The Factors That Make Up A CDL Training Program

by Kris Koonar - Date: 2008-07-18 - Word Count: 541 Share This!

Truck driving is fast catching up as an excellent career option with sizable remunerations. Truck drivers are in high demand and there is a huge shortage of experienced and skilled drivers with CDL training. The duties are not limited to driving trucks but also involve their maintenance and repairs as well. CDL training should involve all factors, right from simple driving skills to parking and maneuvering skills, and to knowledge about truck components.

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is a prerequisite for drivers of heavy or large trucks. A regular driver's license is sufficient for other types of trucks. Many private and public training schools provide vocational and technical training to aspiring drivers. Different high schools offer courses for driver training as well as automotive mechanics. The training generally starts with a Department of Transportation physical test as well as a drug screening. The physical screening involves checking the blood pressure levels, the eyesight ratings, the hearing abilities and any other health related issues that may be dangerous while driving long distance on these heavy vehicles. The trainings also involve classroom training for undertaking written tests for the CDL AP learners permit.

To get a CDL it is not enough to simply be trained driving skills. Drivers of large trucks need to be able to maneuver crowded streets, and be able to drive skillfully and carefully on the highways, too. Trainings mostly involve teaching aspirants on the driving range the practical aspects of driving, right from starting the truck to learning how to use defensive driving techniques. The student will be instructed on the shifting of the gears, straight backing, parallel parking, serpentine backing, dock backing as well as negotiating turns.

However, this is not all that they need to know. They also learn about the safety procedures to follow, to make their journey a safe one. Most important is to undertake pre-trip inspection, to make sure that while driving they do not face problems with the truck, which could endanger lives. These schools also have classroom sessions to teach the drivers the rules of the road.

The truck driving schools also train the drivers to maintain a correct logbook, which is very important in this industry. There are rules that have to be followed regarding the number of hours for which the driver can drive, how much time he needs to rest before he starts driving and so on. A driver may be given a citation or 'shut down', which means that he will have to stop driving until he catches up with non- driving hours.

There are certain important security measures put in place by the different states to protect their citizens. There are certain guidelines on handling the hazardous materials. If, you are required as a truck driver, to move hazardous material, the CDL requires a hazmat endorsement, and conducts a background check and a fingerprint check. Training schools then help prepare for such additional endorsements that may be required.

Trainees also have the opportunity to work with an experienced driver for some time till they are confident enough to drive on their own. This hands-on experience is highly useful to develop them into skilled drivers. Most of the truck driving schools designs their training programs involving all these factors.

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