Obtaining your Commercial Driver’s License (also called a CDL Certification) should not have to be a difficult process. If you follow the proper steps for completing your CDL training, you will be on the road in no time, working for an outstanding company.
Also, if you get your CDL Certification through the right training program, you may even receive help with the tuition or scholarship for training which can range from $2000 – $10,000 and finding employment directly after completing the Certification. We cover how to do that in a recent article here. Be aware though, not all CDL training programs offer job placement, and look for one that does since it will save you much time.
First things first, you must decide the type of CDL license you need or want to have. that will vary primarily on the job/career and the type of transport truck you will be driving.
What Type of CDL License Should You Get?
There are three classes of CDL licenses: A, B, and C. A class A CDL license is the minimal license, and it only allows you to drive a select few types of large vehicles. As you go up to the B and C classes of CDL licenses, that is when you can start driving more advanced and larger trucks.
A Class A license has the most straightforward training required, but for the other classes, you will most likely end up making a significantly larger salary.
CDL License Classes
(According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
- Class A: Vehicle/combination of vehicles with a weight of 26,001lbs or more.
- Class B: A single vehicle with a weight of 26,001lbs or more
- Class C: A single vehicle or a combination of vehicles that are for the transportation of sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or a vehicle transporting hazardous material(s)
To see the full breakdown of Endorsements and Restrictions visit the article we wrote about the different classes here.
CDL Certification Training
According to the requirements set by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), when you receive your CDL training, it must be through your home state. So, for example, if your standard driver’s license and home address are in Virginia, then that is the state in which you need to obtain a CDL license. By the way, did you know It is illegal to have a license (CDL) from more than one state.
CDL License Requirements
Before you can get your CDL officially, you need to receive your Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). To get your CLP, you should read through a copy of your state’s Commercial Driver’s License Manual. If you are going through professional training or a local CDL training program, they will most likely provide this for you.
The manual is also online. Once you do that, you can seek your Learners Permit so that you can start practicing. Some states’ requirements for the CLP are different from others; but generally, you can assume that you will be asked to undergo a DOT physical and receive a DOT medical card, which proves that you are medically qualified for a CLP/CDL.
Some states will also ask for proof of residency. Although, since there is a growing need for drivers in the Commercial Shipping industry, there may be some leniency.
Now that you have a Commercial Learner’s Permit, you can start thinking about a CDL. You must possess the CLP for at 14 days before taking the CDL Skills Test, and in some places, you are required to fully complete your CDL Training before they grant you the license. It all depends on your state’s laws.
During your test for a Commercial Driver’s License, there are a few tests you will have to pass. Scroll down to see the tests that you must pass successfully for your CDL.
CDL Certification Tests
- Skills Test (must complete before other tests)
- Vehicle Inspection Test
- Basic Controls Test
- Road Test
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Where to Get CDL License Training Easy
CDL training does not take long to complete. The completion time and location will depend on where you choose to do your training.
Even if your state does not require that you go through a training course, you should choose to take one regardless. Training programs help you significantly to thoroughly understand everything you need to know about your vehicle and the regulations that come with using a Commercial Driver’s License. It also looks much better on job applications, and you will be more likely to receive a job offer from a better-paying company.
If you decide to go through with training for your CDL Certification, you should consider going to Americas Driving Force CDL Training Facility. Americas Driving Force has certified numerous truck drivers looking for professional training, and they will help with job placement upon completion of the program.
Click here to read more about Americas Driving Force, and how they can help you earn your CDL Certification.
Employment Through CDL Training at Americas Driving Force
Americas Driving Force is not just a training program for Commercial Driver’s Licenses; they are a shipping/transportation company. Americas Driving Force has been in the business since 2001, and they are a reliable company. One of the best parts about working for them is that they have their own CDL training program that they offer, which ends with you becoming an employee. It is the best type of route to take so that there is not a large gap between certification completion and your first paycheck as a commercial driver.
How to Use a CDL Certification
Depending on the type of Commercial Driver’s License you established (Class A, B, or C), there will be a specific area or list of the kinds of jobs you can use with your type of license. There is no one license class that classifies you for all types of commercial vehicles.
Classes A and B licenses are the most common for positions in sizeable retail shipping companies. Class C, however, is what you would need if you plan on working in a field that requires the transportation of hazardous materials, like oil or chemicals.
No matter what field of the commercial transportation industry you choose, even if it is in public transportation, be certain that you follow every step required by state laws for a Commercial Driver’s License. If you join a CDL training course, like at Americas Driving Force, they will help you.