The US DOT mandates that anyone driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle(CMV) must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The main purpose for this licensing is to ensure, or at least attempt, to keep the roads as safe as possible. The passing of this test tells the Department of Transportation and the State issuing the license that the driver has the knowledge and skills to safely handle a CMV.
Once a prospective driver has turned eighteen years of age, the CDL license is earned by passing the Commercial Driver’s License test with an 80% minimum score. This test includes a written truck driving knowledge test, a driver on the road skills test and a pre-trip inspection test. Here are a couple videos that show some of the required knowledge to pass the test:
General Knowledge for your CDL class “A” – Part 1 of 2
General Knowledge for your CDL class “A” – Part 2 of 2
Although, passing this test tells the Department of Transportation that the minimum requirements have been met. The CDL does not replace the real life experience gained on the road. Also, to drive certain loads or configurations, additional tests and endorsements may be required.
There are generally three methods employed to get the necessary training required to pass the CDL test:
- community college training
- some trucking firms will train employees and
- private truck driving schools
The quickest and most effective way to get a head start on experience and get the proper training necessary to pass the CDL test is usually through a private truck driver training program. These schools maintain close relationships with trucking companies, so they are up to date with what these firms are looking for in new employees. These private schools are usually full time, so they can often be completed in just a few weeks. They also will include both classroom training and behind-the-wheel road training. This allows the new driver to hit the oad to earnings the fastest route possible.