Types of CDL Training
Company-Sponsored CDL Training:
Company-sponsored training is a great way to make time to prepare for the CDL exam without giving up your steady paycheck. Trucking companies will give prospective drivers a weekly paycheck for the entire length of the course (typically about 5 weeks) in exchange for a guarantee that the driver will work for the company after he/she passes the exam. Company-sponsored CDL training is a great opportunity for aspiring truck drivers who cannot afford to miss 5 weeks worth of paychecks. It is important to recognize that the cost of the school will be gradually paid for through deductions from your first few paychecks.
Paid CDL Training:
Paid CDL training involves going through a private trucking school to prepare for the CDL exam. Paid truck driving schools cost a little bit more initially, but upon completion, you will be able to work with the company of your choice. Paying for your CDL training up front will also ensure that you will receive the entirety of your paycheck each month without having to worry about anything being deducted out. It is important to remember that due to the intense driver shortage effecting the transportation industry, most trucking companies are willing to look past the lack-of-experience of new CDL drivers.
Just like with most jobs, the more specialized your role, the more money you will earn. These specializations in trucking are referred to as CDL endorsements.
- Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement (T): The Multiple Trailers Endorsement gives drivers the opportunity to earn as much as 2-3 times what they would typically make because it gives them an opportunity to haul 2-3 times more goods. This is a great way for drivers to earn more money without taking on the dangers of pulling a tanker trailer or hauling hazardous materials.
- Tanker Endorsement (N): The Tanker Endorsement is a great opportunity for drivers who want to stand out from their competition by taking on additional responsibilities. The awkward weight of a tanker trailer makes this job more difficult and dangerous, but driver who are up to the challenge will have plenty of opportunities to haul different types of liquid and gas.
- HazMat Endorsement (H): The Hazardous Materials Endorsement gives drivers the ability to legally haul materials considered to be hazardous to human life or the environment. This could include freight which is explosive, toxic, or damaging to the environment. For obvious reasons, the HazMat CDL Endorsement is one of the more opportunistic endorsements a truck driver can receive.
- Combination of Tanker and Hazardous Materials Endorsement (X): The Combination Tanker/HazMat Endorsement is the most sought after endorsement in the transportation industry. Drivers who have these endorsements will have more opportunities and earning power than any other drivers in the industry.
- Passenger Endorsement (P): The Passenger Endorsement is intended for drivers who want to transport more than 8, but less than 16 total passengers (driver included). This will be required for aspiring limo drivers, or anyone who wants to drive people commercially.
- School Bus Endorsement (S): The School Bus Endorsement allows a driver to operate a school bus. In order to receive this endorsement, you must either already have your Passenger Endorsement or be prepared to pass it at the same time.