In-Person vs. Online CDL Training

In-Person vs. Online CDL Training: Which Is Best?

What is a commercial driving license?

A commercial driving license (CDL) is an official state-issued license that allows an individual to operate trucks, buses, and other vehicles of a certain weight and size. It is required for those who want to drive large or heavy vehicles, such as tanker vehicles, straight trucks, semi-trailer trucks, combination tankers, dump trailers, and passenger buses. 

A CDL license also allows people to operate vehicles that transport goods from distribution centers to customer locations. To obtain a CDL, an individual must take a four-week, 165-hour course that meets the entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations. 

This course covers DOT rules and regulations, pre-trip inspection, backing pad skills, and on-the-road skills. Upon completion, students are eligible to take the state-regulated CDL test and receive their license.

It’s important to note that the quality of CDL training can vary widely, regardless of whether it’s done online or in person. Students should thoroughly research CDL training programs, ensure they meet state requirements, and offer high-quality instruction and training.

Read this blog post to learn more about obtaining your CDL from ELDTPro, an industry-leading FMCSA Compliant ELDT Program

CDL training

What factors should you consider when choosing between in-person and online CDL training?

1. Cost

The cost of obtaining a CDL license will vary depending on where you live and the number of endorsements required to drive the vehicles of your choice. In-person truck driving school classes usually charge around $400 for the entire training course, including all tests and endorsements. On the other hand, online courses can be more expensive and may cost up to $5,950. 

Class A CDL training fees will typically cost $4,530, while Class B program fees are usually $3,282. In both cases, this includes the approximate cost of textbooks ($93). Furthermore, for the in-person training, an additional fee of $3,871.63 is required for the first exam, and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training with one student and one instructor will take approximately 1.5 weeks to complete.

2. Location

When exploring the different options for CDL training, it is essential to consider the program’s location. Attending an in-person program often requires traveling to the school and driving to the location. 

With online programs, students can access the same curriculum from the comfort of their homes. Location is essential when determining the ideal program, as it can affect the cost of transportation, the availability of resources, and the type of instruction. In-person programs often provide more hands-on instruction and the chance to learn from experienced instructors. 

This instruction type is unavailable through an online program, making it an essential factor in the decision-making process. Additionally, in-person programs may provide resources such as job placement assistance and career counseling, which would not be available through an online program. 

It is crucial to weigh the cost and convenience of attending an in-person program against the convenience of attending an online program to determine the best fit for your needs.

3. Program length

When searching for a CDL training program, it’s essential to consider the program length. The typical program length for full-time students is 36-48 weeks, but some online courses offer the opportunity to get your CDL faster. 

While this may be convenient, it’s important to remember that a good trucking school should prioritize quality over speed. A more extended program may better equip you with the knowledge and skills to develop into a safe and responsible driver. Additionally, many schools offer tuition reimbursement for students who agree to contract with them. 

Looking for an online course that is FMCSA certified with a proven track record of success is also crucial to ensuring the best training possible.

4. Class size

When comparing and contrasting in-person and online CDL training, the class size is an essential factor to consider. In-person CDL classes usually have a minimum of two students and a maximum of three, with one instructor. 

This allows students more one-on-one time with the instructor, making it easier to get personalized instruction and guidance. Online CDL classes may have more students, allowing for more discussion and collaboration among the students but less individual attention from the instructor.

In-person classes also offer the benefit of face-to-face interaction with the instructor and classmates, which is impossible with online classes. This can benefit those who learn best with more visual and hands-on instruction. Online classes may also require students to have access to a computer, whereas in-person classes may not.

When choosing between in-person and online CDL training, the size of the class and the type of instruction you prefer should be considered. In-person classes offer more one-on-one guidance and the chance for more visual learning but may require more flexible class times and scheduling. 

Online classes can be more convenient but require access to a computer and may provide a different level of personalized instruction.

5. Instructor qualifications

There are a few things to consider when selecting a CDL instructor, whether in-person or online. 

Firstly, it is vital to check the qualifications of the instructor. Most online courses will have an assigned instructor, and it is crucial to ensure they are certified to teach the course and knowledgeable in the subject. 

On the other hand, when selecting an in-person instructor, it is vital to ensure that the instructor holds the necessary credentials to teach the course and has the required knowledge to help students succeed.

Another consideration for an in-person instructor is the ability for drivers to directly interact with the instructor and ask questions or gain more explanation on areas they did not understand. With traditional training programs, there is also the benefit of a fixed timetable that helps drivers prepare for future responsibilities. In-person instructors also act as role models to drivers and help to motivate them to improve their driving skills in school.

In comparison, online courses often offer access to an instructor, who is an excellent source of information. They can answer questions and offer advice to drivers. Online courses also allow drivers to learn at their own pace and provide a wide scope of knowledge that can be leveraged to promote their contribution to the trucking industry through real examples.

When selecting a CDL instructor, it is essential to consider their qualifications, the type of interaction they offer, and the skills and knowledge they can impart to the drivers. With the right instructor, drivers can be well-equipped to promote their contribution to the trucking industry.

6. Program offerings

When exploring CDL training options, it’s essential to consider the variety of program offerings available to find the best fit for your needs. Here are some aspects to keep in mind while making your decision:

  1. Course format: Look for institutions that offer online and in-person courses, allowing you to choose the format that best aligns with your learning preferences and schedule.
  2. Curriculum: Ensure the program covers all essential topics and meets industry standards, providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field.
  3. Hands-on training: Opt for programs emphasizing practical, hands-on experience, a critical aspect of CDL training.
  4. Certification and endorsements: Investigate whether the program offers additional certifications or endorsements, such as Hazmat, Doubles/Triples, or Tanker endorsements, which can enhance your employability.
  5. Instructor quality: Look for experienced and knowledgeable instructors who can effectively teach and guide students throughout the training process.
  6. Job placement assistance: Choose a program that offers job placement support, helping you secure employment in the trucking industry upon completing your training.
  7. Financial aid options: Consider programs that provide financial aid or payment plan options, making it more accessible and affordable to obtain your CDL.

By considering these program offerings, you can make a more informed decision and select the CDL training course that best suits your needs and goals.

7. Classroom training

Classroom training offers several advantages for choosing between in-person and online CDL training. First, it provides drivers with direct interaction with their instructor, allowing them to ask questions about areas they didn’t understand, increasing their learning capabilities. 

Additionally, face-to-face interactions between the instructor and other drivers allow for developing problem-solving skills and establishing responsibility among drivers. 

Furthermore, classroom training provides drivers with a wide range of knowledge and skills, which can be leveraged to further their contribution to the trucking industry.

Traditional schools also encourage student achievement, as instructors act as a source of motivation, helping drivers to improve their driving skills. 

Finally, classroom training allows drivers to focus on different interests while in school, providing them with career direction and the opportunity to express their interests and skills. In contrast, online training may be less expensive but only provides drivers with the same comprehensive learning opportunities as traditional schools.

8. Train-the-trainer model

The Train-the-Trainer model is useful when choosing between in-person and online CDL training. In-person CDL training provides drivers with direct access to experienced instructors, face-to-face interactions, and the opportunity to learn through real scenarios. 

In addition, traditional schools equip drivers with a broad scope of knowledge compared to other alternative methods. Instructors act as role models to drivers and help motivate them to improve. 

On the other hand, although online training is more convenient and cost-effective, there is a lack of flexible study hours, which can be difficult for drivers working full-time or part-time jobs to manage. 

The Train-the-Trainer model allows instructors to provide drivers with the necessary skills and knowledge while still providing drivers with the convenience of learning at their own pace. With this model, drivers receive the same quality of information and instruction as they would in a traditional in-person setting but with the added flexibility of online training. 

Ultimately, the Train-the-Trainer model provides drivers with the best of both worlds, allowing them to benefit from the advantages of in-person and online CDL training.

9. Experiential learning

Experiential learning is a form of learning that engages students by focusing on experience, exploration, and reflection. This type of learning is beneficial in CDL training because it allows students to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the industry. 

Active participation allows drivers to interact directly with instructors and ask questions, allowing for more effective learning. Experiential learning also promotes group collaboration, helping to establish responsibility among drivers and developing their technical skills. 

Additionally, this type of learning allows drivers to learn through real examples and gain a broad scope of knowledge typically unavailable through alternative education methods. 

Experiential learning is centered on the instructor, who acts as a role model and source of motivation for the drivers. This type of learning encourages active participation and can lead to increased student achievement. It is an effective method for training drivers for the trucking industry and should be considered when choosing between in-person and online CDL training.

10. Self-study options

When it comes to self-study for CDL training, there are various options available. You can choose a self-paced course that fits your schedule and costs around $349, providing up to 16 hours of online learning over 90 days. 

Alternatively, you can opt for courses that use textbooks rather than fully online materials, and these are typically conducted via flexible, asynchronous Web-based instruction and collaboration. 

You can also find courses primarily online in a blended format, combining in-person and online elements, with up to 20% of instructional time dedicated to in-person activities. 

Finally, there are less expensive and more convenient online courses that allow you to study, practice, and prepare for your CDL test at your own pace.

11. Testing requirements

The testing requirements for in-person and online CDL training are similar: both require a passing score on the CDL written and driving exams and a satisfactory attendance record of 165 hours to receive a Certificate of Completion. 

However, there are some differences. For in-person training, students must be US citizens or legal permanent residents and attend classes that meet FMCSA requirements for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). 

In addition, they must have a user ID and current driver’s license state, first and last name, license number, and birthday. Students can access a student account, a business partner account (bulk purchase), and an online practice test for online training. They also have access to courses such as essential operation, orientation, control systems/dashboard, pre-and post-trip inspections, primary control, shifting/operating transmissions, backing and docking, coupling and uncoupling, safe operating procedures, visual search, communication, distracted driving, speed management, space management, night operation, extreme driving conditions, advanced operating practices, hazard perception, skid control/recovery, jackknifing, and other emergencies, railroad-highway grade crossings, and more.

12. Endorsements and licenses

Considerations regarding endorsements and licenses are essential when choosing between in-person and online CDL training. In-person CDL training programs are typically more expensive than online training options due to the rental fees and other associated costs. 

Additionally, in-person training programs require students to first obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) from their state DMV/MVC, which requires them to attend a federally mandated Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) course. 

However, in-person programs provide students with a hands-on experience that is beneficial in learning the skills needed to be a truck driver.

On the other hand, online CDL training programs are typically cheaper and can often be completed with minimal interaction with instructors or staff. Since online courses do not require a CLP, they can be taken without attending an ELDT course. However, there is a risk with online courses as they are not recognized or approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

Therefore, individuals may not get the necessary lessons to get their CDL.

When deciding between in-person and online CDL training, individuals should consider their budget, the endorsements and licenses required, and the level of hands-on experience they are comfortable with.

13. Refund policy

Before enrolling in a CDL training program, reviewing the institution’s refund policy is essential. This policy outlines the conditions under which you may be eligible for a partial or full refund of your tuition fees should you need to withdraw from the program. 

Factors to consider include the timeline for requesting a refund, the percentage of tuition refunded depending on the withdrawal stage, and any administrative fees that may be deducted. Understanding the refund policy can help you make an informed decision and provide peace of mind when investing in your CDL training.

14. Tuition assistance

Both in-person and online CDL training programs offer various tuition assistance to help make education more accessible and affordable. In-person courses may be eligible for funding through Job Service or Vocational Rehabilitation programs, while qualified veterans can benefit from the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Tuition costs for in-person classes can vary depending on the location, usually ranging from $6,999 to $7,999. This typically covers fees, textbooks, and truck rental expenses.

By exploring available tuition assistance options, students can ease the financial burden and focus on acquiring the skills necessary for a successful career in the trucking industry.

15. Financial aid

When considering CDL training programs, it is crucial to explore available financial aid options to help offset the cost of tuition. Financial aid can come in various forms, such as grants, scholarships, loans, or work-study programs. Many educational institutions offer assistance through federal or state programs, while others may have in-house financial aid packages or partner with external organizations.

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, you may need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or other institution-specific forms. Carefully review the application deadlines and requirements to ensure you are considered for all available aid opportunities. Taking advantage of financial aid options can make CDL training more affordable and accessible.

16. On-the-job training

On-the-job training is a form of training in which new hires or employees learn the job skills they need by working alongside experienced employees. On-the-job training helps choose between in-person and online CDL training because it allows students to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in properly operating Class A trucks. 

On-the-job training also aids in developing skills not taught in the classroom, such as problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. Additionally, on-the-job training can more easily accommodate students’ different learning styles and provide immediate feedback when mistakes are made, allowing them to learn more efficiently and effectively.

17. Online training

The advantages of taking CDL training online include the following:

  • Flexibility: Online truck driving courses are convenient and flexible, allowing drivers to take classes on their schedule and from any location they choose.
  • Lower Cost: Online classes are often less expensive than in-person courses, making them more accessible to a more significant number of people.
  • Self-Paced: Online courses allow drivers to learn at their own pace, which can be especially beneficial if they need to study and review material multiple times.
  • Variety: A wide range of online truck driving courses and programs are available, allowing drivers to select the course that best fits their needs.
  • Quality Control: Online programs are subject to quality control, so drivers can be assured that their courses meet the highest standards.
  • Networking Opportunities: Online truck driving courses allow drivers to network with other drivers and industry professionals.
  • On-the-Job Training: Some online courses offer hands-on training and simulations, allowing drivers to gain valuable experience that can be applied to their job.
  • Professional Development: Drivers can take advantage of professional development courses tailored specifically to their needs.
  • Technical Support: Many online courses come with technical support, so drivers can receive help if they have any issues.

18. Professional association

When choosing between in-person and online CDL training, it is vital to consider the professional association of a trainer. 

At ELDTPro, our instructors are trained professionals dedicated to helping our students succeed. They are certified and have years of experience in the industry, so you can be sure you’re getting the highest quality training available. 

Furthermore, our instructors are connected to the NWTC Alumni Association so you can get assistance from experienced alums in your field. This access to experienced professionals is invaluable and can help you to launch a successful career after graduation.

19. Recertification requirements

To recertify for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training, in-person and online classes must meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements. 

In-person classes must include 165 hours of instruction, including the CDL written and driving exams, to receive a Certificate of Completion. In addition, students must be at least 21 years of age and go for a fingerprint/background check before taking the endorsement test. A fee of $86.50 is required to submit to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Online classes must meet all the requirements of in-person classes, including a Certificate of Completion issued upon passing the CDL written and driving exams. Tuition for the online course is $173 per person, which includes the textbook. Students must also complete specific theory instruction before taking the required knowledge test. 

Students will be submitted to the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) after completing the course. This online course is approved in all 50 states and offers a money-back guarantee if the student does not pass the exam. The online course works on all devices; students can take as long as necessary to finish.

20. Customer service

How does customer service affect the choice between in-person and online CDL training? Customer service can have a significant impact on the decision to choose in-person or online CDL training. With in-person training, students receive personalized instruction from a professional instructor, allowing them to learn more quickly and efficiently. 

Additionally, in-person training allows for phone training appointments, payment plans, and financing to be made with a CDL Coordinator. 

On the other hand, online CDL training may be more convenient for some, but with the personalized direction and guidance, it can be easier to learn and progress simultaneously. Therefore, customer service plays a significant role in choosing between in-person and online CDL training.

the best type of CDL training

What is the best type of CDL training?

1. In-Person Truck Driver Training

Yes, in-person truck driver training is the best type of CDL training for several reasons. In-person truck driving schools like TDI allows students to build relationships with partner carriers, which can help ensure employment right out of school. 

Additionally, in-person truck driving schools have a dedicated admissions team to help students succeed before and after training, such as finding scholarships and post-CDL employment opportunities. Moreover, in-person CDL programs provide drivers with direct interaction with the instructor, face-to-face interaction with other drivers, a fixed timetable to help drivers prepare for future responsibilities, and instructors who act as role models and sources of motivation. 

In comparison, online truck driving schools do not have the necessary support infrastructure to promote long-term career goals. Most online truck driving schools train prospective drivers using short video segments instead of engaging, in-person instruction. 

Ultimately, in-person truck driver training is the best type of CDL training. It provides drivers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to help them succeed in the trucking industry.

Pros of Traditional Driver Training

  1. Total participation: Drivers will interact directly with the instructor and be able to ask questions or explain areas they did not understand, facilitating participative learning.
  2. Face-to-face interaction: Drivers can easily interact face-to-face while solving complex assignments with others participating in the driver-training program.
  3. Establish responsibility among the drivers: Traditional training programs use a fixed timetable that all drivers must follow to help drivers to prepare for future responsibilities.
  4. Learn through real examples: Attending classes will enable drivers to gain the necessary skills and knowledge that can be leveraged to promote their contribution to the trucking industry through real examples.
  5. Vast knowledge: Traditional schools equip drivers with a broad scope of knowledge compared to other alternative education methods. Drivers can learn technical skills while learning Hands-On.
  6. Instructor-centered learning: instructors are the primary source of information for the drivers. Instructors transfer knowledge to drivers and help them focus on the trucking industry. They essentially act as role models to the drivers.
  7. Increased student achievement: instructors work with the drivers to encourage them to improve their driving skills in school. They act as a source of motivation for improving their abilities in the classroom.

Cons of Traditional Driver Training

  1. Cost of commuting: Using traditional Driver Training is more expensive due to the increased cost of commuting to the school and looking for accommodation within the school environment.
  2. No flexible study hours: Drivers working may find studying in traditional Driver Training challenging due to rigid schedules. The use of modern methods can minimize the challenges faced by drivers.
  3. Less time pursuing other tasks: Drivers must organize their daily tasks based on class attendance timetable, which may give them less time to pursue other tasks during a workday.
  4. Lack of motivation: Drivers may feel that they do not have the opportunity to express their interests and skills using the traditional Driver Training paradigm. They view attending school as an obligation they must follow rather than being there because they want to.
  5. Lack of career direction: Allowing drivers to focus on different interests within the school may divert their attention in the classroom, affecting their future career growth. Drivers will spend more time and effort learning something that may not help them later in their lives and careers.

2. Online CDL Training

Online CDL training has become increasingly popular as an alternative to in-person classes. It can be a less expensive and more convenient option for those who need to meet their state’s requirements and take their CLP exam. 

ELDTPro offers a variety of FMCSA-approved ELDT courses that can be completed at your own pace and with plenty of helpful videos. Additionally, many trucking companies offer tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them, making online courses even more beneficial.

In short, online CDL training is an excellent way to prepare for your theory exam and on-the-road training at your own pace. It is ELDT compliant and offers a great way to get started in a career as a CDL driver. Therefore, online CDL training is a viable option for those looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to get their license.

3. CDL Training Program

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training Program is a comprehensive educational program designed to prepare prospective truck drivers for their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exam and to teach them the necessary knowledge and skills to be safe and successful truck drivers. 

The program typically consists of a four-week course that meets the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This comprehensive program allows students to learn from experienced instructors both in the classroom and behind the wheel. 

Through this program, students learn critical commercial driving concepts and skills with hours of driving practice in various driving conditions and gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the proper operation of Class A trucks.

A CDL Training Program is vital for truck drivers because it enables them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful. 

With a CDL permit, a driver can operate any commercial vehicle, including tractor-trailers, buses, and tankers. A training program prepares the driver for the CDL exam and equips them with the required skills and safety knowledge to be proficient and capable in commercial driving. It is also essential to consider the financial benefits of obtaining a commercial driver’s license. 

Most trucking companies partner with schools offering tuition reimbursement if the student agrees to contract with them. Thus, a CDL Training Program is essential for anyone wishing to pursue a career in trucking.

4. CDL Courses

Several types of CDL training courses are available, depending on your needs. 

The most common type is the four-week, 165-hour Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program, which meets the new FMCSA Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations. This comprehensive program provides students with classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction and practice in crucial commercial driving concepts and skills. Students will be prepared to take the state-regulated CDL test upon successful completion.

Another option is online CDL training, which most major trucking companies offer. These classes usually last around four weeks or longer and give students access to e-learning modules, DVDs, and CDs with interactive lessons. The advantage of online learning is that students can learn at their own pace and fit the lessons around their daily routines.

Finally, all our courses are FMCSA certified and designed to help applicants obtain their Commercial Learner’s Permit in as little as ten days. This course is required for all new CLP applicants before obtaining their CDL.

5. Occupational Driver’s License

When considering the best type of CDL training, it is essential to evaluate the various options available. For example, Delivery Drivers, Line Haul drivers, Log Truck drivers, and Over the Road Driver (OTR Drivers) require different training. 

The Suggested Degree Plan for Truck Driver Training Certificate includes courses such as Introduction to Logistics Management, Transportation, Warehouse Management, and Introduction to Truck Driver Training. 

For a more comprehensive program, students can complete the Fundamentals and Operations courses, including truck systems, defensive driving, cargo handling, and hazardous materials. It is essential to consider the level of commitment required for each training type and consult with an advisor before signing up for classes each semester. 

Lastly, reviewing the Gainful Employment information for the particular certificate of study is essential before deciding.

6. State CDL Tests

The state DMV administers CDL tests to obtain a commercial driver’s license. These tests are beneficial for CDL training as they ensure that drivers are proficient in their knowledge of commercial driving laws and regulations and their driving skillset. 

Passing these tests is a prerequisite for obtaining a commercial driver’s license. It proves that the driver has obtained the necessary knowledge and skillset to safely operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. Furthermore, it is required by most employers that commercial drivers have a valid CDL test to be employed. 

These tests are designed to assess a driver’s knowledge of commercial driving regulations, their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, and their knowledge of road safety. By taking and passing these tests, drivers can demonstrate to themselves and potential employers that they have the skills and knowledge required to be a competent and responsible commercial driver.

7. ELDTPro

ELDTPro is a premier online CDL training institution that provides comprehensive Class A CDL training covering essential topics to help students excel in the trucking industry. The program includes the following:

  • 1.1 Orientation: Introduction to the CDL training program and course expectations.
  • 1.2 Control Systems/Dashboard: Understanding a truck’s control systems and dashboard functions and features.
  • 1.3 Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections: Learning the proper vehicle inspection procedures before and after trips.
  • 1.4 Basic Control: Mastering basic driving controls, including steering, braking, and acceleration.
  • 1.5 Shifting/Operating Transmissions: Learning how to shift gears and operate various transmissions.
  • 1.6 Backing and Docking: Developing skills for safely backing and docking a commercial vehicle.
  • 1.7 Coupling and Uncoupling: Gaining proficiency in connecting and disconnecting trailers from the tractor.
  • 2.1 Visual Search: Understanding the importance of visual scanning techniques and maintaining situational awareness.
  • 2.2 Communication: Learning effective communication strategies with other road users.
  • 2.3 Distracted Driving: Recognizing the dangers of distracted driving and ways to stay focused on the road.
  • 2.4 Speed Management: Mastering techniques to manage speed safely and efficiently.
  • 2.5 Space Management: Learning to maintain following safe distances and managing space around the vehicle.
  • 2.6 Night Operation: Understanding the challenges and safety precautions of night driving.
  • 2.7 Extreme Driving Conditions: Preparing for adverse weather and challenging road conditions.
  • 3.1 Hazard Perception: Identifying and reacting to potential hazards on the road.
  • 3.2 Skid Control/Recovery, Jackknifing, and Other Emergencies: Handling, skid control, and recovery techniques.
  • 3.3 Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings: Learning to navigate railroad-highway grade crossings safely.
  • 4.1 Identification and Diagnosis of Malfunctions: Recognizing and troubleshooting common vehicle malfunctions.
  • 4.2 Roadside Inspections: Understanding the procedures and expectations for roadside inspections.
  • 4.3 Maintenance: Gaining knowledge about routine vehicle maintenance practices.
  • 5.1 Handling and Documenting Cargo: Learning proper cargo handling and documentation procedures.
  • 5.2 Environmental Compliance Issues: Understanding the importance of environmental compliance in the trucking industry.
  • 5.3 Hours of Service Requirements: Familiarizing with hours of service regulations and maintaining accurate logbooks.
  • 5.4 Fatigue and Wellness Awareness: Recognizing the impact of fatigue on driving performance and promoting overall wellness.
  • 5.5 Post-Crash Procedures: Knowing the appropriate steps to take following a crash.
  • 5.6 External Communications: Learning effective external communication techniques within the trucking industry.
  • 5.7 Whistleblower/Coercion: Understanding the rights and protections for whistleblowers and recognizing coercion situations.
  • 5.8 Trip Planning: Developing efficient trip planning strategies.
  • 5.9 Drugs/Alcohol: Recognizing the dangers of drug and alcohol use in the trucking industry and understanding related regulations.
  • 5.10 Medical Requirements: Familiarizing with medical requirements for commercial drivers.

ELDTPro’s online training program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the trucking industry, all through a flexible and convenient online platform.

Don’t wait any longer to jumpstart your career in the trucking industry! Take advantage of ELDTPro’s comprehensive online Class A CDL training program and gain the skills and knowledge you need to excel. With flexible learning options and expert guidance, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding and successful career. 

Enroll in ELDTPro today and start paving the path to your future in trucking!

8. CDL Training Program

As you embark on your journey to becoming a professional truck driver, selecting the right CDL training program that suits your needs and preferences is crucial. As previously discussed, there are two main CDL training programs: in-person and online. In addition, other variations of CDL training programs accommodate diverse learning styles and schedules. Here are some common types of CDL training programs:

1. In-Person Training Programs:

As mentioned earlier, in-person training programs provide classroom and hands-on training at a dedicated facility. They allow students to interact directly with experienced instructors, ask questions, and receive immediate feedback while gaining practical experience with industry-standard equipment.

2. Online Training Programs:

As covered before, online CDL training programs offer flexibility and convenience, allowing students to access course materials and complete lessons at their own pace. They provide a solid foundation of knowledge, and while they may not include hands-on training, students can build upon this foundation through additional training opportunities.

3. Hybrid Training Programs:

Hybrid programs combine the best of both in-person and online training. Students complete some coursework online and then attend in-person sessions for hands-on training and driving practice. This blended approach offers flexibility while still providing the benefits of direct interaction with instructors and hands-on experience.

4. Accelerated Training Programs:

For those looking to fast-track their CDL training, accelerated programs offer a condensed curriculum that covers essential topics in a shorter period. These intensive programs are designed for students who can dedicate full-time hours to their training and are eager to begin their trucking careers as soon as possible.

5. Part-Time Training Programs:

Part-time CDL training programs cater to students with other commitments, such as work or family responsibilities, and require a more flexible schedule. These programs typically cover the same material as full-time programs but are spread out over a more extended period.

When selecting a CDL training program, consider your learning preferences, available time, and financial resources to find the best fit for your needs. A well-rounded and comprehensive CDL training program can set you on the path to a rewarding career in the trucking industry.

9. Truck Driver Education

Truck driver education is designed to prepare individuals for the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) examination and employment as Class A truck drivers. The program covers the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles, including motor vehicle laws and regulations, map reading, vehicle maintenance, safety procedures, daily logs, defensive driving, freight handling, security, and fire protection. Highway driving, training range exercises, and classroom lectures develop students’ knowledge and skills.

Truck driver education is best suited for those looking to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License and gain employment with commercial trucking firms, as well as those who want to become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers. 

The program provides the necessary information and skills to pass the Commercial Driver’s License Examination. It offers additional courses to help individuals prepare for the CDL Permit and Hazmat Endorsement tests.

10. Professional Logistics Education Network

Professional Logistics Education Network (PLEN) is an organization that provides comprehensive truck driver training and certification programs. PLEN’s courses focus on the fundamentals of truck driving, including truck systems, defensive driving, cargo handling, hazardous materials, and other topics related to trucking and transportation. 

PLEN’s courses differ from other types of CDL training in that they provide an in-depth and comprehensive overview of trucking and transportation, including theory and hands-on training. In addition, the curriculum is designed to prepare students to pass the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exams and to obtain a valid state driver’s license. 

PLEN courses are also designed to meet the requirements of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Logistic Technician (MSSCCLT) curriculum. PLEN’s courses give students the knowledge and skills to become qualified and safe truck drivers.


What are the differences between in-person and online CDL training?

The main difference between in-person and online CDL training is that in-person classes require physical attendance in a classroom, while online classes can be done at your own pace.

In-person classes often provide a more interactive environment with face-to-face interaction and hands-on training, and the quality of the instruction is highly regulated. However, online classes can be more cost-effective and convenient as they allow you to learn at your own pace and access the material from anywhere.

In-person classes usually require at least four weeks, while online classes can be completed in less time. Additionally, online classes may only offer some majors, can be more challenging as it requires self-direction, and may lack networking opportunities. On the other hand, online CDL training can offer textbooks as part of their course materials which can be an excellent option for those who learn differently.

Overall, both in-person and online CDL training have their pros and cons. It is essential to analyze your options and find the best fit for you before deciding on the best CDL training program.

What kind of CDL license do I need?

When deciding which CDL license you need, you must consider what kind of vehicle you want to drive, how many axles it has, and whether you want a regular or commercial license. Additionally, it is essential to evaluate the cost of getting your CDL license, the requirements of your state, and the job opportunities available to you.

If you plan to have a career in the trucking industry as a truck driver, it is necessary to get a CDL. The American Trucking Association estimates a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers, so plenty of job opportunities are available. You can also take advantage of online CDL training courses, which offer job placement assistance and meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements.

The FMCSA now mandates Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) for applicants seeking a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, or S, P, or H endorsements for the first time. Additionally, you may need to consider what endorsements are needed to operate the vehicle of your choice, such as tanker vehicles, straight trucks, semi-trailer trucks, combination tankers, dump trailers, and passenger buses.

Getting your CDL is a great way to jumpstart your career; there has never been a better time to become a truck driver.

What is the cost of CDL training?

What is the cost of CDL training? [Comparison of costs] Tuition rates for online ELDT online CDL training typically range from $25 to $400, with an average cost of $100 to $200. The Class B CDL program costs a total of $3,375.00, while the Class A CDL program costs a total of $4,623.00. 

Additionally, there may be costs associated with obtaining a D.O.T. physical and drug screen and a certified birth certificate or passport for the CDL permit test. 

What are the prerequisites for CDL training?

The prerequisites for CDL training can vary depending on the specific training program and the state in which you reside. However, there are some standard requirements that most CDL training programs and states have in place. These prerequisites generally include the following:

  1. Age Requirement: You must be 18 to obtain a CDL for driving intrastate (within the same state). To drive a commercial vehicle across state lines (interstate), you must be at least 21 years old.
  2. Valid Driver’s License: You must possess a valid, non-commercial driver’s license from your state of residence before enrolling in a CDL training program.
  3. Driving Record: Most CDL training programs and employers require a clean driving record, free of major traffic violations such as DUIs, reckless driving, or excessive speeding tickets.
  4. Medical Examination: You must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination, which assesses your general health and ensures you meet the minimum medical requirements for operating a commercial vehicle.
  5. Proof of Residency and Citizenship: You may be required to provide proof of residency in your state and proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency status.
  6. English Language Proficiency: Federal regulations require that CDL drivers can read, write, and understand the English language well enough to communicate with the general public, understand traffic signs and signals, respond to official inquiries, and make entries on reports and records.
  7. High School Diploma or GED: Some CDL training programs may require applicants to possess a high school diploma or GED. However, this is only sometimes the case, and many programs accept students without these qualifications.

Remember that specific prerequisites can vary depending on the CDL training program, the type of commercial vehicle you plan to operate, and the state in which you live. It’s essential to research your state’s requirements and the requirements of the CDL training program you are considering to ensure you meet all eligibility criteria.

What are the benefits of in-person vs. online CDL training?

Both in-person and online CDL training programs offer unique benefits, and the best choice depends on your individual needs, learning style, and schedule. Here’s a comparison of the benefits of in-person and online CDL training:

In-Person CDL Training:

  1. Hands-on Experience: In-person training provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with industry-standard equipment, allowing you to practice driving maneuvers and techniques under the guidance of experienced instructors.
  2. Direct Interaction: Face-to-face interaction with instructors and fellow students allows for immediate feedback, clarification of doubts, and better engagement during lessons.
  3. Structured Learning: In-person training follows a set schedule, which helps keep you on track and maintain consistency in your learning.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Attending classes with fellow students offers the chance to build connections and network with others in the industry.
  5. Immediate Assistance: Instructors are readily available to answer questions or provide assistance during practical sessions.

Online CDL Training:

  1. Flexibility: Online training allows you to access course materials and complete lessons at your own pace, making it convenient for those with work or family commitments.
  2. Lower Cost: Online programs are often less expensive than in-person training, making them more accessible to a broader range.
  3. Location Independence: Online training can be completed from anywhere with a stable internet connection, eliminating the need to travel to a training facility.
  4. Self-Paced Learning: Online courses let you learn at your own pace, which can be beneficial if you need to study and review material multiple times.
  5. Variety of Resources: Online programs typically provide multimedia resources, such as video lectures, interactive quizzes, and digital textbooks, to enhance the learning experience.

Consider your learning preferences, schedule, and financial resources when choosing between in-person and online CDL training. In-person training may be more suitable if you prefer direct interaction with instructors and hands-on experience. 

On the other hand, online training can be an excellent option if you need flexibility and prefer self-paced learning. Some individuals may find that a hybrid approach best suits their needs, combining in-person and online training aspects.

Can You take CDL classes online?

There are online CDL training services available that offer comprehensive training programs that can be completed entirely online. These programs typically provide online courses that cover the knowledge and skills required to obtain a CDL.

Online CDL training programs usually include video-based modules, interactive quizzes, and practice exams. They may also include virtual simulations and interactive exercises to help students practice and reinforce their skills.

It is important to note that while online CDL training programs can provide valuable knowledge, they may not fulfill all of the state’s requirements for obtaining a CDL. Some states may still require in-person training for the skills test portion of the CDL exam. Therefore, it is essential to research the requirements in your state and ensure that the online CDL training program you choose meets those requirements.

What types of endorsements can I get with a CDL?

With a CDL, you can get endorsements for Class A, Class B, S, P, and H. Class A is for combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, as well as towing a trailer over 10,000 pounds. Class B is for single vehicles over 26,001 pounds or towing a trailer under 10,000 pounds. Endorsements S and P are for School Bus and Passenger vehicles, respectively, and H is for Hazmat vehicles.

What is the process for obtaining a CDL license?

Step 1: Enroll in a CDL Class A License Training Program. This comprehensive 245-hour (7-week day course) program covers DOT rules and regulations, pre-trip inspection, a backing pad, and on-the-road skills.

Step 2: Prepare for and pass the CDL General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combination Vehicle practice tests. You must pass all three of these tests before you can get your CDL permit.

Step 3: Complete a mandatory pre-trip inspection of the commercial motor vehicle you will use for your road test.

Step 4: Take your CDL road test. Once you have successfully passed the road test, you will be issued your CDL license.

Step 5: Consider taking post-CDL modules with job-specific training. This will help you become more qualified as a commercial driver and increase your job opportunities.

Is there a curriculum for CDL training?

Yes, there is a curriculum for CDL training. The Commercial Driver’s License Program (CDL) is a four-week, 165-hour course that meets the new FMCSA Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations. 

This comprehensive program allows students to learn from experienced instructors in the classroom and behind the wheel, learning key commercial driving concepts and skills with hours of driving practice. 

Upon successful completion, students can take the state-regulated CDL test. 

Additionally, students can take offered post-CDL modules with job-specific training. There are also online CDL training courses, such as the CDL School’s ELDT theory course, that is FMCSA certified and designed to help you get your CLP in as little as ten days.

What types of vehicles will I be driving in CDL training?

In CDL training, you will drive Class A and Class B Chassis with various-sized trailers and ten or 9-speed transmissions. We also have a truck with an Automatic transmission that you can practice with.

Are there job placement services available for CDL training?

Many CDL training schools and programs offer job placement services to help their graduates find employment in the trucking industry. These services can be an invaluable resource for students looking to start their careers as professional truck drivers. Job placement services may include:

  1. Career Counseling: CDL training schools may offer counseling sessions to help students identify their strengths, preferences, and suitable job opportunities within the trucking industry.
  2. Resume Assistance: Many schools assist in creating or updating resumes, ensuring that they effectively highlight the skills and qualifications gained during CDL training.
  3. Interview Preparation: Some CDL training programs offer guidance on interview techniques and conduct mock interviews to help students feel more confident and prepared when meeting potential employers.
  4. Job Listings: CDL training schools may maintain a database of job listings and actively share information about available positions with their graduates.
  5. Networking Opportunities: Schools often connect with local and national trucking companies, allowing them to connect students directly with employers for job opportunities.
  6. Job Fairs and Employer Presentations: CDL training programs may host job fairs or invite employers to give presentations about their companies and the job opportunities they offer.
  7. Pre-Hire Letters: Some CDL training schools partner with trucking companies that issue pre-hire letters to students before they complete their training. These letters indicate a conditional job offer upon completing the CDL training program and obtaining a CDL.

Researching and choosing a CDL training program that offers complete job placement services is essential. These services can be instrumental in helping you find a suitable job and kickstarting your career in the trucking industry. Make sure to inquire about job placement services when considering different CDL training programs and evaluate their success rates in placing graduates in jobs.

Discover the Road to Success with ELDTPro’s Online CDL Training!

Are you ready to jumpstart your career in the trucking industry? Look no further than ELDTPro’s comprehensive online CDL training courses. Our expertly designed programs offer the flexibility and convenience you need to obtain your CDL and excel in your profession.

With ELDTPro, you’ll gain access to a wide range of courses tailored to your needs, including:

  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement (H): Learn how to safely transport hazardous materials and obtain the H endorsement for your CDL.
  • Passenger Endorsement: Equip yourself with the skills to transport passengers safely and efficiently.
  • Class B: Master the essentials of operating Class B commercial vehicles and earn your Class B CDL.
  • Class B to Class A: Already have a Class B CDL? Upgrade your license to a Class A CDL with our specialized course.
  • Class A: Start your journey towards becoming a professional truck driver with our comprehensive Class A CDL training.

Don’t let your dream career pass you by. Choose a type of testing and experience the benefits of flexible, self-paced learning that fits your busy schedule. Both types will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed in the trucking industry.