The trucking industry is one that always seems to have a large number of high paying jobs available, and it’s not hard to see why. Driving a semi truck takes a lot of skill, solid nerves, and a willingness to tackle long hours to get a load from Point A to Point B. Truckers make good money, and they earn every cent of it. Currently there is a huge shortage of qualified truck drivers, which is why there has been so much advertising by local truck driving schools. There are literally tens of thousands of open jobs out there for professional truckers that absolutely need to be filled, and the first step to getting one of those jobs for yourself is getting your Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
Just What Is a CDL?
CDL is the commonly used shorthand for Commercial Drivers License and the CDL is the absolute base license needed in order to drive a large commercial truck. Obviously any individual looking for their CDL first needs to have a regular driver’s license, but then the next step to any type of professional growth in trucking is looking for a truck driving school.
Truck driving schools or courses are certified to give you the training you need in order to acquire your CDL. The exact length of the course varies depending on the school you’re attending. Some are finished in as little as 4 weeks of intense training while some may take as many as 9 weeks. Most CDL courses fall within this range, but once again that all depends on the actual truck driving course that you are taking.
Finding a Truck Driving School
In some areas there is a local community college that has a truck driving school. There are also many places where a technical college might have a truck driving school attached. If there is a local school that has a stellar reputation, then that makes the search relatively easy. If that isn’t the case then one of the best steps is to jump online and type in “truck driving school” or “Getting my CDL” into Google. If the results are localized (most people’s Google results are locally based), you should quickly see what the best options in your area are.
Look through the various options that are available and see who is offering classes. Don’t be afraid to contact these schools and follow up with them to see how they react to you. You want to make sure that you’re dealing with the best option for your schedule and your needs. You want your CDL, and you want the school that is going to give you the support you need to get it.
Truck Driving School
When it comes to truck driving schools, all of them might be able to offer you a CDL but there’s no question that some schools are better than others. The best way to determine the good ones from the bad ones is to ask a few basic questions like:
- – Do they help with studying for the written exam?
- – Do they help with job placement?
- – Do they give guidance for further driving licenses and certifications?
- – Are they honest with the fact that you’ll need more training after a CDL before you can just hit the open road?
- – Are they certified to provide you with proper training to get your CDL?
These questions can help guarantee that you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
Passing Your CDL Test
There are two major parts to the main exam for you to get a commercial driver’s license. The CDL consists of:
– Driving Test
– Written Test
This means it’s not enough to do really well when driving in a closed course in the weeks leading up to your major exam, but you need to also study the driving manual and all the laws that apply to commercial truck drivers. Being able to pass the driving section with flying colors won’t help if you fail the written exam.
What Follows the CDL?
The CDL is the first step, not the last, to becoming a professional trucker. There will need to be on the job training with a company (which is why job placement is so important) and over time driving with supervision will help to prepare the driver to jump to long distance trips all on their own. Anyone wanting to get certification for hauling hazardous materials will need even further training and certification to get to that point.
When it comes to getting your CDL, there are likely multiple places in your area that offer some sort of training or a truck driving school that can help you fulfill that goal. While some people never bother to try based on nervousness or other mitigating factors, the truth is that a commercial driver’s license could be just what the doctor ordered for giving your career earnings a major boost.