Getting your CDL can be an expensive endeavor. The cost of training, testing, and licensing can add up quickly. But what is the true cost of getting your CDL? In addition to the initial investment, there are also costs associated with maintaining your CDL. Here we will look at the average cost of getting and maintaining a CDL.
What is a CDL?
A CDL is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for commercial trucks. A CDL allows drivers to operate many different types of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses, and tractor trailers. This license requires passing written tests as well as a skills test that shows that the driver can handle these larger vehicles.
Why Do I Need a CDL?
Having a commercial driver’s license has its upsides. Many companies prefer to hire truckers with their own rigs because it saves them money. Drivers who already have their own semi-trucks are able to start working immediately without waiting for an open position within the company. Other benefits include higher pay, better work schedules, and more opportunities for employment.
How long does it take to get a CDL?
This varies by location. A driver wishing to get their CDL in California will have to wait on average around 9 months before they can take the skills test. The state of Illinois has about a 20% higher wait time, while Florida and Texas are both on average around 5 months.
How much does it cost to get your cdl?
Passenger Endorsement: The cost of a passenger endorsement ranges from $8 to $60 and is based on the state you live in.
Hair Drug Test: Typically, it costs between $20 and $40 for the hair drug test. This includes both the screening as well as confirmation tests. You can expect your employer to pay for it or you will be reimbursed.
Driver Physical Exam:The physical exam only costs around $50-$70 but this also varies by location/state you live in as well as more specifics such as what part of the physical exam is covered (vision, hearing, etc.) Depending on your weight you may want to be aware of any additional costs for a weigh in.
Restricted License: This only applies if your state restricts your CDL privileges to intrastate operation when you initially obtain your CDL. In this case, the cost is usually around $50-75.
Endorsement Costs: Endorsements add different levels of complexity and responsibility to operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). These endorsements include additional requirements such as air brakes or double/triple trailers that go beyond the minimum requirements for getting your license. The table below outlines these costs based on three main endorsements. Air Brakes Double/Triple Trailer School Tuition $4,500 – 6,000 $2,500 – 3,500 $2,500 – 3,500 Testing Fees $25 per endorsement $20 per endorsement $20 per endorsement License Costs: Endorsements add different levels of complexity and responsibility to operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). These endorsements include additional requirements such as air brakes or double/triple trailers that go beyond the minimum requirements for getting your license. The table below outlines these costs based on three main endorsements. Air Brakes Double/Triple Trailer Passenger Physical Exam Varies Varies Between $50 and $70 Restricted License Between $75 and $100 Between $75 and $100 Between $75 and $100
How much does it cost to get your CDL? Total Costs: The total cost can vary greatly depending on your school, state, endorsements, what level of the physical exam is covered in your physical (vision test, hearing test etc.), and other factors. However, you can expect to pay around $5-6k in tuition for truck driving schools plus additional costs for licensing/endorsements. This figure does not include living expenses while attending CDL training or any miscellaneous fees that may apply.
What is the Cheapest Way to Get a CDL?
Unfortunately, there is no set answer here. It depends on several factors that were discussed above including where you live and what endorsements you want to get. In general, though, attending a public or online CDL training school will be the cheapest option. An in-class setting with travel expenses can add up quickly depending on your location and how far away from home it is located.
What is the class schedule?
Typically, CDL training schools offer classes for between 3-6 weeks. This varies based on the specific school, but most will have a schedule that includes both days and nights. To accommodate drivers who cannot attend during the week due to work or other obligations, some schools do offer weekend only options.
What is the quality of training?
The quality of trucking school can vary widely from one location to another. You should do research into different schools in your area and ask for references from past students if possible before making your final decision. If you are unsure, call around to local trucking companies where you hope to work and ask them for their opinion on which schools they recommend or if they have any complaints about ones.
How much driving practice do you need for your CDL test??
Driving practice is a vital part of obtaining your CDL. To pass the test, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge as well as good physical coordination and reflexes in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle without putting yourself or others at risk. Most schools have an on-site driving range where students can learn how to correctly maneuver large vehicles. You will need a minimum of 20 hours of behind the wheel training prior to getting on the road with a trainer. If you are going through an online program, make sure this requirement is included in the course outline before signing up for it.
How long does the CDL driving test take?
Typically, when you take your CDL test in person there is a 20-minute written exam that will cover basic information about the laws and rules of the road. Most drivers pass this part on their first try but if you do not, you can wait one day to retake it for free. The driving test itself should only take 5-10 minutes tops if everything goes smoothly.
What is the average cost of living?
How much does it cost to get your CDL? This will vary by location, place of residence and even particular city. However, you can typically plan on spending about $1-2k per month for basic expenses such as food and bills assuming you live at home during your CDL training.
What level of physical exam do I need to get my CDL?
In general, you will need a Class A CDL that allows you to drive any vehicle that has a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more and is placarded for hazardous materials. This includes:
He/she may also be required to take a separate written exam depending on the endorsements they wish to receive. For example, if they want an air brake endorsement, they need to pass both the general and specialized written tests for such as well as the driving test in the specific vehicle with those additional requirements. However, this does not apply for all endorsements meaning that some drivers only need one type of knowledge test while others would have to take two or even three different based on circumstances.
What types of jobs are available to me as a new driver?
As a new truck driver, there is virtually no limit to the opportunities that are available. Ones with previous experience or those holding endorsements such as air brake or double/triple trailers may enjoy an advantage over those without them but don’t let this discourage you from applying and doing your best. Talk with companies and find out what they recommend based on your level of experience. Access online resources like our Facebook page where we discuss job openings daily and ask questions if needed. Visit schools and talk with past students about their experiences and whether they would recommend the program. And, of course, be sure to give yourself plenty of time before graduation to apply for jobs you are interested in so that you can build your resume by gaining experience on the road as quickly as possible!
What if I fail my CDL endorsements?
All schools provide some kind of guarantee with their classes meaning that if you do not pass the applicable test(s), they will pay for you to retake it. This is just one more reason why choosing a reputable school that has good reviews/references is important since they will have no problem backing up this claim. Just keep in mind that you may have to wait until the next class session begins (which could be months away) making it even more important for you to take the test as soon as possible.
What’s the difference between an entry level trucking job and a flatbed?
Entry level drivers work mainly in regional runs hauling general freight on pallets and other types of regular cargo while flatbed drivers primarily haul construction equipment, steel beams and other oversize materials that typically require a bed. Most Class A CDL holders will start out in the entry level division since it allows them to gain experience with less responsibility and work their way up from there.
Where is the truck driving school located?
There are various truck driving schools in Texas that can be located online. Some of them may even have multiple locations throughout the state so it may help to investigate what is available to you if you wish to take a course in your particular area.
How long does it take to get my CDL?
Truck driving schools in Texas can vary in length depending upon the one you choose. Our courses range anywhere from 3-8 weeks which means that your CDL could be ready for you within as little as a month or two or upwards of eight depending on how quickly you learn and/or progress throughout the program. Most people who are dedicated to obtaining their CDL license will complete their training in 4-6 weeks, but it is important not to rush yourself since this may lead to mistakes during testing or other setbacks so set your own schedule accordingly.
What kinds of things should I expect during school?
Classroom instruction is designed to familiarize students with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 49 CFR vehicle safety rules and the general expectations you will have as a professional truck driver. You can expect to learn about defensive driving, cargo securement, maneuverability, inspection procedures and other types of material depending upon your school’s curriculum.
What steps should I take after graduating from a Texas CDL program?
Once you complete your training at a truck driving school in Texas, it is very important that you build as much experience as possible since this is often what will set you apart from someone who does not have as much under their belt. Many graduates choose to begin by entering OTR work which means being away from home for days or even weeks at a time but there are also regional opportunities available that may offer more weekly home time.
What is the best way to get a job as a CDL holder?
Finding a job as a professional driver can be challenging but it may help to think about where you want to work first and then start looking into what each company has to offer. For example, if you live in Texas, major employers include Western Express, Schneider National Carriers, Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation so those would be great places to start your search. In addition to researching trucking companies who are hiring new drivers directly, other resources include Owner Operator Direct which lists owner operators who are currently accepting new partners as well as TruckersEdge which allows you have an online presence for potential companies or carriers searching for drivers of their own.
Can United help me find a job after graduation?
The short answer is yes! In fact, our team is always available to help you find a job once your CDL training has been completed. We know that many graduates have questions about how they should go about finding their first truck driving position and that’s why we’ve built relationships with some of the top employers in both Texas and across the U.S.
* A quick tip: make sure to take advantage of any free time while still in school to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what lies ahead such as building your road endurance by practicing for your CDL truck driving test and getting yourself into tip-top shape by eating well and exercising. Once you’re ready, United will help get you there!
What is tuition reimbursement?
How much does it cost to get your CDL? Many companies offer tuition reimbursement for certain courses that you may be taking to obtain your CDL license. For example, United Truck Licensing Services is proud to say we honor the full 100% of our truck training program fees and these costs can be deducted from any potential reimbursement offered by your employer upon successful completion.
Do I need my own insurance to get a driver’s license?
Yes and no! You will need some form of vehicle insurance in order to drive with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) but the good news is that companies often provide this coverage for their employees, so it does not have to come directly out of your pocket at all. In fact, many benefit packages include such things as medical, dental, life, vision and even paid time off so the benefits of having a job as a CDL driver can really add up to something that will help you take better care of yourself.
What should I do if I am having trouble getting my employer to reimburse me for our CDL training program?
First, we recommend sitting down and talking with your manager to find out what the issue might be regarding your reimbursement. Some employers want copies of receipts while others may require certain documentation to process your request, but we always advise graduates who are having trouble receiving their tuition reimbursement from their company to reach out and ask us about it because there is no harm in asking! We’re happy to assist by consulting with the appropriate people on your behalf to find a solution for your issue.
What is the most affordable way to obtain my Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL)?
The good news about obtaining your Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL) is that there are multiple ways in which you can go about it and we recommend looking into various resources before making any decisions. For example, many community colleges offer CDL training programs at an affordable rate and, if this option fits within your schedule, attending classes near where you live can be a great thing.
-However, the most affordable way to obtain your CDL is by opting for our truck driving program in Houston. Unlike other driver training facilities which require you to purchase your own vehicle in order to get behind the wheel, United Truck Licensing Services provides all of the necessary learning materials for graduates who are interested in becoming truck drivers as well as letting them take part in paid hands-on truck driver training during which they’ll learn everything from how to back up a tractor trailer without crashing right on through to tips and advice for obtaining their Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL).
United Truck Licensing Services is proud to offer a way for motivated individuals who are interested in getting their Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL) the opportunity to do so. Our comprehensive student truck driving program includes all of the mandatory testing as well as paid hands-on training during which students will learn everything from how to back up a tractor trailer without crashing right on through to tips and advice for obtaining their Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL). The best part: we don’t require graduates of our student truck driver program to purchase any vehicles or equipment and, instead provide fully licensed professional drivers during their training to teach our students all they need to know.
Can I use my VA benefits toward the cost of CDL training?
Yes, graduates of our truck driving program in Houston can use their VA benefits towards the cost of tuition. To qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you must have served at least 90 days on active duty after September 10th, 2001 or be a spouse using transferred benefits.
United Truck Licensing Services is proud to offer a way for motivated individuals who are interested in obtaining their Class a Commercial Driver License (CDL) the opportunity to do so. Our student truck driver training program includes all of the mandatory testing as well as paid hands-on training during which students will learn everything from how to back up a tractor trailer without crashing right on through to tips and advice for obtaining their Class a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The best part: we don’t require graduates of our student truck driver program to purchase any vehicles or equipment and, instead, provide fully licensed professional drivers during their training to teach our students all they need to know.
For additional information about getting your commercial driver’s license such as required testing and materials or even potential avenues of financial assistance, please visit us online at unitedtruckload.com or contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Do I need a CDL permit before starting training?
No, the only requirement before you start your training is to provide proof of a current Drug Screening. Upon completion of our student truck driver program in Houston you will be ready for testing with the State of Texas and the Federal Department of Transportation for your commercial driver license.
What is the difference between Class A CDL and a Class B CDL?
How much does it cost to get your CDL? Class A CDLs allow drivers to operate tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles while Class B CDL holders can drive everything from small pickups and straight trucks to school buses and recreational vehicles (RVs).
What CDL endorsements can you get?
Endorsements are added qualifications that allow you to drive certain types of commercial motor vehicles. For example, if you want to drive a tank-trailer combination the DOT requires additional testing and licensing beyond the standard CDL.
Can I take my training online?
No. All CDL training must be always conducted in an actual truck with an instructor during your class instruction time. There is no way for instructors to monitor what goes on inside of a student’s vehicle when it is always under power without having another qualified person in the passenger seat. The only exception is after you have finished our student truck driver program in Houston and are ready to test with the State of Texas and Federal Department of Transportation for your Class A CDL. At that time we will tell you the arrangements necessary to obtain your CDL and book your testing appointments.
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How much does it cost to get your CDL? The cost of our student truck driver program as offered by United Truck Licensing Services is only $4,500.00 for the entire course. In addition to this fee, you will be responsible for purchasing your own DOT physical and Drug Screening. That comes to a total of about $1,000. Many students attend our school without any financial assistance whatsoever, but there are never any worries that they cannot afford our course because we do not require them to purchase any equipment or vehicles prior to graduation like many other schools do.