When applying for CDL for driving trucks, an applicant will normally have to wait for around 7 weeks at which there are required classes when applying for CDL Class A. That is the average waiting time. Most classes on a Full-Time basis run 5 days a week. The reason as to why Class A programs run 7 weeks as, this allows the driver to drive a larger variety of trucks, further it also allows the driver to carry heavier load compared to other Classes of CDL. Since most trucker would like to drive with heavier loads, the cost of the license varies on the type of Class the driver is looking for. Currently, there are 3 different types of Class, A, B, and C. A- Combination Vehicle, B-Heavy Straight Vehicle, and C-Small Vehicle
Class A CDL normally allows the driver to drive a combination of vehicles with a combined weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, that is if the towing vehicle weighs in more than 10,000 pounds. The Class CDL holder provided that they are properly endorsed, the types of vehicle that can be used are Tractor- Trailers, Truck and Trailer Combination, Tank vehicles, Livestock carriers, and Flatbeds. Most Drivers prefers Class A, however, this requires the most amount of time to obtain, ranging from 5-10 weeks. Further, with the proper endorsement, Class A may be allowed to operate Class B and Class C vehicles.
Class B CDL, are only allowed to operate a single vehicle with a combined weight of 26,001 or more pounds, or they can tow a vehicle not heavier than 10,000 pounds. Unlike class A, they are not allowed the same type of loads or the same types of vehicles to be operated. The types of vehicles Class B CDL drivers are allowed to operate are: Straight trucks, Large passenger buses, Segmented buses, Box trucks, dump trucks with small trailers and Tractor-trailers. Further, with the proper endorsement Class B may be allowed to operate Class C vehicles.
Class C CDL, being the lowest of the CDL are allowed to operate a transport vehicle with 16 or more passenger (driver included) or transport hazardous materials (HazMat), materials that are classified as hazardous under federal law. The types of vehicle Class C drivers are able to operate are Small HazMat Vehicles, Passenger vans and Combination vehicles not covered by Classes A or B provided that they are given the proper endorsement to do so.
When deciding the type of CDL a driver will apply for, they must consider the amount of time they are willing to dedicate to the program they will be taking. Most of this program requires the driver to attend classroom sessions as well as driving lessons with a licensed CDL driver. Obtaining a CDL is not the same as taking a driver’s test by showing up at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state of residency.
The skills a driver will obtain during the time of the program are the essential skills required to function on the road and comply with Federal and State regulations as most schools that offer such programs are certified both by the Federal and the local States. On average, the program is broken down into 2 different parts. The first part is for Vehicle Systems Documentation and Operation System, typically this part of the course runs for around 72 classwork hours. The second part being the Range and Road Operation, and on average this type of training can last for around 160 hours and the final part of the training would be the CDL test that is conducted by the state in which the driver resides. The training that is provided will typically is be serving as the blueprint and the essentials to enable the applicant to pass the CDL driving exam.
The amount of time that most drivers need in order to get their CDL will also vary from the person’s ability and dedication as well. Most drivers might only require the 7-week training that is required, but others might need to put in more time and effort if they are looking not just to obtain their CDL but also if they would like to work for top trucking companies in the country. As mentioned above, most companies will require further skills from their driver in other for them to be hired.
These skills that most companies are looking for are: Backing. Emergency maneuvers, Fatigue awareness, Mountain driving, Night Operation, shifting, and Space Management. Most drivers that tackle these extra skills will be aiming to be a mentor within the company when the opportunity presents itself. Driving a truck as most drivers will tell you, the learning experience does not stop when you pass your CDL, as there are a lot more to learn from experience. Since not all are learned through training sessions but also from experience by driving.
Further, the cost of obtaining a CDL varies from $3,000 to $7,000 depending much on what type of Class you are looking for, either it is Class A, Class B or Class C License. If the driver decides to spend more time on training for the License they have chosen, then they must plan for the amount accordingly as it will also vary from the number of training hours they are looking for in the process.
In conclusion, the typical amount of time for a driver to obtain their CDL will depend on the type of Class they are looking to obtain. Since different Classes allows the driver to operate different types of vehicles. Class A being able to cover vehicles operated by both Class B and C, while Class C only able to operate a limited vehicle. On average, the amount of time required to obtain will be between 5-7 weeks, but all will also depend on the capability and dedication of the applicant, along with the amount they are willing to spend in order to obtain their CDL.