CDL Home Study Courses and
Online CDL Training

It's been softly spoken like a rumor. You don't have to go to school to get your CDL's. So, naturally every now and then I get the question to seek verification of what inquiring minds new to the game have heard...."Can you get your CDL's without going to truck driving school? I heard you can take a CDL home study course or get online training."

It's not a rumor. Yes you can avoid the trucking schools to get your CDLs by taking a home study course or online Training or simply getting a copy of the study manual from your local DMV, but there are some issues with getting your CDLs that way that you will have to be prepared to overcome. 

Benefits of Home Study

Remember you can likely go to the DMV and get a commercial driver's license hand book and get the drivers regulations book or do a search for your state's handbook online.

  • A lot cheaper (free if you go to the DMV and study the book yourself)
  • Can see a birds eye view of maneuvers (with proper video)
  • Can take as long as you want on material
  • Can pause or slow down video if needed (and if video is used)

Biggest challenge from online courses

Remember first and foremost, we are talking exam and permit at this stage of the game.  You can't take a driving test online or at home!

  • You still need a truck for the driving portion
  • Find a trucking job that find that method suitable
  • Getting good quality coursework (if you choose to pay for materials)

In most cases the biggest challenge from getting your CDL Class A's in this way will be finding someone to let you use/rent their tractor trailer to take CDL driving test. There are some training schools and small trucking operations that will rent a tractor out to you but not a huge number so it might be hard to find, especially if you don't live in a large city.

After conquering that task, your next challenge will be finding a trucking company who will hire you without going to a trucking school for training, unless your trainer has some sort of credentials to show for the training program.

However there are some drivers who go this route and do just fine. Just be advised of the challenges.

Back in the day there wasn't trucking schools or online trucking tools. The Old timers learned truck driving on the job in many cases but most often from their loved ones or respectable company owners or friends of the family. There were few people who offer services to train you.

This is NOT back in the day.  Things change. (Wish people would absorb that.  Not talking about you, people in general about things in general, lol.  Like factory jobs being replaced by automation and such, I digress...)

Make sure you do your investigations on their services because as you should know, for many, their main interest is in getting paid, not making sure you receive proper training for a successful and safe career.

Of course there are some good ones out their who actually have a passion for teaching others their skills in hopes of you learning the best and leading a great career but don't assume everyone you meet has that mindset, check them out, ask for references and then check them out again.

CDL Permit Training and Knowledge Based Videos

Getting familiar with subject matter of CDL test and training terms with these knowledge based videos and resources that will orientate you to what you'll need to learn to pass your test to get your CDL permit for the big rig road test.

These are some old free videos but very useful when you are tired of reading and need to do something else like clean.  Listen while you do something else.

You'll find CDL training courses on line and even simulated driving computer. Most states don't actually required drivers to go to physical truck driving schools to get the CDL training that I know of.

I dare say that most people will probably do better attending a physical trucking training facility though.  I know I would but as they say, "different strokes for different folks"


New! Comments

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CDL Training


The best route to your CDL depends on your situation.

If there is a community college near you, it may be your best choice.

However, there are many good private schools programs too. Some people will have no choice but attending trucking company training and many of those are good too. Some questions to ask...

  • How long will you have to drive for them to pay off the training?
  • What is the penalty for breaking contract? (If possible, don't break the contract.)
  • How many hours behind the wheel drive time
  • What expenses are you responsible for during training?
  • How much is pay after getting your CDL? Some pay is a set amount and some pay mileage. You just need to know what to expect.

    I just think it is important because most drivers assume they will be getting a regular trucker's salary. Often not true.

Types of Trucking Jobs

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