ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Advice for Getting Your CDL

Updated on January 24, 2011

If you want to get a CDL, chances are you will need to go to a CDL or Truck Driving School. Some states require a certain number of hours of classroom training and behind the wheel training before they allow you to take the CDL driving test. There is a push to standardize this training requirement, so if your state does not have an official training requirement to get your CDL and you have someone who drives a truck and is willing to train you… don’t wait around.

I learned to drive a truck before I went to truck driving school. This really helped me out since the school itself was only 3 weeks long, and at least half of that was in a classroom. When we did drive the truck there were several of us taking turns behind the wheel. I think I had about 4 hours of actual driving time before taking my CDL test.

That is 4 hours of time at the school. I had about 6 months of full-time driving unofficially before I got to school. That made everything much easier for me.

Having done both, I think school is necessary. It does not give you the experience or confidence of being on the road. But it does provide for some quality control. If you learn from another driver you will never be any better than the person that taught you.

The person that taught me was not very good. He had a lot of bad habits that I found out about when I went to school. I’m talking about things like “Georgia overdrive” which is when you take the truck out of gear to get a little extra speed going downhill. If you don’t get a chance to sit in a classroom and hear how things are supposed to be done, then the driver that trains you can slip a few things by you that are not only not legal, but are extremely dangerous.

I suppose that’s why some people want to make more laws about how much training a truck driver needs to get their CDL in the first place.

#17 of 30
#17 of 30 | Source

When you are looking at CDL schools you will find full and part time classes. Many community colleges offer part-time evening programs. As a trainer, my best students usually came from these programs. Other schools offer shorter full-time programs. 6-12 weeks is a reasonable time frame.

I believe a 3-week program is too short in most cases. Unless you have driven a large truck before (like some truckers do when they grow up on a farm) then you will want to have more than a few hours behind the wheel. You may also find that the pre-trip inspections are difficult if you do not have a mechanical background to begin with. Do yourself a favor, if you are considering becoming a truck driver, and do not go to a school that is too short to teach you to do the job right.

The one exception to this is a school that offers one-on-one training. Most don’t. A few however will set you up with your own instructor who will make sure that you spend 100 hours or more behind the wheel, actually driving the truck. This will give you the experience you need to have confidence taking your CDL road test, as well as the confidence you may need when you get your first job and have the “trainer” from your new company try to teach you things like how to use “Georgia Overdrive” on your first run out.

Sage is one trucking school that does a one-on-one training program.

Prime, Inc. is a company that offers one-on-one training through their company school.

Both of these are good starting places if you want to become a truck driver.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Leon Bentley 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this post on Trucking. Trucking jobs are essential, but usually unnoticed in our nation. Our country will need to help support the trucking industry to help keep our nation developing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)