How to Choose a Commercial Driver Education Program

Date posted: 08/03/2012

by Kat Saks on
in Education & Training

3033 How to Choose a Commercial Driver Education Program

Ready to get behind the wheel of a big truck or tractor trailer? Whether you’re in it for the long haul or just putting on your trucker hat for a short stint, you’ll need a commercial drivers license (CDL) in order to drive a commercial truck.

Requirements for obtaining a CDL vary by state, but all states require you to pass a written test as well as a three-part skills test. With such extensive testing on the road ahead, you’ll want to study up. A commercial driver education program can help you prepare to pass your CDL test and get on the road.

Chances are, you’ll find a number of commercial truck driving schools available in your area.

How do you choose the right one for you? Follow these few tips to help you pick the right program for your needs.

Cover Your Bases: Choose a Well-Rounded CDL Driver Education Course

The commercial drivers license exam will test your knowledge of a vast number of trucking issues including, but not limited to:

  • General commercial vehicle education such as the essential features and necessary maintenance of trucks.
  • Basic and advanced truck driving operation and hands-on skills.
  • Truck driving theory.
  • Trucking safety.

To fully prepare for your exam, consider choosing a robust truck driving school that covers your bases. Keep in mind that most commercial driver education programs consist of 150 to 200 hours of study, including both in-class time and time behind the wheel.

In-Person or Online Commercial Driver Education

A complete commercial driving education usually includes both in-person training behind the wheel of a tractor trailer as well as classroom time.

If you’re new to trucking, you’ll need to learn how to operate a commercial truck, so choose a program that includes a solid amount of truck driving practice.

If you’re a seasoned trucker already, an online commercial driving education program may be right up your alley to help you refresh your knowledge before renewing a CDL.

Get Street Cred: Choose a Respected Trucking School

Most likely, you’ll find a number of truck driving schools in your area. If you plan on investing the time and energy necessary to complete a commercial drivers training program, consider enrolling in a course that is recognized by all major professional truck driving organizations. Then, you’ll be all the more prepared to find gainful employment once you receive your CDL.

Take CDL Practice Tests

In addition to attending a commercial driving school, consider taking a few commercial driving practice tests online. These tests cover topics that may appear on the written portion of your commercial drivers license exam.

After completing your commercial driving education, you’ll be ready to pass your actual commercial drivers license exam with flying colors.

Do you have a commercial driver’s license? Tell us what matters to you in a commercial driver education program.

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About Kat Saks

Kat Saks is a Denver-based writer and yoga teacher. She is also Firefly Partners' Client Solutions Manager. She blogs for and shouts safe-driving tips to teens while driving the city streets. More articles by Kat Saks

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