CDL A Training can come in many forms from free company sponsored programs to expensive truck driving schools like the one I went to. In between cost is community college which for many will be a great option.
Question: Which is the best way of getting your CDL?
Answer: There is no 1 best way for getting your CDL. The best way depends on your specific situation and needs. Below you will read about what you need to consider and the CDL options to choose from.
I was anxious and ready to start trucking and I understood that my choice was not the cheapest route, but I saw a commercial on television and called. The class had just started and the next day, (with a lot of talking...) I was able to work my way in .
I choose this option because when I decided to go, I could start immediately. Community college didn't start for months! Free Company Sponsored programs didn't start as fast either. So when they let me in, I didn't care about the cost. BUT i also didn't know all of the details I'm about to share with you about the differences either!
My advice you, read about the differences below to chose the best training option based on your situation and trucking job desired. You'll read some advantages and disadvantages of taking each route.
Let's go over some terms and options for obtaining your CDL. Afterwards we will go into more detail about the training options.
Accredited Trucking Schools - These are schools whose programs are evaluated for educational standards by government authorized organizations or agencies.
Community colleges that offer truck driver training should be accredited. There is a database kept of accredited training institutions and you can look up the school your considering here
List of accredited schools with CDL Training
PTDI - Professional Truck Driving Insititue. This is not a trucking school. This is an organization that evaluates trucking schools training programs for quality and safety.
If the training program for commercial drivers license passes they certify that truck driving school.
Community colleges can also be PTDI certified in addition to accredited. For more information
about PTDI certification visit them.
Certified Trucking Schools - This means that the truck driving schools has meet the criteria to be certified by PTDI. These are often your stand alone a.k.a. private a.k.a. 3rd Party truck driving schools. You can see if the trucking school you are interested in
Community College CDL Training
- Many of your neighborhood community colleges now provide truck driver training
for obtaining your CDL. It should be an accredited school to insure you get the best training. See advantages and disadvantages at the link.
Free CDL Training - This means that the company will train you without you having to seek financial aid or paying out of pocket. It's free with conditions and terms that apply. So it's not always free and it's not for everyone. See more details and Company Sponsored CDL training which is just another name for free CDL A Training.
Company sponsored CDL Training - Company Sponsored Training is the same as Free CDL Training. The names are used interchangeably.
Private Truck Driving Schools for CDL Training - This means it is not a state school or community college. Some could have affiliation with a number of trucking companies which you could choose from. Usually they specialize in only truck driver training and allow you to go to any trucking company of your choice. Some may also train heavy equipment operators or haulers.
Private truck driving school is often the most expensive CDL training but in most cases the quickest way to a Class A.
Check out the school you're thinking of attending for specific details. And read their reviews
Note: These days, some private truck driving schools also provide training for specific companies. You might be able to choose from several companies to work for upon completion.
Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages at the title link for Truck Driving Schools
Online CDL Course - There are online CDL courses designed to help you pass the CDL Exam. You can get your permit but you still have to find a truck to use to take the driving portion. This might be cheaper out of the pocket but it is not for everyone. Takes discipline and knowing someone with a truck for driving just like studying the book from the DMV and getting your permit. The link takes you to a video that demonstrates
Home Study Course - There are internet home CDL home study courses and such available to help you study to get your commercial driver's license. You can just as well get the CDL handbook from your local DMV and study it yourself, but some people like official programs I suppose.
Also with some of these programs 1 benefit would be documentation stating you have passed test pertaining to the information. This may be useful to show to prospective company that will hire you or not. I am not sure. You could call them and ask.
Do it Your Self - This is you getting the CDL Book from the DMV
For both of these alternative methods you will need a tractor trailer to practice driving with. If you know someone in with a truck and trailer good for you. If not, that could be a challenge for the do it yourselfers.
Other options for getting a truck to use, may be to hire someone to take you out on a tractor trailer and allow you to test with it. The next obstacle will be to find a company to hire you after getting your CDLs this way.
Many will say their insurance requires the drivers they license have gone to truck driving school. Call around to the companies your interested in and see if they will hire you if your are considering getting your CDL at home.
You may have to get experience some where else first and then go to that company. This is ok for some but for others, it is a lot to take in without a structured learning environment with instructors experienced in teaching.
However, back in the day, there were no truck driving schools. Of course this is not back in the day.
Choices, choices, choices.
One of the best choices to get your CDL in my opinion? Community college to get your CDL. But that is your decision based on your situation.
Do you have more questions or comments about the material on this page? Ask your questions. Please keep it on topic of this page. If you have a question that doesn't relate to this page, go to the correct page or the main ask a trucker page.
Do not capitalize all of your letters. It will be deleted.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
To drive a large dump truck and pull a trailer which class CDL is required?
I am trying to verify which class, A or B is required to drive a super dump truck and pull my skid steer behind it on a trailer?
Comparison between Roehl vs Maverick vs Prime/wiltras
Just would like to know your opinion on which one of these companies would be the best one to go with pros and cons between Maverick, Roehl and Prime. …
what license do i need to drive a city bus or school bus
what do i need to drive a city or school bus
Want to do my road test in a automatic.
I went to school did my 180 hours passed my pre-trip and all 3 of my Maneuvers and failed my road test. I'm not comfortable with changing gears at all …
Any Free Cdl training for felons
I have a felony is their anywhere I can go to school for free
Where to Start to Get a Trucking Job Not rated yet
This is the place to start if you are interesting in a career in trucking. WWW.Lifeasatrucker.com suggests that you decide how you will get your CDL …
I need a prehire letter. Not rated yet
hello my name is lester williams im in process of retrieving prehire letter where I can receive grant threw safer foundation to go to truck driving school …
Need a mentor in Palm Beach for CDL B dump truck. Not rated yet
Looking for a truck driving mentor to rent his dump truck for PTI and backing practice for me to take my final test.
Finalize CDL B test the most cost effective way. Not rated yet
I initially got my CDL A permit and DOT medical card from Georgia because the company I wanted to work for would not hire out of Florida. I now realize …
Class B truck rental for testing. Not rated yet
Initially I was going to work for a trucking company who would not hire me out of Florida so because I also have property in Georgia I got my CDL A permit …
I have my class a permit and current. Physical I would like to take my CDL test at the DMV but I need a vehicle to do so Not rated yet
I would like to know your prices for what it would cost to rent a tractor-trailer to take my DMV test and are you anywhere located near Modesto California …
Need more driving time before my test in wareham Mass Not rated yet
I need more time on the road behind the wheel before my test on Tuesday