A Commercial Driver's License (or CDL) is a driver's license that is required if you want to operate certain vehicles. These vehicles can include passenger buses, semi-trailer trucks, dump trucks, or concrete mixers. In the United States, there are Class A, Class B, and Class C commercial driver's licenses. Each one covers different weights and vehicles, which will determine which jobs a CDL holder can or cannot qualify for. A CDL holder can also receive certain endorsements, such as an endorsement for transporting hazardous chemicals. If you've been looking into CDL schools and you think truck driving might be the job you've always wanted, you should keep reading for additional information.
CDL training is a specialized type of training specifically designed to give you the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to earn your CDL and operate professionally and effectively on the road. Initially, your CDL will be focused on classroom instruction, which is targeted to help you receive your initial permit. You must pass your initial testing in order to receive a permit. Once you have your permit, you'll be allowed to train in driving the larger trucks, so you'll be able to get the hands-on experience you need to eventually pass your test for your actual license.
CDL training courses are held at schools. These include: licensed schools, certified schools, and accredited schools. Licensed schools have met minimum requirements set by the state, and they're licensed by the state where the school is located. A certified school has been independently reviewed and inspected by a third party, proving that they have met certain criteria and standards that have been set forth. Upon completing your training at a certified school, you'll be tested and only able to graduate when you have proven that you have passed the standards established by both the US Department of Transportation and by the trucking industry. A certified school therefore doesn't only meet state standards, but specifically meets federal standards as well. There are only a handful of accredited schools in the US, and they have been authorized by the US Department of Education to meet and adhere to specific regulations and policies.
The CDL class you earn (A, B, or C) and the type of school you attend will determine the kinds of positions that you can hold and the jobs that you can perform. You can always test later for another class or to earn an endorsement, so don't think that you've ended your learning process after graduation. You can always qualify for other CDL jobs in Joplin, MO, after furthering your education and training.
All of our articles are written by various members of the TDC team.