Driving a commercial vehicle is a very big responsibility and requires experience, ability and proper knowledge. There are certain requirements to meet and obtain before a person can have a Commercial Drive’s License (CDL). This will give him the authority to drive any commercial vehicles on the road. This is required in the United Sates to operate vehicles with a gross weight of 11,793 kg (26,001 lb), vehicles that transports large quantities of hazardous materials and for vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers which include the driver. The federal government has set a large number of laws and regulations pertaining to all individuals who want to obtain a CDL.
To be eligible for CDL training, you must have a clean driving record from your driving school with unrestricted driver’s license. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires you to be physically fit and pass a physical exam every two years as a part of federal regulation. You must be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce. However, many states allow 18 years old individuals to drive commercial vehicles with restrictions. It is also important that you know how to read and speak English well enough to read road signs, maps, communicate to people and law enforcements and make reports.
In the United States it is required for you to complete your classes in a qualified CDL training program through a truck driving school. These training will basically teach any aspiring truck drivers the knowledge and skills of operating a truck properly and safely on the road. The training also includes, trip planning, map reading, and compliance with the DOT laws, as well as hooking a trailer,
There are no specific federal minimum requirements for an individual to take a commercial driver’s training. The government’s only requirement is for you to pass the written CDL knowledge and driving test given in your driving school. Longer-combination-vehicle (LCV) drivers must acquire classes in healthy driving, service hours, qualification as a driver and whistleblower protection. A commercial driver’s manual is also provided by your state to give you basic information on how to become a professional driver for commercial motor vehicles.
To pass your CDL written test, you must understand how to check vehicle conditions before driving, how to deal with tractors or trailers and have more practice in driving which includes backing up, braking, turning, parking and dealing with different road conditions.
Many commercial companies train their drivers while the others take courses at a driving school, technical or vocational and some community college. There are states that approve or certify these training courses. The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) has set their own standards to certify driving training courses which will meet industry requirements and the guidelines of Federal Highway Administration (FDA). Some employers require PTDI-approved training for employed drivers. There may be states that specify minimum guidelines in their training in the U.S. To know more about it visit the motor vehicle department in your place and check if they have set minimum training requirements to get your CDL.