Commercial Driver Education in Delaware
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Operating a commercial motor vehicle is a huge responsibility. The vehicles you'll operate are large, heavy, and carrying cargo. There is a lot to learn about the equipment, driving skills, traffic rules, federal laws, and safety.
The minimum training requirement you must meet, at both the state and federal levels, is not measured in classroom hours or driving time. Your training is measured by passing the written and road tests. However, some longer-combination-vehicle (LCV) drivers must receive training in driver wellness, driver qualifications, hours of service, and whistleblower protection.
Delaware has a unique and effective multi-step CDL licensing process. When you apply for a CDL you will need to pass the eye exam and the written tests and road skills test.
Commercial Driver's Manual
The Commercial Driver's Manual is a comprehensive and critical resource for you. All you need to know to pass the written exam is inside the manual.
You can expect to spend a lot of time reading the manual and practicing your driving based on what you read. There are helpful diagrams and driving examples. With so much to learn about driving a commercial motor vehicle, the Commercial Driver's Manual will be your primary resource.
You will want to download the manual, or visit a DMV office to get your own copy for study and reference.
The manual is broken out into three major sections with chapters in each section that deal specifically with certain CDL and CMV topics.
The state and federal agencies don't require you to have any formal commercial drivers training. However, most drivers enroll in a course to provide them with valuable practice and learning.
There is a lot to know and your own background will determine any specific learning needs you have. For example, if you have experience in mechanics but no actual Class A driving, then you'll need more training in the truck and less training on the equipment mechanics.
Driver training courses bring perspective and organization to the learning process. Another great benefit of drivers training is the classroom experience. Learning along side other CDL applicants can enrich your own understanding of the material.
Because you cannot prepare too much, consider self-study before sitting for the CDL exam. Of course you'll use the Commercial Driver's Manual as your primary learning source, but other programs are out there that can enhance your learning experience.
Self-study also has the advantage of learning at your pace. You are able to follow a structured program but at a pace that matches your learning style and schedule.
Applying for your CDL, passing the written exam, and practicing for the road skills test will be time consuming. However, if you are using the CDL to earn a living you will make the time; some employers support CDL learners with tuition reimbursement or driving practice.