CDL Training

CDL TrainingCongratulations on taking the first steps to becoming a fully qualified commercial driver!

From a career point of view, a CDL (commercial drivers license) opens up a huge range of possibilities. The good news is that people who’ve been through certified CDL training are in high demand which means your chances of getting a job as a commercial driver are excellent.

Take the time to read our CDL overview below to find out about basic requirements, classes and endorsements to becoming a qualified commercial driver.

We also encourage you to browse through our website and take a closer look at different aspects of becoming a qualified commercial driver. We have pages dedicated to topics including:

CDL Training Requirements

CDL training requirements do vary from state to state but the basic requirements are fairly similar. Here are the basic requirements that are common to most states:

  • You need a current drivers license
  • You need to be 18 years old for state wide driving and 21 years old for interstate driving
  • You need a valid social security number (and to be able to show proof)
  • You must be physically capable to drive
  • You must pass a medical exam
  • You need to have residency in the state in which you will be licensed

For a more in depth look at what’s required to get your CDL, check out our CDL Requirements page.

CDL Classes

The CDL training you require also depends on the class of license you want. Three classes exist, Class A, Class B and Class C. The class of license that you have will determine the weight of vehicle you’re able to drive. Find out more about the different Class A, B and C licenses here:

CDL Endorsements

Depending on the type and size of vehicle you intend to drive, additional CDL training may be required to help you attain relevant endorsements. Some of the different CDL endorsements available include:

  • T – Double/Triple Trailers Endorsement
  • P – Passenger Endorsement
  • N – Tank Vehicle Endorsement
  • H – Hazardous Materials Endorsement
  • X – Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials Endorsement
  • S – School Bus Endorsement

Find out more information about commercial drivers license endorsements on our CDL Endorsements page.

CDL Training Schools

Most states have several CDL training schools that take you from stage one of training (theory) right through to your on road examination.

While these schools are not always cheap (prices vary a lot from state to state), they do make the entire process of attaining a commercial drivers license much easier. In addition to giving you expert training and practice, they’ll also often provide you with a vehicle in which to sit your on road examination.

Training “on the job” with a trucking company is also a route than many aspiring drivers take. Click on the links below to find out more about the following high quality trucking companies:

What next?

Continue to read more in depth information about getting your CDL. We recommend you get started with a better understanding of requirements and eligibility rules. Check out the following pages:

State by State guide:


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration –

38 Responses to “CDL Training”

  1. Dave C says:

    Hey Aidan-

    I saw somewhere that the US Dept of Transportation (DOT) is reviewing the feasibility of putting all commercial drivers to a hair follicle drug test.

    If they do, it’ll be a game changer. There will be some turnover then, as Jerome was wondering about in his note.

    Couple that with the projected extreme shortage of new CDL drivers in the U.S. over the next few years, it would seem like anyone who can pass a drug test and a CDL test could just about name their price.

    Dave C.
    New York

  2. Marshall Wheeler says:

    I’ve just spent nearly an hour on your website. Thank you for providing such thorough information.

  3. Shawn Simmons says:

    Awesome site, man! Good job.

  4. jerome says:

    i read there’s a high turnover in truck driver jobs and want to know is this true?

    • Aidan says:

      Turnover in trucking jobs varies from one company to the next. Some have a fairly high turnover rate, others have a majority of drivers who have been with them for years. And to be fair, some of the turnover has nothing to do with the trucking companies. Like most jobs, truck driving is not for everybody. Some drivers find they miss their families too much, or that it’s more work than they thought it was going to be.

  5. Sam Warner says:

    What’s the difference between class A, B and C? How do you know which one to get?

  6. Greg Camden says:

    This is a really good site. Lots of information here.

  7. Roy Samuels says:

    How often do you get to come home once you start driving a truck?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Roy,

      How often you get to come home and how long you stay will vary from one trucking company to another. If being away from home for several weeks at a time is a concern, you may want to consider regional or even local driving.

  8. Doug says:

    Do you get to choose the part of the country you drive to?

    • Aidan says:

      You can request a preference with some trucking companies and they’ll try to accommodate your request, but there are usually no guarantees.

  9. Jeffrey Bryant says:

    I quit driving a few years ago and I let my CDL expire. If I want to start driving again, do I have to start over from the beginning with driver training school?

    • Aidan says:

      You know Jeffrey, I’m not really sure how each state handles expired CDLs. You can either check with your state DOT or contact the school you plan to attend.

  10. Phil Jenkins says:

    Awesome site. Bookmarked for later.

  11. Henry Sanchez says:

    I won’t be 18 for another 4 months, can I go ahead and go to driver training school anyway?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Henry, I hate to tell you something wrong, so my best suggestion is to check with the school you plan to attend. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck to you.

  12. Louis Peterson says:

    can you get a trucker’s license if you’ve had your license suspended in the past?

    • Aidan says:

      Thanks for stopping by Louis. In some states it’s possible to get a commercial license even if you had your license suspended. It usually depends on how long ago the suspension occurred and if your driving record has been clean since then. Your best bet is to check with your state’s DOT for the most accurate response to that question.

  13. Kenneth Cox says:

    How long does it take to become a truck driver?

    • Aidan says:

      Kenneth, if everything goes smoothly and you don’t run into any obstacles, you can generally get your CDL in about 8 to 12 weeks. In addition to that training, there may be some additional training required, depending on the trucking company you go to work for.

  14. RSimmons says:

    Do I need that T endorsement if I don’t ever plan to drive double or triple trailers?

    • Aidan says:

      If you already know that you are never going to drive double or triple trailers, there’s no need for you to get the T endorsement. If you think there’s a chance that you might change your mind, it’s easier to go ahead and get it now than to have to go back and get it later. Hope that helps.

  15. shannon barker says:

    Which trucking company do you recommend? Which one is the best to work for starting out?

    • Aidan says:

      it’s really not possible to recommend one particular trucking company. A lot depends on the benefits that you need and want, and each company offers different benefits to its drivers. They are several links to some of the top trucking companies on this website and I suggest that you start there and try to narrow your choices down to the top two or three that you like. Then you can contact those companies and see what they have to offer you. Best of luck to you!

  16. Bennett Owens says:

    Your site has answered all my questions so far. Good job.

  17. Harold Strickland says:

    How much more does it cost to get licensed in all 3 classes? Would that help me get a job faster?

    • Aidan says:

      To be honest, I’m not really sure of the additional cost. I know it would require that you take some additional tests, but you’ll need to check with your state’s DOT to get accurate information about the specifics of each class. I’m not sure if it would help you get a job faster, but it makes sense the more loads you’re able to haul, and the more vehicles you’re qualified to drive, the more jobs you would be eligible for.

  18. alredo maldonado says:

    how long is the school for truck driving?

    • Aidan says:

      The length of training can vary from one school to the next, but generally speaking, you can complete all the training within 8-12 weeks.

  19. Pete Hammond says:

    Can I take my dogs with me on the road?

  20. Eddie S. says:

    Great site man! Most comprehensive one I’ve found so far!

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