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How hard is it to get a Class A CDL?

This is a discussion on How hard is it to get a Class A CDL? within the XDTalk Chatter Box forums, part of the XD Talk category; Hello there, An opportunity for a position of interest has opened up at my work. The position requires I obtain a Class A CDL witihin ...

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Old 07-21-2009, 05:59 PM   #1
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How hard is it to get a Class A CDL?

Hello there,

An opportunity for a position of interest has opened up at my work. The position requires I obtain a Class A CDL witihin 6 months of starting.

I am more than willing do it because I really want the position.

How hard is it to get? If I memorize the book, and show adequacy in driving a commercial vehicle, am I good?
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
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I am actually in process for getting mine in Co. I dont know your state laws, but here you take the written test (memorize the book) for each endorsement you want/need. Tanker, doubles/triples (trailers), etc. and this gets you the instruction license.

Once you have the instruction license (learning permit) you can drive w/ a licensed driver over 21. After you feel comfortable, you take a driving test where you have to parallel park and do a bunch of other stuff (including road driving) with your rig (thats right, parallel park a dump truck and trailer).

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock Killer View Post
Hello there,

An opportunity for a position of interest has opened up at my work. The position requires I obtain a Class A CDL witihin 6 months of starting.

I am more than willing do it because I really want the position.

How hard is it to get? If I memorize the book, and show adequacy in driving a commercial vehicle, am I good?
You can easily do it within 6 mos.
You do have to study though.
Regards, Pete
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Whoa, parallel park a big rig. I suck at doing that with my Ranger.

Luckily they will allow me to practice a lot before hand.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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You can easily do it within 6 mos.
You do have to study though.
Regards, Pete

Thanks Pete. I will definitely hit the book hardcore.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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The Class A CDL written test is not that hard, but you do need to study.

The thing most people have a hard time with is backing up a truck and trailer. If you have a 2 wheel trailer of any sort at all I suggest you spend time practicing backing that trailer up until it becomes second nature before you take the driving test. Learn to back a trailer in a straight line for 100', do a 45 degree "alley dock" (both left and right) and back around a street corner (both left and right).

The other thing to learn is everything possible about your truck/trailer combination. That includes coupling/uncoupling, brake system (including brake caging), jacks stands, etc.

There are truck driving schools out there if you feel you need one, but it is possible to learn on your own.

Every endorsement on your license is another test and some are more difficult than others, but each one can bring more work and better pay.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gsh341 View Post
The Class A CDL written test is not that hard, but you do need to study.

The thing most people have a hard time with is backing up a truck and trailer. If you have a 2 wheel trailer of any sort at all I suggest you spend time practicing backing that trailer up until it becomes second nature before you take the driving test. Learn to back a trailer in a straight line for 100', do a 45 degree "alley dock" (both left and right) and back around a street corner (both left and right).

The other thing to learn is everything possible about your truck/trailer combination. That includes coupling/uncoupling, brake system (including brake caging), jacks stands, etc.

There are truck driving schools out there if you feel you need one, but it is possible to learn on your own.
+1, and I hear the pre-trip inspection is the toughest part.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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+1, and I hear the pre-trip inspection is the toughest part.
Not really too bad, unless your tester is a real jerk.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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I got mine close to 8 years ago. I'd definatly take a course, even if you can drive the trucks around at work. While you may learn to drive, it wont teach you to pass the tests.

my school was a month long, you could go afternoons, or just on the weekends (2 months maybe)

most places want you to go throught the school too because it counts as 6 months of experience for insurance

school prices vary widely, $2500 - $12000 when I was looking.

If you can do a weekend school, and screw around with the truck during the week, you'll be so far above you classmates, it'll blow your mind. Your new job may have a program with a school too.

ps. I aced the pre-trip (got all 115 points). nobody in my class failed it.

Last edited by Groo; 07-21-2009 at 06:34 PM. Reason: to brag
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsh341 View Post
The Class A CDL written test is not that hard, but you do need to study.

The thing most people have a hard time with is backing up a truck and trailer. If you have a 2 wheel trailer of any sort at all I suggest you spend time practicing backing that trailer up until it becomes second nature before you take the driving test. Learn to back a trailer in a straight line for 100', do a 45 degree "alley dock" (both left and right) and back around a street corner (both left and right).

The other thing to learn is everything possible about your truck/trailer combination. That includes coupling/uncoupling, brake system (including brake caging), jacks stands, etc.

There are truck driving schools out there if you feel you need one, but it is possible to learn on your own.

Every endorsement on your license is another test and some are more difficult than others, but each one can bring more work and better pay.
Thanks GSH, that's great advice. My ol' man has a two wheel trailer I will practice with. I have used it a few times but wasn't in the state of mind of "perfecting" maneuvers with it.
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