CDL Requirements in Maine
You must be at least 18 years old to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Maine. If you want to drive a HazMat-certified vehicle, you must be 21 years old.
Before you can get your CDL, you’ll need to hold a valid Maine driver’s license for at least one year. You’ll also need to pass a written exam, consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions about traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices.
After passing the written exam, you’ll need to take a skills test, which will include a pre-trip inspection, backing up, and parking. Once you’ve passed the skills test, you’ll be issued your CDL.
Steps to Getting Your CDL in Maine
Step 1: Pass the Knowledge Test(s)
Depending on the commercial license and endorsements you want to get, you will need to pass;
- General knowledge test (applicable to all applicants)
- Air brakes test – if your vehicle has air brakes
- Combination vehicle test – if you want to operate combo vehicles
- Passenger transport test – if you want to drive a bus
- Hazardous materials test – if you want to haul hazardous materials. In addition, you will need to pass a TSA background check
- Tank vehicle test – if you want to haul tanks containing liquid or gaseous materials
- Doubles/triples test – if you want to operate double or triple trailers
- School bus test – if you want to operate a school bus
Step 2: Obtain your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
Once you pass the applicable knowledge test, you will be issued a CLP.
Step 3: Complete ELDT (Entry-Level Driver Training)
The ELDT is mandatory training for all who want to obtain their Class A or B commercial driver’s license for the first time, or if you are upgrading your Class B to a Class A CDL. Completion of the ELDT is also necessary if you want to get endorsements: Passenger, School bus, or Hazardous materials.
Make sure the CDL school you go to is a registered training provider, which will train you at the very least the ELDT. Most trucking school programs provide above and beyond the ELDT requirements. See below to determine how to select the right trucking school for you.
Step 4: Pass the Skills Test
The skills test consists of:
You will complete an inspection of the vehicle. You will be tested on what you would inspect on the vehicle and why. This test is to check if the truck is safe to drive.
Basic Vehicle Control
You will be tested on whether you can control the vehicle – drive it forward and backward, and turning skills.
You will be tested on being able to drive the vehicle on the public road, and in a different traffic conditions: left and right turns, railroad crossings, intersections, up and down grades, curves, single or multi-lane roads, highways or streets.
How to Select Truck Driving Schools in Maine
The length of a CDL training course might vary substantially based on the institution or college where you enroll. Truck driving is a popular job option because it pays well and provides a steady work environment.
Obtaining your commercial driver’s license is the first step in working as a truck driver for a trucking company. Is it necessary to get a CDL in order to work as a truck driver? In Maine, CDL training is necessary for the following levels. Below are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a truck driving school in Maine.
Truck Driving School Costs
Taking truck driving training may be expensive since you must pay for the instructor’s time as well as equipment, fuel, and other stuff. However, compared to other states, the fee to attend a truck driving school in Maine is not bad, averaging $3,408.
While the cost of a school is an important factor to consider, it should not be the most important factor in your selection. Scams offering “free training” should trigger red flags in your mind. Choosing a truck driving school only on price may be problematic.
The level of instruction they deliver varies greatly. Determine the monetary worth of any program in which you are interested. Inquire about grants and how others pay for their studies if you can’t afford the tuition at your preferred school.
Here are examples of CDL tuition costs in Maine:
- Class A CDL program: $5,200 (automatic), $6,200 (standard)
- Length: 2 weeks
- Class B CDL program: $3,500 (automatic), $4,500 (standard)
- Length: 2 weeks
- Location: Saco, Maine
- Class A CDL program: $6,000
- Class B CDL program: $3,200
- Location: Mexico, Maine
Due to truck driver shortage, most schools will have financial options if you don’t have the money up front. Some CDL schools accept CDL grants. It’s worth having a discussion with the trucking school to learn what is available to you to fund your training.
The Kind of Truck Driving School
Accredited, certified, or licensed CDL schools are available. To get a license, a course must show that it has met all of the state’s curriculum, facility, and staff training regulations.
State-licensed courses are known as “certified” courses since they have been examined by a third-party firm to guarantee that the school meets certain requirements. In order to get their certifications, graduates of these programs must fulfill the DOT standards for employment in the trucking industry.
FMCSA is mandating driver training for all who want to get their Class A and B CDL for the first time, or if they are upgrading their license to Class A, as well as for those getting S, P, and H endorsements for the first time. Ensure that the trucking school is registered with the FMCSA.
For many individuals, the additional few minutes it takes to go to their driving school to learn to drive is not worth the effort. There is no guarantee that a program will be of good quality just because it is offered in a training facility. Take your time and do your homework before making a decision. It’s possible that you’re missing out on some incredible courses that will be available in a few years.
Make certain that you are familiar with the criteria of your state. Maine CDL applicants must first pass a state-administered exam before being considered for certification. Check to see whether you will be able to return to your home state after completing your CDL training at an out-of-state college before enrolling there.
How to Get a Job?
Choosing a truck driving school with a proven track record of placing students in top-tier companies is crucial to your long-term success as a truck driver. It is critical to understand if the program provides individual coaching or collaborates with local transit providers. If you want to know how well a school performs at placing recent graduates, don’t be afraid to ask. Finding a school that can help you get a job after training is important.
A Comprehensive Strategy
If you are considering a program, be sure it is comprehensive and includes both classroom and range instruction. We learn more successfully when we are doing something rather than just sitting in a classroom. Take a cab and take in the sights. To get information, one must first take action.
Maine commercial driver’s license training programs may vary from those in other states. In Maine, all truck drivers must have a current Commercial Driver’s License. Driving vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds needs a specific license. The amount of time spent on various commercial transportation occupations may vary. You may also need to travel long distances to fulfill your jobs, or you may just need to transport products within your nearby region. So, while choosing a training center, take your time.
List of Trucking Schools in Maine
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