until he physically couldn’t. He also kept telling me there was a real need for older truckers and even for team drivers.

Getting Paid to Fulfill My Dream

One day I stopped in at a local CDL school just off the interstate. Before I knew it, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my wife and going over the brochures and discussing the opportunity. I shared that we could:

  • Drive together as a team
  • Get trained and receive our CDL in just a few months
  • Drive someone else’s rig to see how we liked it, and then invest in our own specialized truck if we like it
  • Choose the type of loads we wanted to carry, what kind of routes we wanted to drive, and pretty much design our own trucking career
  • Eventually travel to all the places and sights we were planning to visit anyway

We agreed right then that this was worth checking out, and our journey began. I spent a few weeks checking out things like insurance, driver benefits, and types of commercial trucking we could consider. I was pleased to consider that we would be enjoying our form of retirement while adding to our nest egg, not drawing it down. So, we made the leap and signed up.

While we were going through training we met some couples who were a bit younger than us, but just as excited. One guy had decided he was through traveling in his sales job by himself, and another prospective driver was the victim of downsizing in the energy business. Of course, there were other individual students – from young guys just out of the military to some others looking to increase their income. There was even one kid that reminded me of those early days – he just thought he’d rather see the country than sit in a classroom.

We have just put the first 10,000 miles in our log books, and Sheila already has 35 magnets in her cities and states collection. We think it’s going to be great – even if I only imagine myself being Sir Lancelot.

Whether you are just starting out, or are changing careers later in life, if truck driving is something you’ve wanted to do for years, go for it! Why not have an adventure? Contact your local DDA campus for details on our CDL training courses, financial assistance, and job placement programs.

How much will My CDL Training Cost?

 

CDL Training Programs to Keep You on Budget

picture of Diesel Driving Academy training truck parked on the road with a sunny blue sky in the background

Diesel Driving Academy offers students the options of three driver training programs to choose from. Each of these programs are “career oriented” and prepare students for a driving career in a short period of time.

Tuitions costs vary by program, and your out-of-pocket costs will depend on what types of financial assistance you qualify for. Our goal is to offer quality truck driver courses at an affordable cost to students.

Training Program Costs

Advanced Tractor Trailer – This program is taught four days per week (20 weeks), or five evenings per week (30 weeks), and is offered at three campus locations: Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Little Rock. Tuition for this program is $10,700

Basic Tractor Trailer – This driver training program is offered at all four campus locations: Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Little Rock, and West Monroe. This course lasts 4 weeks for day classes and 8 weeks for night classes. Tuition is $5,900.

CDL Prep Tractor Trailer – This training program is 3 weeks, or 136 clock hours. Tuition is $4,900.

What’s covered in Tuition?

Tuition costs include the registration fee of $100. Tuition also includes:

All Training Materials. Students are not required to purchase any additional supplies, books, or tools other than their DOT Physical Examination and Commercial Drivers License (CDL).

Intensive Classroom Instruction: in-class hours cover standards, qualifications, regulations, logging, ICC Safety Regulations and preventive maintenance.

Maneuvering and Driver Training: docking, blindside parking, offset alleys, parallel parking, cornering and many other maneuvering techniques, basic hookup and preventative maintenance and pre-trip inspection.

Road Driving: hands-on training in the driver’s seat.

Financial Assistance is Available!

Financial aid helps pay for some or most of your tuition costs, and is available to students who qualify. Different financial aid comes in the form of government loans, grants, and personal loans. Additionally, there are financing options available to you through DDA. Many students use a combination of methods to cover the training costs including their own personal resources.

Whether you are just starting, changing, or advancing your career, getting your CDL license at DDA will help you earn positions with top companies offering great pay and competitive benefits.

Now that you are ready to take the next step as a truck driver, contact us to get started on your path to driving freedom. After all, there is no better time than right now to start work towards your new career!


Sources
dda.edu/catalogs/shpt.pdf
dda.edu/catalogs/br.pdf
dda.edu/catalogs/lr.pdf

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