There are quite a few jobs that require a CDL, or commercial driver's license. Most of these jobs pay better than average so it is to your advantage to obtain your CDL. The training required isn’t easy but almost anyone can do it if they are willing to study and put their full effort into the matter. Here are the steps required to obtain a CDL.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Good motor vehicle record
Decide whether you want to go to a technical school or college for training, or to a private training facility. A private training facility usually has a shorter training time, but is often more expensive. Using a technical school will offer more than just training on driving the truck. You will get more mechanical and practical advice and training at a technical college. There is even a chance you can get financial help if you chose a technical school.
When you go to the facility that you have chosen they will tell you all the documents that are required. Most will want a copy of your birth certificate, driver’s license and a copy of a clean seven-year motor vehicle's record. There may be other things required.
The next step will be book work. There are things you have to learn about the operation of the truck, driving safety, and you will even be apprised of opportunities available after obtaining the CDL license. The time frame for book work will depend on the facility and instructor.
The next step is actually putting what you learnt from the books into practice. You will be shown the components of the truck and how to check all safety measures. There is an expansive safety checklist that is to be completed before each departure. You will have to learn this checklist to pass the testing later on.
Now it’s time to actually start driving the truck. Each day you will go through the safety checklist, and then practice. The instructor will ride with you at all times in case something should go wrong. You will start out doing car park training and then work up to on the road training. There will be a certain number of on the road hours you have to achieve to pass the course.
The final steps involve passing all the various tests. There will be written test for the training facility, the safety checklist test, a road test, and then the DMV test to get the actual CDL license.
Tips and warnings
- Don’t be cocky when driving.
- Know that some tech schools will help with job placement.
- Ask about financial help.