Commercial Driver Education in Florida
A resource for florida CDL drivers, with trucking schools, application information, and more.
A resource for Florida CDL drivers, with trucking schools, application information, and more.For all commercial vehicles, one must posses a commercial drivers license (CDL). A commercial driver’s education course is not mandatory in Florida for a CDL. However, going through the the courses is strongly recommended in order to be properly prepared for the challenges of driving a commercial vehicle.
FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVING
All US States have identical regulations for commercial driving. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the regulations, which aim to sustain drivers safety and the safety of all traffic participants.
Florida REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVING
To get a CDL and to use a commercial vehicle, there are various exams that need to be passed. There are different tests for different licenses. You have to pass a written test, an Air Brake Inspection exam, as well as a practical road exam. The vehicle will also require an inspection. For more info on the commercial drivers license see our application requirements page.
The Driver Services Department of Hazardous Materials, U.S. Secretary of State, and Vehicle Services Department regulations enforce that commercial drivers undertake different tests and training.
To be able to operate a school bus, you must have a school bus endorsement on your CDL, which means that you can drive fifteen people or more, not including yourself. They need to pass a knowledge test, including content on driving, passenger, and bus safety, as as well as an air brake knowledge exam.
CERTIFIED TRUCK DRIVING COURSES IN THE US
The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), based in Alexandria, Virginia certifies truck driving education for the whole US. The certificate they offer is not mandatory but schools that offer this certificate adhere to a standard of knowledge and skills.
These are the three options of trucking school in the US:
- Privately owned schools, which provide high-quality training programs for future truck drivers;
- Public schools, with courses in government-run institutes, which offer training at lower costs;
- On the job training organized by transportation companies that employ trainees after they complete the training. This options of training has lower standards than the other ones.
The PTDI standards include 44 hours of driving experience and a standard curriculum that helps drivers get a CDL and operate a truck safely.
STEPS TO ENSURE A GOOD TRUCK DRIVING TRAINING SCHOOL
Every school has a catalog that offers info on the program itself and the training they provide. Look for the following info:
*they type of truck driving training offered and how it applies to your specific license.
*the school facilities and its code of conduct.
*what the courses cost, and the cost of the CDL.
*what the school’s refund policy is in case you abandon the course.
*the grading process: how students will be evaluated and held to account for passing the course.
DURATION OF TRAINING
Universal time length standards don’t exist for commercial driving courses. The schools themselves make the decision on how long the courses will last. Usually there is info regarding that in program brochures, letting you know how many hours the practical training and the theoretical learning consist of. The PTDI standards are 44 hours driving, 104 hours theory. The schools that have adopted the PTDI standards are good quality. Overall, about 4-6 weeks of training is advisable.
GRADUATION AND PLACEMENT AFTER TRAINING PROGRAM
Trainees usually obtain a diploma or a certificate upon completion of the training program. Students that have achieved that kind of certificate or diploma have preference with trucking companies when it comes to hiring. Motor carriers don’t award any certificates for completing their training programs, so students mostly end up being employed with the carriers. Many high quality schools organize events to meet prospective employees with employers. Well-established schools provide information about their placement rates and help students find a good position after the training program, as they have a implied partnerships with different employers and prepare students for interviews.
*Completing a commercial driver’s education program from a reputable program is crucial if you want to apply for a CDL. This way you will become a good and skillful driver and you can secure a good job after you obtain the CDL.
* See CDL Basics and How to Renew a CDL.