How to Get Commercial Driver Training

As a commercial truck driver, you're responsible for picking up freight, driving to another location and delivering the freight to another location in large trucks. For example, if you're working as a heavy truck or tractor-trailer driver, you're operating about 26,001 pounds of gross vehicle weight (GVW) from one state to another. Commercial truck driving takes more than a regular driver's license. Thus, before becoming a commercial truck driver, you need to know how to get commercial driver training.


  1. Image titled Get Commercial Driver Training Step 1
    Understand the commercial truck driving training options.
    • Technical schools offer hands-on truck driving courses that teach students how to drive.
    • Vocational colleges offer training classes that focus on driving in highway traffic and driving large trucks.
    • Driving schools are private and offer courses such as inspecting trucks and training in truck driving.
  2. Image titled Get Commercial Driver Training Step 2
    Research truck driving colleges and schools to make sure they offer acceptable training.
    • Identify what type of vehicle do you want to drive and the class of license required for that vehicle. There are three defined classes of commercial motor vehicle namely A, B and C. Along with it find out if any other endorsements are required with it too?[1]
    • Check with trucking companies in your area. Find out what schools their employees graduated from and what schools provide the best training.
    • Check whether that school offers training for your class or not.
    • Contact organizations like the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) to make sure the truck driving schools and colleges actually are certified, meet industry standards and/or the U.S. Federal Highway Administration's regulations.
    • Pick the truck driving school that has the best training for your career goals.
    • Apply and complete courses. Usually commercial truck driving training takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks or longer.
  3. Image titled Get Commercial Driver Training Step 3
    After the completion of course apply for CDL at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
    • Prepare for the Knowledge test which tests your knowledge of laws and regulations for operating commercial vehicles.
    • After qualifying Knowledge test, a learner’s permit is provided to the driver using which, one can practice operating a commercial vehicle prior to driving test. Go and practice at your driving school.
    • When you become confident and comfortable in driving the commercial vehicle, schedule an appointment for the driving test and qualify it to finally receive your CDL.
  4. Image titled Get Commercial Driver Training Step 4
    Gain additional commercial driving experience after receiving your commercial driver's license (CDL) and being hired as a truck driver. Your employer may require that you complete its training program.
    • Take the employer's training that consists of 1 to 2 days of classroom instruction covering important information like company policies and loading trucks.
    • Ride along with more experienced drivers until you receive your own assignments.
    • Complete training.


  • You must obtain a CDL to work in the industry. To get a CDL, you must have a clean driving record, show that you can operate a commercial truck carefully and efficiently and pass a written test. The written test consists of commercial truck driving regulations and rules.


  • Don't choose a commercial driving school because it guarantees employment. The school can't truly guarantee a job after you complete training, because you don't have your CDL.
  • When searching for driving schools online, beware of websites that have a large amount of paid advertisements along with a list of schools. The schools listed may have outdated information, such as whether they are certified.
  • Beware of "CDL Mills." These schools provide driving courses that are so quick that it's impossible to receive commercial driving training. Look for the length of time it takes to complete training. Typically, any training under 18 days won't teach very much.

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