Enrolling in a CDL Training program can be a great way to jump start your commercial driving career and get you some valuable experience behind the wheel and around commercial vehicles.
What is a CDL Training Course?
A CDL Training Course is designed to prepare you for all your CDL test requirements, make you a safer and more knowledgeable CDL driver, and get you a job shortly after you’ve been licensed.
All CDL training courses will include a classroom and practical/skills portion.
During the classroom portion, you’ll prepare for your CDL general knowledge test and any other CDL endorsement tests you plan to take.
Once you get your Commercial Learner’s Permit, your training will continue with a practical and skills component that will teach you how to operate, inspect, and control a commercial vehicle.
Many CDL training programs will also provide your vehicle for the skills test or be authorized to administer the testing themselves.
Types of CDL Training Programs
There are a few different types of CDL training programs. These include:
- Out-of-pocket CDL Training: This type of CDL training is paid for by you. The benefit being you’ll have flexibility in where you want to work after you’ve completed your training.
- Company/Employer Sponsored CDL Training: This type of CDL training is either paid for or reimbursed by a trucking company. The company will sponsor you to go to school in exchange for a job-contract upon your licensing. Some companies will have their own training programs, while others will outsource training with other providers.
- Paid CDL Training: Paid CDL training is when the company pays you a stipend in addition to paying for your CDL course. Paid training will also come with an employment contract upon completion.
Upon completion of a company sponsored or company paid CDL training program, you’ll typically enter a probationary or on-the-road training period, where you’ll begin working along with a driver trainer who will help you to continue to build your commercial driving skills and teach you about certain company procedures and processes.
CDL Training Requirements
Enrollment in a CDL training course typically carries similar requirements to CDL general eligibility requirements. Specific requirements and training structure will vary by company and provide, but will likely include the following:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Hold a valid driver’s license.
- Be a U.S. Citizen.
- Have a clean driving record.
- Pass a DOT medical examination and drug test.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Have good employment history.
- Commit to an employment contract with the sponsor truck company for a specific amount of time.