Becoming a truck driver is a great career choice in the United States given the shortage in truckers and supply chain issues. If you want to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Pennsylvania there are certain requirements, as well as mandatory truck driver training before you are issued a CDL.
CDL Requirements in Pennsylvania
To earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in the state of Pennsylvania, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old (21 years old to drive interstate)
- Have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license
- Pass a vision test
- Provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or legal residency
- Have a clean driving record
- Pass a drug test and physical
You must have a CDL to operate any of the following vehicles:
- Class A CDL: A vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds
- Class B CDL: A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, or a vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Class C CDL: A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of less than 26,001 pounds if it is:
- transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding;
- transporting 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or, is a school bus.
If you plan on driving any of these types of vehicles, you will need to obtain the appropriate CDL endorsement(s). You will need to pass a knowledge and skills test for each endorsement. The endorsements available are:
- HAZMAT – allows you to transport hazardous materials
- Tanker – allows you to transport liquids in a large tank
- Air Brakes – allows you to operate a vehicle with air brakes
- Doubles/Triples – allows you to tow two or three trailers at the same time
- School Bus – allows you to transport school children
- Passenger – allows you to transport passengers
Visit a PennDOT office to take the CDL knowledge test. Unless you are exempt, you must also complete a CDL skills test, which includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. If you pass, you will be issued your CDL.
You are required to complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) before you can get a CDL. Truck driver training should be done through a registered trainer to ensure that you can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Additionally, the right truck driving school will set you up for success to thrive in your career as a professional truck driver.
How to Select Truck Driving Schools in Pennsylvania
If you want to work as a professional truck driver, you’ll need to enroll in a CDL driving school registered with the FMCSA. Be sure to choose a training school that is most suited to your requirements when signing up for a course. Attend a school that specializes in helping students pass the CDL exam the first time around. Consider these things while searching for a CDL driving school.
One of the most important things you can do is to devote time and money to find new employment. Make sure you have the required training and enroll in a CDL driving school before making this choice. Choosing the best option for your needs and your wallet is essential, so don’t be afraid to shop around. When looking for CDL driving schools, the following considerations should be made.
Cost of Truck Driver Training
The cost of a CDL training program mostly depends on the kind of CDL license and endorsements that you want. The cost of training may be determined by a number of variables. These include the type of CDL training, the length of training, curriculum, or whether you are training in an automatic or manual truck.
Here’s an example:
- CDL A Entry-Level Driver Training: $1,200
- CDL B Entry-Level Driver Training: $1,100
- Note: this school has a full CDL A training program that is either 160 hours or 240 hours (prices weren’t available on their site)
Supplementary Financial Aid
Check for grants and scholarships if you can’t afford to pay for your program. Visit the Pennsylvania Office of Student Financial Aids’ website to learn about grants, scholarships, and other kinds of financial aid for truck driving schools. If you’re a member of the military or armed forces, you may be eligible for several federal and state scholarships and grants. Search through to see what options best suit you.
It’s a common misconception that all truck driving schools aid their alumni in getting employment following graduation. A college’s efforts to help trucking companies find the right people are typically recognized and financially rewarded. Many career opportunities will be available to you if you graduate from an outstanding trucking school. Inquire about the school’s placement rate and the companies where they place their graduates to learn how many of their alumni receive employment after graduation.
Hands on the Wheel Training
You’ll be spending a significant amount of time in the classroom. This is a fantastic method to prepare for your CDL exam while also learning how to drive a tractor-trailer at the same time. The greatest place for them to practice driving and interacting with their vehicles is in their own backyard. The school needs to invest money in order to maintain a big fleet of operational vehicles.
Some schools limit the number of time students are allowed to spend in the yard in an effort to minimize the expenses. The amount of yard training you will lose out on if you enroll in a low-cost truck driving school is very important to consider before enrolling.
Size of the Classroom
Given the fact that instructors’ training might change over time, evaluating them can be challenging in the truck driving school setting. The reputation of a school may be made or broken by its teachers. There are numerous approaches that may be used to compare the size of classrooms at different schools that are straightforward.
In all truck driving schools, the number of students allowed in the classroom is rigorously regulated by the instructors. Smaller class size allows your teachers to spend more time with you, which means you will be able to learn more in less time.
Which CDL School Should You Choose?
Despite the fact that Pennsylvania has a slew of truck driving schools, no two schools are the same. Depending on your financial situation, you will have to make a choice. Consider enrolling in a program that will allow you to get your certification for the lowest feasible cost. You should also consider the following factors while looking for a truck driving school.
New employment is one of the most advantageous things you can do for your professional development if you commit the necessary time and resources to the search. When making this choice, the most significant factor to consider is whether or not to enroll in a state-approved CDL driving school and get the requisite training. It is necessary to choose an option that both satisfies your requirements and is not too pricey when you have a choice of options available. When looking for CDL driving schools in Pennsylvania, keep the tips listed above in mind.
List of Trucking Schools in Pennsylvania
TruckersTraining.com provide information, tools and resources to those who want to become a truck driver in the U.S. We hope that you can use the content on the site to help inform you on whether or not you want to drive trucks for a living.
Leave a Reply