CDL Training in Minnesota
Signing up for CDL training in Minnesota is an excellent decision if you are going after a commercial driver’s license in the state. Going to CDL school in Minnesota can allow you to learn more about the unique vehicles that require a CDL and how they operate quite differently than most standard vehicles. These are specialty licenses regulated by the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), which cover such varied commercial vehicles as semi-trucks, school buses, tractor-trailers, hazmat trucks and more. You must have your standard MN driver’s license to get a CDL, but even years of experience with driving a sedan cannot fully prepare you for driving a school bus.
Truck driving school for MN drivers is an excellent use of time and money for drivers who are interested in commercial vehicle careers, but it is not strictly necessary in the state of Minnesota. Driving these vehicles properly is hard work, and there are many training professionals who specialize in helping Minnesota residents with their CDL process. Finding the right program for you can seem challenging, but drivers will be glad that they put in the time once they are finally in your commercial vehicle and beginning a new career path. This article will help Minnesota drivers to learn more about CDLs in the state and how they can get the right training to get their license fast.
What is CDL training in Minnesota?
Getting Class A CDL training in Minnesota is a popular decision, as many driving jobs in the state will actually require it. With a Class A CDL, drivers are eligible to operate any commercial vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds and hauls over 10,000 pounds.
This is especially useful, as many big rigs and other cross-country trucks are extremely heavy and hard to manage. The additional Class A CDL training goes towards managing this extra vehicle weight.
Minnesota Class B CDL training is for commercial vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds but haul less than 10,000 pounds. These vehicles are slightly less powerful and, therefore, require less training to use them properly.
Class C covers all vehicles that are meant to transport 16 or more passengers, hazardous materials and a number of other possible uses as long as drivers have the right vehicle endorsement. Utilizing these different types of CDLs in Minnesota means that drivers will need to perform different driving actions while using them. Therefore, each type has its own training course.
Is CDL school required in Minnesota?
A Minnesota CDL instructional course is an excellent tool for drivers in the state to get the knowledge that they need to pass their driving exams and begin their commercial vehicle driving. However, drivers do not necessarily need this training to complete the process of getting a CDL in Minnesota.
As long as an applicant is a licensed driver in the state of Minnesota, he or she will be able to apply for a CDL without needing to prove that he or she has been trained. However, CDL training can be very beneficial in making sure that CDL applicants pass the tests on the first try.
Curriculum of Minnesota CDL Classes
CDL classes in Minnesota are made up of many different topics, which are all used to ensure that you are ready for your final tests.
These courses are given all across the state and can be chosen to fit around your busy schedule. Understanding the intricate parts of each training course will help you to decide which program is right for you.
In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test
Although CDL training online in Minnesota is possible by studying the materials yourself, many drivers in the state prefer a more curated educational experience.
This is where the classroom approach of many CDL training programs comes into play. Studying this information can help applicants pass the CDL written test prior to applying for their permit at one of the local DVS office locations.
Professional truckers and bus drivers often lead these classes and inform students about the details of driving a commercial vehicle, including:
- How to maneuver heavy or bulky vehicles properly.
- How to read special road signs that are meant to warn commercial vehicles.
- How to deal with emergencies related to commercial vehicles and more.
Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test
Taking your MN CDL test is much easier when you have been able to actually drive and practice with a real commercial vehicle.
CDL training programs give you this opportunity, which may not be possible at all if you choose not to get formal training. Once you have signed up for a program and begun attending classes, you will be able to go out on the road with a qualified instructor. They will help you to learn how to drive the commercial vehicle, including tips on parking, turning and more.
How long is CDL training in Minnesota?
The CDL prep process in MN can last for quite a while in order to account for the surplus of information that you will need to learn for your CDL. However, the amount of time that this CDL training will take you is mostly dependent on how often you attend the training and how long your classes are each session.
The traditional CDL program will last around four to eight weeks, although there are many courses that are designed specifically to be shorter or longer than this timeframe. This allows for you to be selective with your program of choice and take the training that you want to commit to.
Best CDL Schools Near Me in Minnesota
Deciding how to answer, “What is the best truck driving school near me in Minnesota?” can be tricky, as there are numerous options that you can choose from throughout the state.
Different programs offer different benefits over others, but some of your highest-rated options in the state include the following:
- Interstate Truck Driving School – This seven- to eight-week program (on average) is designed for students who are new to commercial driving and may need the flexibility to have additional hours of instruction if needed. They offer a flat rate and students may utilize up to 320 hours of instruction if they wish.
- Enhanced Driving Institute – Primarily a driver’s education program, you can also get CDL training in Minnesota here from professional truck drivers. Their focus is on defensive driving in Minnesota and keeping safe while driving in potentially icy weather.
- DCTC – Truck Driver Training Center – This is a community college program that offers Class B CDL training for a shorter timeframe, often between one to four weeks. You should use this service if you need Class B certification quickly and do not have time for extensive training.
Benefits of Completing Minnesota Truck Driving School
You can find CDL jobs in Minnesota fairly easily if you have a clean record of driving, and this is especially the case if you have the right amount of training on your resume.
Many employers who look for commercial drivers do not always say it outright but there can often be a bias towards hiring drivers with good training. This is because it proves that they are motivated and knowledgeable about a number of different CDL topics.
There are also many CDL training programs in the state of Minnesota that have a relationship with a specific commercial driving company. CDL job placement in Minnesota is very common for good students of certain training programs, as they can be directly referred to a good employer without needing to go through the tedious job search process.
This can make getting the right training in MN a very attractive option for many drivers in the state, and it is usually a good investment that turns into a job.
CDL Training Costs in Minnesota
The MN CDL training cost that you will be responsible for is a big factor in deciding which training program you should choose in the state.
There are many different types of programs, as discussed above, with many different lengths and curricula. In order to choose the program that is right for you, it is important to make a budget and consider all of your repayment options.
Most CDL training programs in Minnesota are around $4,000 for tuition, but many offer scholarships, payment plans, refinancing and more. Keep in mind that CDL training costs differ from licensing fees, such as the expense for the mandatory DOT physical exam for CDL credentials.
You could even get paid while training for CDL credentials if your current employer wants you to be trained with a CDL. Many trucking companies that pay for CDL training are shorthand and looking for quality employees.
How to Self-Prep for Minnesota CDL Exams
A Minnesota CDL practice test is an extremely valuable resource, as it can provide you with a path towards passing your required exams on your first try. While these practices are a common part of the curriculum in most training programs across the state, you can also find some online.
Depending on the provider that you choose, a free CDL practice test can be great representations of what you should expect during your knowledge test with the MN DVS.
Utilizing the Minnesota CDL handbook is also a smart idea, as this is a free document that is updated each year with the most important CDL information that you may need.
Some drivers even opt to use this the official commercial drivers manual as a replacement for a training program, although it is much harder to digest the information in this manner and it will not give you any practice with driving commercial vehicles. However, using all of the resources that you have available in Minnesota will help you to pass your tests, and get your CDL as soon as possible.
- Driver's License -- Class A -- Commercial Driver from dps.mn.gov
- Over-the-Road Truck Driving Schools from dot.state.mn.us
- Minnesota Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual from dps.mn.gov