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Truck Driving School Cost

How Much Does Truck Driving School Cost?

average costLicense: $50-$200high costCDL Training: $1,000-$7,000
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Federal and state regulations require truck drivers to earn a commercial driving license, for which there are several classifications based on truck weight and cargo. These classifications are determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration[1] . A CDL certifies a truck driver to operate a vehicle of 26,001 pounds or more, or a lighter truck carrying hazardous materials. Types of truck drivers include long-haul or interstate drivers, pick-up and delivery drivers, specialized drivers (including those who carry hazardous material) and drivers with sales responsibilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Typical costs:

  • A CDL training program costs $1,000-$7,000 and typically lasts 4-6 weeks. For example, Prime Inc.[2] in Springfield, MO, offers a four-week commercial truck driver training program for $3,500. Drivers train on-site for four days, drive on the road for three or four weeks with an instructor, and may test for a license when they return. Prime Inc. pays for a driver's training if they work with the company for a year. Progressive Truck Driving School[3] in Chicago, IL offers a six-week class with 240 hours of training for $4,800, which includes eligibility for three endorsements: doubles and triples, tankers and hazardous materials.
  • A temporary permit for truck drivers costs $10-$30 varies by state. For instance, Ohio[4] 's temporary licenses costs $27 and lasts six months.
  • A commercial driving license costs $50-$200 and varies by state. Washington[5] 's CDL skills and knowledge tests cost $110; Maryland[6] 's license costs $50. Applicants must pass a driving test and written exam in their state of residence.
  • A Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) from the Transportation Security Administration[7] costs $86.50.
Related articles: Heavy Equipment Training, Diesel Mechanic School, Community College

What should be included:
  • A CDL training program should include training courses that teach a driver how to maneuver large vehicles on highways or through crowded streets. Drivers should learn federal laws and regulations governing interstate truck driving, as well as hazardous materials regulations if applying for the special endorsement, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[8] . The Professional Truck Driving Institute has detailed standards[9] for programs it accredits.
Additional costs:
  • If not included in the truck driver training course, some drivers pay to rent a truck to take the CDL test. CDL College[10] in Aurora, CO, charges $150 to rent a truck for the driving test.
  • Insurance for independent truck drivers costs $1,500-$6,000 per year. Rig Quote[11] explains some common examples of insurance that covers liability, cargo and damage to the equipment.
  • Membership in the American Trucking Association costs an annual fee based on a truck driver's revenue. For instance, the Illinois Trucking Association[12] charges its members dues of $300-$2,200 per year based on revenue, while the national American Trucking Association charges private carriers a range of $500-$2,136 in annual dues. Membership benefits include government representation, ongoing training opportunities and access to the latest industry news. Women in Truck Driving[13] offers $25 memberships.
  • Some companies, like C1 Truck Driver Training[14] in Indianapolis, will pay for an employee's truck driver training if they work for the company upon licensure.
  • Truck drivers with an established business may be able to save money on their insurance. For instance, Progressive[15] offers a discount up to 5 percent for businesses that are at least three years old. Trucking associations, such as the California Trucking Association[16] may offer insurance or fuel discounts for its members.
Shopping for truck driving school:
  • The Professional Truck Driving Institute[17] lists accredited truck driving schools by state, as well as industry links[18] .
  • Commercial truck drivers must be 18 to drive within their state and 21 or older for interstate trips, according to Education Portal[19] . Applicants must comply with state and federal regulations, which may include a bi-annual medical examination to test for adequate hearing, vision, blood pressure and physical capabilities.
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