Professional CDL Training: How to Become a Truck Driver
Imagine a career where you get to travel, explore new places, and enjoy job security with competitive pay – all while being in the driver’s seat. That’s the exciting world of professional truck driving!
We’ll help you get your commercial driver’s license (CDL), and guide you through CDL training programs, job options, and financial aid.
Why Choose CDL Training?
Commercial truck drivers are in high demand due to the current driver shortage. This means there are more job possibilities accessible for individuals with a CDL license.
CDL training sets you up for a good trucking career, and getting your CDL license is the key step.
CDL training can vary depending on the program and the student’s pace. Some CDL training programs take four to six weeks to complete, including both classroom education and time spent behind the wheel.
Benefits of CDL Training
A good CDL training program can prepare you with the knowledge and skills to effectively and safely drive a tractor-trailer, box trucks, or dump trucks.
Safe driving standards
Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection
Train with real vehicles on an open road
Types of CDL Licenses: Class A, B, and C
A CDL license opens up a wide range of employment options with competitive pay and job security. There are three types of licenses, and each CDL class allows you to operate specific types of vehicles.
When you are considering what type of CDL license to get, choose one that best fits your goals.
A Class A license allows you to operate a variety of vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tanker vehicles, livestock carriers, and flatbeds. These vehicles must have a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more. Class A also covers vehicles towing trailers weighing over 10,000 pounds.
- Drivers’ helper
- Bus driver
- Transport driver
- Part driver
- Dump truck driver
With a Class B CDL license, drivers are able to operate vehicles such as straight trucks, large buses, segmented buses, box trucks, and dump trucks. Drive single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
- Box trucks
- Straight trucks
- Dump trucks with small trailers
A Class C allows you to drive vehicles that do not fit into the Class A or Class B categories, such as small passenger vans that transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and vehicles with hazardous materials.
Understanding the different types of classes is important to selecting the type of CDL license aligned with your career goals and preferences.
At Alpha Truck Driving School our instructors are available to answer any questions. We work one-on-one to ensure each student receives the time and training they need to be successful.
Finding the Best Commercial Truck Driving School
When selecting your CDL training program, it’s important to consider your learning style and lifestyle needs.
A great CDL training program will have:
Experienced instructors and hands-on training to ensure you’re well-prepared for your truck driving career
A student-to-instructor ratio that ensures you get the attention and guidance you need to learn how to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle
CDL pass rates for commercial drivers and job placement assistance.
At Alpha Truck Driving School, our training focuses on what new truck drivers need to complete the training, such as meeting all ELDT requirements, passing the CDL exam, and feeling confident behind the wheel.
Alpha’s knowledgeable and multi-lingual instructors and staff will focus on all the CDL students by providing classroom lessons and one-on-one practice. Students will have the opportunity to improve their skills training with hands-on learning and a state-of-the-art driving simulator.
With a network of local trucking companies, Alpha’s strong industry connections and partnerships are important in helping students find the right fit.
Alpha instructors are all professional truck drivers sharing their real-world experiences to provide the best training.
Steps to Becoming a Professional Truck Driver
Before you can get your CDL license, you must have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years of age (age requirement may vary by state), and pass a medical examination.
A certified medical examiner conducts the medical exam, which includes a physical examination, vision test, and drug and alcohol screening.
Compliance with the ELDT program is a requirement for any new truck driver application.
Entry-Level Driver Training
After you get a commercial learner’s permit, you’ll need to begin with Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).
To meet ELDT requirements, a new driver needs to complete entry-level training before taking any exams if they are:
Applying for a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time
Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
Adding Passenger endorsement
Adding School Bus Endorsement
Adding Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Alpha Truck Driving School is here to help drivers prepare and pass all the necessary courses. Contact our office today to learn more about what you need for a commercial driver license.
Preparing for the CDL Exam
Training for a CDL certification includes both classroom instruction and practical instruction in topics including traffic laws, vehicle operation, and safety regulations.
A pre-trip check, a basic control test, and a road test are commonly included in the skills test, which must be passed in addition to a written exam.
Alpha Truck Driving School gives students access to state-of-the-art training equipment and driving experience on one of the biggest lots in the state of Illinois. Practice tests are available to help get a head start on the CDL exam and ensure you’re well-prepared to pass on your first attempt.
Apply for Financial Assistance
Several financial assistance options are available for those who qualify, such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Alpha Truck Driving School has multiple financial aid opportunities.
We have tuition programs and payment plans to help you obtain your CDL in the best way possible and begin your new professional truck driving career.
Job Opportunities in the Trucking Industry
Alpha Truck Driving School has partnered with a number of companies in the Chicagoland region to help students find a truck driving job shortly after graduation.
In a commercial sector close to Chicago, in DuPage County, there are roughly 20% of all manufacturing operations. The industrial sector produces everything from electronic controls to telecommunications gear, industrial drills to kiln equipment.
These trucking companies offer competitive salaries, health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.
Alpha Truck Driving School
Getting your CDL and beginning a career in the trucking industry is an exciting and rewarding path. By choosing the right CDL training program, choosing the right license, and following safety regulations, you’ll set yourself up for success in this thriving field.
Alpha Truck Driving School is the leading truck driving school for Illinois students. With a tailored program from certified instructors and a 275,000 sq. ft. facility with comprehensive in-class instruction and hands-on practice, students will be able to confidently pass their CDL exam.