Commercial Driver Education in Idaho
Although Idaho CDL training is not a specific step that is needed during the commercial driver’s license application process, participating in a prep course can provide many benefits to you. While the ID Transportation Department does not require you to enroll in a CDL school, the department does highly recommend that you do because it can help you to prepare for the required exams and gain the experience you need to become a better and safer driver.
In order to get a commercial driver’s license, you must pass at least one CDL general knowledge test and the skills test as well. The most effective way to ensure that you are completely prepared to take and pass these tests is to enroll in and complete CDL prep training through an approved school. These courses are designed to provide you with hands-on training in a commercial vehicle along with in-classroom instruction as well.
What is CDL training in Idaho?
Class A CDL training is required if you want to get a Class A CDL license.
This CDL training course helps you obtain the license is needed to operate any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. Most schools offer CDL Class A license training because this the license allows you to operate Class A, B, and C vehicles.
Class B CDL training in Idaho is not as readily available because it is more specialized and only prepared you to obtain a Class B or C license.
A Class B license is needed for single non-towing vehicles that have a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. It is very important that you ensure that you only take Class B training if it is required for your specific occupation.
Is CDL school required in Idaho?
Although it is recommended by the Idaho Department of Transportation, truck driving school is not a requirement for getting your CDL.
However, enrolling in CDL classes provides you with many benefits and can help you to pass your exams and receive your CDL with less stress, so it is important to consider it as an option.
Curriculum of Idaho CDL Classes
Each CDL training course has slightly different methods for teaching the information. However, each CDL course typically includes both an in-class and behind-the-wheel portion.
The purpose of the course curriculum is to prepare you for those exams, so you will learn about the various CDL laws, such as the distracted driving laws specific to professional drivers, and regulations as well as tips on how to safely operate large vehicles and much more.
In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test
The in-class instruction of CDL training is led by a qualified and experienced instructor and is designed to prepare you to pass the CDL written test, which is similar to the knowledge exam for getting a standard driver’s license but has questions related to commercial vehicles.
For the CDL general knowledge test, the following information is typically included:
- Handling emergency situations
- Transporting cargo safely
- Idaho CDL laws
- Commercial vehicle street signs
- Types of vehicles and endorsements
- Keeping a driving log
Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test
To help you prepare for the CDL driving test, the behind-the-wheel portion usually starts after a few days of in-class instruction has been completed. The passing the skill-based CDL test will require that you practice driving commercial vehicles and are familiar with handling them.
During behind-the-wheel CDL instruction, you will practice maneuvers such as straight-line backing, offset backing and parallel parking.
Also, you will learn how complete both internal and external inspections of your vehicle and then practice navigating through intersections, completing turns and more.
How long is CDL training in Idaho?
Each Idaho CDL school has different programs, and each lasts a different amount of time. The exact length that you can expect to be in CDL classes or behind the wheel will depend on the school and the specific program that you chose.
For example, Sage Truck Driving Schools has a basic Class A CDL training course that is 150 hours and is conducted over a period of four to five weeks. Most other Class A courses will have similar lengths, although courses for other types of CDL licenses may be shorter.
Best CDL Schools Near Me in Idaho
When you search, “Truck driving school near me,” it is important to understand that each option is going to vary from the next, so you must do your research to decide which school is best for you. A few of the best CDL schools include:
- Sage Truck Driving School. Sage Schools offers a variety of different training programs that are designed to meet your needs, whether you are a beginner or you have some commercial vehicle driving experience. Also, this school is trusted by many of the best trucking companies in the country, and it also provides a lot of hands-on instruction and practice.
- Idaho CDL Training. This CDL school provides financing options that may help you to come up with a plan that works best for you. Also, there are both manual and automatic transmission trucks available to be practiced in, which provides you with valuable experience in driving both.
- Top Gun Truck Driving Academy. Another option for CDL preparation in Idaho is Top Gun Academy. This academy offers Class A CDL training and is accommodating of various schedules. Also, you can complete your training in as little as four weeks.
Benefits of Completing Idaho Truck Driving School
Getting CDL job placement can be difficult because the commercial driving industry is very competitive. A lot of the best CDL jobs get taken quickly by experienced drivers. Therefore, it is important that you become an experienced driver by completing a CDL program.
Receiving special CDL training for operating a commercial vehicle can help you significantly when searching for a job. Also, most schools provide CDL job placement assistance which can help you to get interviews set up at hiring companies.
Because the CDL tests are so difficult, receiving training can be very beneficial and can even help you to pass your exams on your first attempt. This can make the process of getting your CDL much smoother and less stressful by saving you a lot of time and providing you with the instruction you need.
CDL Training Costs in Idaho
Make sure that you understand the CDL training cost you must pay before you enroll in a school. The tuition rates at CDL schools vary depending on the program you choose. For instance, Class A training is typically more expensive than courses for Class B or C.
Also, some CDL training fees are not covered through tuition such as licensing or testing fees charged by Idaho DMV office locations. Likewise, the DOT physical exam for CDL credentials may not be covered by tuition charges. Because of this, it is crucial that you contact the school to learn about the tuition and fees you must pay before you make the decision to enroll.
Also, keep in mind that that are trucking companies that pay for CDL training as well, which may mean that you may not need to pay the full tuition on your own.
Some companies offer to cover the cost of your tuition upfront or they may provide you with tuition reimbursement or give you a discounted rate.
To find low-cost or free CDL training, contact prospective employers to determine if tuition reimbursement is available and if you qualify. However, even if you do not find a company that will pay for your tuition, then there are still many other financial aid options such as loans, grants or payment plans that can help you to afford training.
How to Self-Prep for Idaho CDL Exams
Studying the CDL handbook is necessary if you decide to self-prep for the CDL exams without attending classes.
The commercial driver’s manual includes multiple sections labelled “Test Your Knowledge” that can be used as a free CDL practice test. Read through the handbook completely and answer the practice questions in order to prepare yourself for the exams.