If you’re considering becoming a truck driver as your career choice, you are choosing to work in one of the most important industries in the country. The transport and movement of goods across the country is what makes the country function.
Before you can embark upon this venture, you’re going to need some certification that proves that you’re qualified to be a truck driver. The Commercial Driver’s License training or CDL training will get you a Commercial Driver’s License that you will need if you are to become a truck driver commercially.
What is CDL training?
To become a truck driver that can carry a trailer and transports goods across state lines, you are going to need a class A Commercial Driver’s License. You can prepare to obtain your CDL by enrolling in schools for Truck Drivers.
You will be put through a course that will equip you with all the knowledge and training that you require to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. Truck driving schools can help you get one in about a month. Once you get your Commercial Driver’s License, you are ready to look for your next employer.
What kind of CDL would you need?
In April of 1992, a law was put into effect that stated that all those who wished to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle must be in possession of a Commercial Driver’s License. Drivers of such heavy vehicles need a lot more skills than those who drive cars or normal light motor vehicles.
When do you need a Class A Commercial Driver’s License?
You will need a Class A Commercial Driver’s License to drive multiple vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,0001 pounds. Here, the GVWR of what is being towed must also be above 10,000 pounds. Usually, tractor-trailers that cover large distances need Class A Commercial Driver’s Licenses.
When do you need a Class B Commercial Driver’s License?
You will need a Class B Commercial Driver’s License to drive single vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,0001 pounds. Garbage disposal trucks, city buses, delivery trucks, tow trucks, and so on will require the Class B Commercial Driver’s License.
How long does CDL training take?
As a general rule, CDL training can be completed within one month. Within this period, before graduation, you will be given actual field experience by getting to drive a truck while also being given theoretical education in the classroom. This will give you an all-around perspective of the job.
What does CDL training cost?
Commercial Driver’s License training is not the cheapest course to take. It is a short course, but since it sets you up with a job for a long period, it will set you back a bit.
A Commercial Driver’s License training program can cost you anywhere between $3000 and $7000. Obviously, choosing to attend a private CDL training program will cost you a lot more than the above-mentioned figure.
Now definitely, this might not be money that’s accessible to all that choose to become Commercial Drivers. It may sound a little steep at first, but there are actually ways for you to take up this course while having it paid for. What are those ways?
- Look for a paid CDL training program
For those that are looking to get into the trucking industry, the best idea is to look for a paid CDL training program. There are a lot of companies that offer the CDL training program, and once you pass, you are offered a job.
You will obviously be asked to sign a contract stating that you will work with that company once your course is done, but a fixed job isn’t a bad deal, is it? In these cases, there’ll be nothing or next to nothing that you will actually have to shell out yourself for the course.
Most companies will give you a job almost as soon as you finish your training. A job that is waiting for you after your training is a good thing. It’s definitely better than finishing your training with no job and being in debt of upwards of thousands of dollars. This is a good way to start in this industry.
- Try to get financial assistance
Getting help from a financial standpoint isn’t restricted only to college students. If you’re looking to become a Commercial Motor Vehicle driver, you’re going to need your Commercial Driver’s License. This makes you eligible to apply for financial aid.
When you find a CDL training school, enquire about the scholarships, financial benefits, and grants that they have to offer students. If you are eligible for any of these, your cost comes down drastically. Always go through their list and see if you are eligible for any of them.
Financial aid for your CDL training program could have you completely covered without the constant threat of repayment hanging over you. Some of the options you could look at are:
- Government Grants
- Privatized Grants
- Veteran’s Affairs Education Benefits
- Get some Financing
Financing is an option to consider but only do so if you’re completely sure that you will pursue a career in Commercial Driving after you obtain your Commercial Driver’s License. You also need to be sure that you don’t default on any payments and are meticulous with paying back.
If you consider an in-house finance option, you will most probably be admitted even if you have a bad credit score or even no credit at all. It can get you started with your education, but it doesn’t guarantee you a job at the end of the CDL training program.
It’s more prudent to consider financing as an option once you get a job lined up for you. If you have a confirmed job waiting for you once you get your CDL, financing is fine. Otherwise, you’re going to end up in debt and with no job to make your payments.
What are some of the companies that will offer you a paid CDL training program?
There are trucking companies that are looking to get new employees on board. These companies will be willing to put you through the CDL course, provided you work for them upon completion. A paid-for course with a job waiting for you at the end. That’s what these companies have to offer:
- CRST Trucking School
- C.R. England CDL School
- Knight Transportation
- Prime Trucking School and Prime Trucking Company
- KLLM Trucking School and Company
- FFE Trucking
- Roehl Transport
- Schneider Trucking School and Company
- Swift Transportation
- Maverick Transportation
- Stevens Transport
- Werner Enterprises
- USA Truck
- Carter Express
- Pam Transport
- XPO Logistics
Get in touch with these companies and find out what they’re looking for. If you think you fit the profile, go ahead and get enrolled.
A Commercial Driver’s License training is absolutely crucial if you want to become a truck driver. You will be asked for this certification no matter where you go looking for a job. It’s always best to keep it with you when you’re looking for a job. It’s going to be your qualification always.
If you aren’t financially able to afford a course yet, go through the other options. There are ways to finance your CDL training. Hopefully, this article helped you understand what you need to get your career started.