Trucking training is no joke. It takes preparation and hard work, but it is attainable if you meet the correct qualifications. Anyone over 18 years of age can get a CDL, which stands for commercial driver’s license. This license symbolizes the completion of your trucker training. However, if you are between the ages of 18 and 21, additional requirements and restrictions will apply. Naturally, you will need to have your regular driver’s license before applying for your CDL. As long as you meet these basic requirements, you can get your CDL in four simple steps.
Earn Your GED or Diploma and Pass All Medical Exams
While it is not strictly mandatory to have a high school diploma or pass your GED, most trucking companies do expect it. After that, you should make sure you pass all the physical and medical checks required to drive in the first place. There is no point in spending thousands of dollars on a CDL training program only to be medically disqualified. When you pass your physical from an examiner approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you need to get a DOT medical card. A few health conditions can prevent you from qualifying, so be sure to research those before applying. Some notable conditions are sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and missing limbs. However, it is possible to get a doctor to write a waiver that says the condition will not hinder you from driving a commercial vehicle safely.
Pass the Test to Get Your CDL Learners’ Permit
Class A CDL driver training will require you to pass a general knowledge CDL test. Typically, your local DMV will offer the class A CDL learner’s permit exam. Most examinees attend a CDL truck driving school to get the experience required to pass and obtain essential class A CDL driver training. Complete class A CDL driver training will take a different amount of time for each person, but most people can complete it in a few months. CDL Prep and DMV Genie are both popular apps for drivers studying for the permit test. However, you should also read the CDL study manual for your specific state and complete your CDL learner’s permit application. Uses apps can help you prepare for your CDL test in many different ways.
Keep Training and Prepare to Pass Your Vehicle Inspection Test
After passing the general knowledge test, you will still need to log several hundred hours of driving with a CDL holder. There are plenty of companies with driver training programs that will help you meet this requirement. You will also need to participate in in-class learning. When you have finished meeting the training requirements, you will need to prepare to pass your vehicle inspection test. This is the evaluation that takes place before your official CDL exam. An expert will check your vehicle’s braking system, engine compartment, tires, suspension, and other vital parts of your car. Do your best to ensure your vehicle is current with maintenance reports and test it yourself to ensure that this evaluation goes smoothly. Also, some states provide test vehicles, so save yourself time and inquire before making the exam appointment. There is always time for this sort of thing.
Pass the CDL Exam
The time has finally come to pass the CDL exam. You will need to have your CDL learner’s permit for two weeks before you can take these final tests. The exam will consist of a basic controls test and a road test. The basic controls test is straightforward and covers parallel parking, alley docking, offset backing, and straight-line backing. Then, the road test is where you will drive with a certified instructor who will take note of your skills. For drivers trying to obtain their Class A CDL permit, you must have a combination vehicle for the test.
Of course, if you don’t pass your first CDL exam, it is totally fine. You will be able to retake the test when the waiting period has expired. Depending on your truck driving school, this may or may not cost you extra money. However, if you work hard and practice a lot, you will be well prepared to ace the exam and complete your training by following these simple steps.