One of the most common questions about truck driver training schools is whether or not three- and four-week CDL programs can possibly offer enough CDL-exam training in such a short amount of time.
The short answer? Yes, it’s absolutely possible to get the training you need for your CDL exam in that amount of time as long as you go to a good CDL school.
Part of why it’s possible is that you’ll be getting more training after you earn your Class A CDL (and at that point, you’ll likely be getting paid to train, too!) but before you go out on the road by yourself. We’ll get to that in a minute, though.
First, let’s look at why one of these shorter programs may be right for you. Then we’ll look at how it’s possible to get the training you need through one of these fast-paced programs:
Can You Really Afford To Wait?
Let’s face it: Here in the real world, money is a big deal. For most of us, it affects the decisions we make each day. Many incoming students, for example, can’t afford to waste six months on a long, drawn-out CDL training program while trying to pay bills or take care of a family.
That’s why these fast-paced training programs exist. They offer students a chance to learn what they need to learn in a reasonable amount of time and land a job — and a paycheck — after about a month. So, unless you’re too busy having fun on your yacht to worry about how long you’ll be in training before getting a paycheck, a faster-paced program probably makes sense for you.
The “3-4 Weeks” Is Actually Up To You
Some students worry that they won’t be able to get all the training done in one month because they have a full-time job to work, a family to take care of or other obligations to handle at the same time.
The good news is that a quality school will work with you in these cases. Roadmaster Drivers School, for example, offers flexible scheduling so you can train on the weekends or at nights over a longer period of time. Life can be demanding, but a school that really wants to help you will work around your schedule. After all, that’s why you chose the fast-track training program in the first place!
Other students may wonder, “What if I get through the training but still don’t feel ready?” or, “What if I still need to work on certain skills?“
Don’t worry! Let’s say you get through all the training but you can’t quite get the hang of one of the backing maneuvers. Roadmaster won’t just give up on you, and we certainly won’t push you through the program and into the CDL test if you’re not ready. We’ll do our best to work with you for a reasonably extended period of time so that you can get that maneuver down pat and be ready for your CDL exam.
On top of that, if you think you’re ready for your CDL exam but end up not passing, we’ll work with you even more after that so that you can get re-tested. Some schools may not work with you if you fail the CDL exam the first time, but a good CDL training program will!
You’re Training For Your CDL License, Not The Open Road (Yet)
A very common mistake people make when choosing a CDL training program is thinking that once they get the CDL, they’ll be out on the open road the next day.
But guess what? No reasonable company is going to stick a new driver with a fresh CDL behind the wheel of a semi-truck and just hope for the best. That’s just not how it works.
The real point of the CDL-school training is to give you the skills, knowledge, experience and confidence you’ll need to pass the CDL exam. Once you do, there are still a few steps you’ll need to get through before you can blast “Free Bird” on your radio and head off on a cross-country trip by yourself.
What are those steps? Glad you asked! Read on…
You’ll Get Even More Training After You Get Your CDL
Once you are properly trained and you pass the CDL exam, you’ll likely be hired by one of the major carriers as an over-the-road truck driver. The carrier will then train you with even greater depth than your CDL training school did. You’ll cover skills and knowledge like night driving, trip planning and more.
After several weeks of this in-depth training, you’ll be ready for the road, right? Wrong.
Most companies will then have you ride with a trainer for a couple of months (or until they believe you’re really ready to be on your own) before you make a trip without supervision.
Now, don’t let this extended training time scare you into thinking it’ll take extra time before you start earning money. Not only will most carriers pay you while you train, but also if you chose Roadmaster Drivers School as your CDL training program you’ll probably be getting tuition reimbursement, too!
So to recap, if you can’t afford to waste time and money, or if you have a busy schedule filled with other obligations, a fast-paced program probably makes sense for you. Just make sure it’s a quality school like Roadmaster Drivers School!
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises