Truck Driving Classes and Training Programs
An educational program in truck driving can teach you to operate large vehicles and prepare you for a career as a cross-country truck driver. Read on to learn more about programs and classes, opportunities in this field and work requirements.
What You Need to Know
Although not generally available online, programs for truck drivers are available part-time, nights or weekends. Depending on the type of program, your training may involve hands-on experience or more traditional coursework in business management and human relations.
|Training||High school diploma plus certificate, diploma or noncredit training|
|Classes||Defensive driving, route planning, report filing|
|Programs||Part-time, night or weekend programs, but not usually online|
What Truck Driving Training Programs Are Available?
As an aspiring truck driver, you may not need to complete any education beyond a high school diploma. However, certificate, diploma and noncredit training programs could help to prepare you for professional positions in the field and might give you an advantage when seeking employment. Noncredit training programs and certificate and diploma programs focus mostly on hands-on driving experience, though some programs can offer additional coursework that could help you advance in the industry.
What Classes Will I Take?
Noncredit training, certificate programs and diploma programs focus on coursework in the operation, driving, safety and documentation procedures necessary for all truck drivers. A few examples of program options include a Certificate of Achievement in Truck Driving, a Commercial Transportation Certificate and a Truck Driving Technical Diploma. These programs typically include behind-the-wheel driving on streets and highways. You'll cover a range of skills and techniques in your coursework, including the following:
- Operation of Class A Commercial Motor Vehicles
- Defensive driving
- Driver safety and hazard analysis
- Route planning
- City driving
- Vehicle inspection
- Speed management
- Industry regulations
- Advanced driving maneuvers, such as backing up
- Weight distribution in a tractor-trailer
How Can I Choose a School?
Schools with extensive driving requirements could be useful for the hands-on experience they offer. They might grant you access to multiple trucks and other hauling vehicles, like tractors and trailers. Some schools encourage internships to practice with real working conditions and professional expectations. Due to the largely hands-on nature of these programs, online programs aren't typically available in this field. If you have a demanding professional or personal schedule, you may consider programs that offer part-time, night or weekend training options.
What About Licensing Requirements?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some companies and states require future truck drivers to complete a training program before seeking a commercial driver's license (CDL) (www.bls.gov). This type of license is required for truckers who haul hazardous waste or loads weighing more than 26,001 pounds. Licensed truckers who want to update their skills can consider enrolling in a CDL Refresher Course.