So you are are ready to get a CDL. But wondering how long does it take to get a CDL? It typically takes 3-4 weeks to complete training and get a CDL. This timeline is possible for students attending full-time training. In addition to the training schedule, there are several factors that impact how long CDL classes take.
What Factors Affect the Time It Takes to Get a CDL?
Professional truck driver is one of the few high paying careers that does not require a college degree or a lot of time. Unlike many trade school or traditional higher education programs, you can get your CDL in less than a month. While it doesn’t take long to get a CDL, it does, however, take dedication. When selecting a school, you will want to consider the following factors.
When attending truck driving school there are two options, either full time or part time. The benefit of full-time attendance is you can finish in 3-4 weeks. Full-time spent in class will reduce the overall time it takes to get a CDL. Full-time attendance in our program is five days a week, Monday through Friday. However, flexible part time and night schedules are available at some schools. Attending classes part-time will extend the time it takes to get a CDL. The goal is to select a program that enables you to understand the material and develop the skills needed to get a commercial driver’s license.
CDL Training Length
DRC network schools offer a 160-hour training curriculum This is split into two parts, classroom and driving. Classroom training is 40 hours and covers the essential knowledge needed to safely operate a commercial vehicle. From DOT regulations and defensive driving techniques to road condition, classroom time is vital to your success and lays the foundation for road and range training. The length of classroom training can affect how long truck driving school takes, but it is very important.
Road and Range training is 120 hours and follows classroom training. Students spend their time practicing driving and backing maneuvers like the straight line back and alley dock. In addition, students will practice on the road driving with a licensed CDL driver. Our curriculum is set up to provide adequate time for students to develop their skills and comfort behind the wheel.
There are three different types of CDL licenses: Class A, B, and C. Each classification allows you to drive trucks with various weight ratings. You will need a Class A CDL to drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. Class A driving school takes longer than Class B, because you can drive a larger variety of trucks and heavier loads. DRC’s CDL training programs are for Class A and take 3-4 weeks. Obtaining a Class B, which would prepare you to drive a straight truck, dump truck and smaller weight loads, takes less time. However, the time it takes to get a Class A is worth it because of increased earning potential.
How long it takes to get a CDL depends on your ability to understand and master driving maneuvers. The better your aptitude for driving, the more likely you will complete training in 3-4 weeks. Through a DRC network school, additional training beyond 160 hours is provided at no additional cost. We understand that all students learn at a different pace and our goal is to ensure you have the skills to pass the CDL exam. Most students complete training in 4 weeks with no previous driving experience.
How long it takes to become a truck driver can be affected by testing availability. Some schools offer on-site third-party testing. While others require students to test at state government locations. The type of testing and availability can determine this timeline. Our goal at DRC is to schedule students for their CDL test as soon as they are ready.
Adding endorsements to your CDL license can increase the number of job opportunities available to you after graduation. Each endorsement may add additional time to become a truck driver. Six additional endorsements can be placed on your commercial driver’s license. The type of endorsement you add depends on your driving career goals. Endorsements can be added anytime throughout your career.
- (H) Hazardous Materials
- (X) Tanker/HAZMAT Combo
- (N) Tank Vehicle
- (T) Double/Triple Endorsement
- (P) Passenger Transport
- (S) School Bus/Passenger Transport Combo
What is ELDT Training?
During your search to learn more about CDL training and the length of CDL classes you might have come across the term ELDT. This stands for Entry-Level Driver Training. In February of 2022, the FMCSA Entry-Level Driver Training rule went into effect requiring all new commercial drivers to complete an entry-level driver training program before getting their CDL. You are probably wondering if ELDT has increased how long it takes to get a CDL? ELDT has not increased CDL training time at our school. ELDT includes a minimum standards for commercial truck driver education that CDL training providers like our network of schools must meet. All of our schools are ELDT certified. Our curriculum is very comprehensive and meets all ELDT requirements.
Get Started Today
Truck drivers are in high demand. The Driver Resource Center’s network of training schools provide comprehensive training and job placement services. How long it takes to get a CDL is up to you. With dedication and hard work you can get a CDL in 3-4 weeks and graduate with multiple truck driving job opportunities. To get started apply today or call a career specialist. Our career specialists can help determine which tuition assistance programs may help you.