Commercial Driver Education in Pennsylvania
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Even though Pennsylvania does not require a specific number of hours of training for its commercial driver's license (CDL) applicants, it does stringently adhere to all federal regulations stipulated in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The act was designed to filter out unqualified drivers by establishing a set of national standards ranging from special endorsements to license testing.
The bottom line with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is that you must pass your CDL exams. Your employer might provide training to help you achieve this; alternatively, there are plenty of private trucking schools you can enroll in.
Though formal training isn't mandatory, it's recommended. It takes a lot more to safely and professionally operate a commercial vehicle on the highways than it does to pass the licensing tests (though you're unlikely to pass without the right education).
Depending on which course you enroll in, classes generally range from two to eight weeks. You can find a list of local commercial or truck driving schools in any Pennsylvania phone book or on the Internet.
Pennsylvania's Commercial Driver's Manual also rates as an invaluable education source. Everything you will need to know for passing the knowledge (written) exams is contained in this manual, which is free. If you'd rather have a paper copy, you can get one from any Driver and Vehicle Service Center located throughout the state.
For more information about commercial driver education, contact PennDOT at 1-800-932-4600 or through the mail at:
- CDL Unit
- P.O. Box 68679
- Harrisburg, PA 17106-8679
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