Steady, secure, and independent jobs abound in the trucking industry, and the pay is consistent and fair. All you need to do to get started is graduate from trucking school and obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Of course, beginning a new chapter can sometimes seem complicated. Changing careers is difficult when the training or preparation takes a lot of time out of your current life. It’s perfectly natural to wonder, “Just how long is truck driving school?” before signing up. If you’re in that position, don’t fret. We can tell you what you need to know.
How Long Is Truck Driving School?
Length of Training
So how long is truck driving school? The answer varies depending on your state, school, and employer:
- States: Each state has its own CDL manual, so an aspiring trucker in California may be required to a complete a different amount of schooling compared to a trucker in Missouri, or Vermont, or Florida, etc.
- Schools: Schools operate differently from one another to accommodate various schedules. For instance, some schools employ a weekend-only schedule so students with weekday jobs can attend more easily. However, these programs will naturally run much longer. Other schools offer sessions during the week, which speeds up the timeline for training.
- Employers: Companies across the country have different requirements regarding how much training their employees need. Some companies require 120 hours of training, while others require 160.
That said, since many companies require 120 or 160 hours of training, truck driving school is often just three to four weeks. Really – that’s it! Three to four weeks is all you need. It will be a busy month with lots to learn, but you can learn everything you need to know to successfully qualify for a CDL in that time.
What You’ll Learn
In those three to four weeks, your instructors will teach you a variety of skills, both inside and outside the classroom:
This covers all the rules and regulations you need to know when behind the wheel. You will generally spend about 40 hours learning in the classroom, covering topics like the following:
- Driver wellness
- Driver qualifications
- Hours of service restrictions
- Road rules
- Defensive driving
- Operating practices
- Vehicle maintenance
- Components of the vehicle
- How to perform a pre-trip inspection
- Map reading, trip planning, and keeping log books
Of course, you can’t learn everything you need to know in a classroom. You will also learn how to drive and handle a commercial truck, developing skills in city, highway, and rural road driving. Students usually spend the rest of their schooling in the practice yard and on the road learning these hands-on skills. For example, you will likely learn how to do the following:
- Operate and maneuver a commercial truck
- Back up properly
- Couple and uncouple trailers
- Connect and disconnect air brakes and air lines
- Identify and inspect elements of the truck
- Alley docking
- Parking, including jack-knife parking
- Perform a four-point brake test
- Interact with traffic
- Control a truck at high speeds
Once you’ve completed your training, all you need to do is pass your CDL test. Then, you’re ready to hit the road — and get paid for it.
So how long is truck driving school? Perhaps surprisingly, with just 160 hours of schooling and training, you can complete an educational program that fully prepares you to obtain a CDL and enter the trucking industry. That’s one of the great things about this profession – you can quickly and easily get started. So what are you waiting for?
If you’re looking to get started in the trucking industry, look no further. Truck Dynasty Driving Academy in Springfield, Missouri, offers a four-week, 160-hour curriculum. As a bonus, classes start weekly, and you can apply at any time. Our philosophy is to prepare truckers for the roads with the knowledge, skills, and training they need to succeed without wasting any time. We want to help you jumpstart your career just as much as you do. Our training comes from seasoned professionals and is DOT-approved. If you’d like to learn more or are ready to apply, get in touch with us online or give us a call at 417-831-8188. We’re excited to hear from you!