How To Get Your CDL

Embarking on a career in trucking starts with obtaining your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Whether you’re aspiring to become a long-haul driver or looking to operate heavy machinery, knowing how to get a CDL is your first step toward a rewarding career on the road. This guide covers the essentials: the process, duration, costs, and requirements, ensuring you’re well-prepared to start your journey.

Understanding the CDL Process:

Getting your CDL involves several steps, each designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a safe and successful career in trucking. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Meet the Basic Requirements: You must meet specific criteria before pursuing a CDL. You must be at least 21 years old to drive interstate and have a valid regular driver’s license. Some states allow individuals 18 and over to obtain a license for intrastate driving. A clean driving record and passing a medical exam are also required. Finally, you will need your CDL permit prior to testing for a license.
  2. Choose Your CDL Class: There are three classes of CDL—Class A, B, and C—each allowing you to operate different types of vehicles. Class A Leasing offers comprehensive training for Class A and B.
  3. Enroll in a CDL Training Program: Quality training is crucial. Find a reputable CDL training program, like Class A Leasing, that covers the written knowledge test and behind-the-wheel experience. Training duration can vary, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the program’s intensity and your availability. Check out our options today to get your career started!
  4. Pass the Written Exam and Skills Test: After completing your training, you’ll need to pass a written knowledge exam and a three-part skills test, which includes a pre-trip inspection, basic controls test, and a road test.

How Long Does It Take?

The timeline for getting your license can vary widely, from about three weeks to three months or more, depending on the training program’s structure and your personal schedule. Fast-track programs offer an accelerated path, while part-time options may take longer but provide greater flexibility.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of obtaining a CDL can range from $3,500 to $8,000, covering training fees, testing, and licensing. Financial aid, scholarships, and company-sponsored training programs are available to help manage these costs.

Getting Started with Your CDL

Ready to hit the road? Follow these steps to get started:

  • Research and Select a CDL Training Program: Look for accredited schools with solid reviews and job placement services.
  • Prepare for the Written Exam: Utilize study guides and practice tests.
  • Practice Driving: Gain confidence behind the wheel through quality training.
  • Get Your CDL with Class A Today: With dedication and the proper training, you’re on your way to a successful career in trucking. Contact us today to embark on your commercial driving career!

What is Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT): Understanding What You Need to Know

In the trucking industry, ensuring the highest standards of safety and competence is paramount. That’s where Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) comes into play. If you’re considering a career in trucking or are part of a trucking company looking to stay compliant, understanding what ELDT is, is crucial. This guide addresses the most common questions about ELDT, helping you navigate this essential requirement.

Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) refers to the mandatory training requirements for new drivers before they can obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip entry-level drivers with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Student Passing Their ELDT Exam With Class A Leasing

When Did ELDT Take Effect?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the ELDT requirements in early 2022. This regulation marked a significant step in standardizing driver education and ensuring all new drivers meet a baseline of proficiency. [CTA] Check out our driving plans here that include ELDT training:

How Long is ELDT Valid?

Once completed, the ELDT certification does not expire. Completing is a one-time requirement that shows a driver has met the initial qualification standards required to operate a CMV safely. However, continuous education and training might be necessary for specialized endorsements or to meet company-specific standards.

What Are the Entry-Level Driving Training Requirements?

The ELDT requirements are divided into two main components: theory instruction and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training.

Theory Instruction:

This part covers various topics, from the essential operation of a CMV and navigating road safety to advanced driving techniques and understanding regulations like hours of service and health and wellness implications for drivers.

Behind-the-Wheel Training:

This practical segment ensures drivers gain hands-on experience in operating a CMV. It includes range (basic vehicle maneuvers) and public road driving, focusing on real-world driving skills and safety practices.

Behind the wheel training to get your CDL in Minnesota

Who is Required to Complete Entry-Level Driver Training?

ELDT is required for:

  • New drivers applying for their initial Class A or Class B CDL.
  • Current CDL holders seeking to upgrade their license (e.g., from Class B to Class A).
  • Drivers applying for specific endorsements, such as the school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement, for the first time.

Understanding the ins and outs of Entry-Level Driver Training is essential for anyone looking to navigate the trucking industry safely and effectively. By ensuring that all drivers meet these foundational training requirements, the industry takes a significant step forward in enhancing road safety and professionalism. Whether you’re a new driver starting your journey or a seasoned professional brushing up on the latest requirements, knowing what ELDT is, is indispensable.