Becoming a professional truck driver in North Carolina has not come at a better time. With the truck driver shortage and plenty of federal and state incentives for in-demand jobs such as truck driving, you are poised for success to land a job in the trucking industry.
CDL Requirements in North Carolina
To get a CDL in North Carolina, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old; 21 to drive interstate / obtain hazardous material endorsement
- Have a valid driver’s license in North Carolina
- Pass a vision test
- Have a clean driving record
- Have liability insurance coverage
- Complete an application for a CDL permit
- Pay the permit fee
- Pass the required knowledge tests
- Complete Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)
- Pass the required skills tests
After you have passed the tests and obtained your CDL, you must follow all North Carolina trucking regulations. These include getting your CDL license plate, registering your truck, and obtaining the proper insurance. You also need to keep your CDL up to date.
How to Select Truck Driving Schools in North Carolina
When considering truck driving schools, keep some of the following factors in mind.
You must do proper research before making a final selection about the CDL program to apply to. Consider the following while comparing truck driving schools. Find out about the school’s reputation among former students. Do they speak highly about the school? Are they satisfied with the training they got? Also important to consider is the cost of training. Going to school costs money, and you should make sure you get your money’s worth.
Before selecting a truck driving school, check to see whether it’s simple to acquire CDL training back in North Carolina. Depending on where you live in the United States, you may be subject to a different set of rules. By completing the proper paperwork, you may transfer your CDL license to another state.
There are certain states that only need the written CDL examinations to be retaken once, while others require both the written and driving tests to be completed. You may want to give it some thought before deciding to get your training somewhere else.
CDL Tuition Cost
The cost of attending a truck driving school in North Carolina typically starts at $1,000 to over $5,000. The factors that affect CDL tuition are: length of program, the type of course (Class A vs. Class B), manual vs. automatic transmission, school reputation, quality of instructors, etc.
In addition, CDL training at local community colleges tend to be cheaper compared to private truck driving schools. If you are finding that CDL tuition prices are in the thousands and out of your price range, check out community colleges near you.
Examples of CDL tuitions costs:
- Class A program: $3,500 (automatic); $4,000 (manual)
- Length: 4 weeks, 160 hours
- Class B program: $3,000 (automatic); $3,500 (manual)
- Length: 4 weeks, 160 hours
- Location: Candler, NC
- Class A program: $1,153.50 for NC residents, $3,457.50 for non NC residents
- Length: 8 weeks (day classes), 15-16 weeks (night/weekend classes)
- Location: Smithfield, NC
- Class A program: $1,179
- Length: 8 weeks (day classes), 10 weeks (night classes)
- Location: Castle Hayne, NC
Prior to comparing truck driving schools in North Carolina, you should know why their prices are established the way they are. Inquire about what sets the school apart from the competition.
If funding is going to be a challenge, make sure the school offers financing options and/or works with CDL grants and scholarships.
Some financial assistance to consider:
- WIOA – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- ESR – Empowering Strength and Resilience
It is important to have quality instructors at the truck driving school you attend because they can help you understand the material, answer any questions you may have and provide you with plenty of behind-the-wheel experience. Practical experience is unsurpassed when it comes to learning how to operate a truck and how to live on the road. The more job experience you have, the more likely you are to succeed in your new position.
It is imperative that you learn the abilities you will need to succeed in the real world. The best CDL instructors are previous truck drivers, well-trained and have a great deal of competence.
Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)
To get your CDL, you must complete the mandatory training called Entry-Level Driver Training or ELDT. The ELDT is required if you are looking to obtain your Class A or B for the first time; if you are upgrading your Class B to A; and/or if you are looking to get the following endorsements: S (school bus), P (passenger), H (hazardous material).
The truck driving school must be qualified to offer ELDT to their students, and they must be registered with FMCSA.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Getting a Job
The next step is to get a job as a truck driver. If you want to attend a private training institution that does not hire its graduates, you should look into job placement services. Take a look at the job placement services and statistics of each truck driving school. A truck driving school with a history of putting its graduates in jobs as soon as they finish their training is always a good choice.
Consider the CDL’s Requirements
To get a CDL license, you’ll need to put in both classroom and on-the-job training. If at all feasible, look for a school that can help you satisfy all of the requirements for your CDL. These tips should help you choose an excellent truck driving school if you’re looking for one. Consider your insurance requirements and responsibilities before you begin driving a vehicle. In addition, safety should be taken into account.
As a general rule, all truck driving schools in North Carolina work with the same curriculum. The written knowledge test for a commercial driver’s license in North Carolina is taught in the classroom. However, no two academic institutions are exactly the same. Do some research on truck driving schools before deciding which one to go with.
List of Trucking Schools in North Carolina
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