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CDL Training

Updated on May 31, 2013

Commercial Driver Licenses

Welcome to this Squidoo Lens about commercial driver licenses. You'll find lots of useful information about how to obtain a CDL on this page and also links out to other websites with more in depth information. Check out our information about CDL Training Requirements, CDL Medical Requirements, the different CDL Classification and also what you can expect to earn when you start working as a commercial driver.

If you find this lens useful, please click the Squidoo Like button at the top of this page so others can find this lens as well!

CDL Training Requirements
CDL Training Requirements

CDL Training Requirements

CDL training requirements vary from state to state and also depending on the type of vehicle you intend to drive and how many passengers you expect to have.

As a general rule, in order to obtain a CDL you need the following:

- A current and valid drivers license

- To be 21 years old or more for interstate driving (18 years old is okay for state wide driving in most states)

- A valid SSN

- To be physically well and able to drive

- To be medically well (this means passing a medical examination)

- To have residency in the state in which you plan to do your license testing

CDL Training Requirements - 6 Critical Components Explained

Learn about the 6 core requirements to obtaining a Commercial Drivers License in this video.

CDL Medical Requirements

Before you can get your commercial drivers license you’ll need to go through a medical examination. The examination can be carried out by any Department of Transportation approved “Medical Examiner”.

In most cases calling your local medical provider will be the quickest and easiest way to find someone qualified to perform a medical exam in your area. In many cases, your general practitioner may even be able to perform the examination required.

The medical examination is designed to ensure that you are able to safely drive a commercial motor vehicle. As such, your eyesight and hearing will be analyzed. If you don’t have great eyesight or hearing, in most cases it’s not an issue. What the medical exam aims to do is ensure that you can see and hear while you’re driving and you can obviously achieve this with the aid of hearing aids and glasses or contact lenses. If you do use hearing aids or contact lenses, the examiner will test your vision and hearing to make sure they’re right for you.

Blood pressure is another thing that’s the Department of Transportation requires you have analyzed. Again, the reason for checking your blood pressure is simply to ensure that you are able to drive safely without putting yourself or other road users at risk.

Urine samples will also be analyzed with the intention of uncovering any other potential illnesses or medical conditions that could impact your driving ability.

Lastly, your medical examiner will ask you about past health issues such as dizziness, feeling faint, or any other medical conditions you’ve had over the last 5 years.

The medical examination is required to be renewed every 2 years.

CDL Classifications

The different CDL classes exist:

Class A Commercial Drivers License

Class B Commercial Drivers License

Class C Commercial Drivers License

The 3 different license types determine the type of vehicle you’ll be able to drive. Without going into the specifics of each of the three classes, here’s a brief overview of what each classification allows you to do:

Class A CDL: This license allows you to drive the biggest trucks you see on the road including tractor-trailer units.

Class B CDL: This license allows you to drive mid-sized trucks. This license gives you less flexibility than the Class A CDL but more than the Class C CDL.

Class C CDL: This license allows you to drive small trucks and small commercial vehicles and is the least flexible of the 3 different licenses.

On top of each of the 3 licenses mentioned above, you can also add “Endorsements”. Endorsements allow you to drive special types of vehicles including:

- Tankers

- Buses and other large passenger vehicles

- School buses

- Vehicles that transport hazardous goods

Each endorsement requires you to pass a written and skills test.

CDL Salary
CDL Salary

CDL Driver Salary

Making a living as a commercial driver is very achievable due to competitive salaries. Like in all professions, commercial driver salaries vary a lot depending on the amount of experience you have, the vehicle you drive, and the amount of driving you actually do.

Employment statistics show that heavy truck drivers earn an average of $18/hour and light truck drivers about $14/hour.

Long haul drivers are most commonly paid per mile and are also paid bonuses.

The big money as a commercial truck driver comes to owner-operators who can easily earn $100,000 per year (and sometimes several hundred thousand dollars annually).

Model CDL Test

Truck Photos - Big, Small, Fast, Slow, Old, New...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tiny truckFire truckOld truckDump truckReliable...Race TruckLong haul truckFast TruckWedding wheels
Tiny truck
Tiny truck
Fire truck
Fire truck
Old truck
Old truck
Dump truck
Dump truck
Reliable...
Reliable...
Race Truck
Race Truck
Long haul truck
Long haul truck
Fast Truck
Fast Truck
Wedding wheels
Wedding wheels

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    • profile image

      CDLTrainingGuy 3 years ago

      Great info, find out more at cdltraininghub.com

    • profile image

      swimminglessonsonline 4 years ago

      Hi Aidan really nice lens, full of useful information about cdl training.

      Thanks.

      http://swimminglessonsonline.com

    • GoutDiet profile image

      GoutDiet 4 years ago

      Cool site. I gave you a squidlike for informative site on CDL Training.

      http://goutdiethub.com

    • profile image

      ReedRobbins 5 years ago

      Hi Aidan,

      I gave you a SquidLike for this well-written and informative lens. Cool pics, too!

    • StomachPain LM profile image

      StomachPain LM 5 years ago

      My father's good friend was a truck driver and did it for many years. He was single so it was easy for him to be away. He use to say how he loved his career as a truck driver. I'm concerned my stomach issues will keep me from this type of career but I'm actively working on solving my stomach issues.

    • profile image

      brucebui 5 years ago

      Great information, I have a normal driving license but not CDL. This lens is very helpful :)

    • profile image

      resumeformat 5 years ago

      Great lens Aiden - full of useful information and guidance.

    • bodyartbloke lm profile image

      bodyartbloke lm 5 years ago

      Hi Aidan. I find the resources you included in your lens very authoritative, lots of good stuff to learn and apply.

    • ElectricianStud profile image

      ElectricianStud 5 years ago

      A few years ago I pondered a career as a truck driver. Maybe I should have taken action then. I have recently been laid off from my job and it's time to look into a career change. Something I can have more control over. Ah, to one day own my own fleet of trucks.....:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello Aidan -

      I have great respect for those skilled at backing up a 53 ft trailer -seemingly able to 'thread a needle' with it. I have trouble backing up with my little utility trailer.

      It underscores the value of the training regimen. And justifies a fair wage earned for operating so skillfully -as well as safely.

      Best of luck to you.

      Vic Doke

    • cdltraining lm profile image
      Author

      cdltraining lm 5 years ago

      Hey, thanks for the Squid Like guys! Can't wait to see your lenses (heading there now!)

    • Write4U LM profile image

      Write4U LM 5 years ago

      Welcome to Squidoo, Aidan. A nice overview of CDL Training. Giving you a SquidLike. Hope you can visit my lens too.

    • RosemaryB profile image

      RosemaryB 5 years ago

      Hey Aidan Ive always had this idea that as Im a great driver - no seriously I am - I could really make a go of this CDL thing. Reading your lens has inspired me. Ciao Rosemary