How long should CDL training take?

By Mac Longacre, Veteran Truck Driver & Staff Writer
Article last updated on 1/8/2008

The length of time needed to become a CDL licensed truck driver varies from person to person and from school to school. You have a number of options depending on how much time you want to commit to your CDL training. For example, you can take evening or weekend truck driving classes at some colleges or universities, or you could simply try to learn the ropes from a friend or relative who is already a driver. However, if you are serious about wanting to become a properly trained truck driver, your best bet is to attend training at a truck driving school that lasts about 3 to 4 weeks.

At a truck driving school, you will get the opportunity to learn from licensed instructors who know and understand what it takes to be a professional driver. Also, at a truck driving school that is about 3 weeks long, you will be able to study the material and practice driving all day, every day. Most evening or weekend classes can only offer a few hours of practice per week, so it may take longer for you to learn the necessary skills or not give you enough time to learn anything at all.

At a truck driving school, you will also be taught the proper procedures and safety measures required by law. These may be skipped over or not taught correctly if you try to learn to drive from your buddy down the street or someone who is not a properly trained driving instructor. Lastly, because every person learns at a different speed, it is important to find a truck driving school that will offer you personal attention from instructors if you should need extra help. Truck driver training schools that are smaller and offer 3 to 4 week courses are most often best at giving students the individual attention they need.

In the end, the decision is yours. It all depends on how serious you are about wanting to become a licensed truck driver. But those truly serious about a trucking career should consider a CDL training program that is just as serious.

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